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Maintaining Status

To maintain legal status, F-1 students must:

1.) Report to the Office of Graduate Programs after the initial entry in F-1 status.

This is a two-step process:

  • Check in with Graduate Programs for an Immigration Document Review.
  • Attend mandatory Immigration & Compliance Session during Orientation.

Students who transfer from one academic institution to another must complete the transfer process of their SEVIS record after arriving on campus.

2.) Maintain valid immigration documents:

  • Passport valid six months into the future
  • I-20.  Be aware of your program end date, and make sure that you will complete all requirements by the program end date listed on your document.  Maintain a valid travel signature in case of emergency international travel. 
  • Valid F-1 visa (if you will be traveling outside the U.S.)
  • I-94 record (https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov).  Ensure that your record shows you were admitted in F-1 status.

3.) Register as a full-time student every semester (except summer).  

You MUST obtain prior written approval from your International Student Advisor for a reduced course load before dropping below full-time status.  Notify your advisor right away if you are having academic difficulty. 

4.) Update your local address through MyAccess within 10 days of any move.

5.) Do not engage in unauthorized employment.  

For on-campus employment, do not exceed a maximum of 20 hours per week of on-campus employment during the academic year. Students may engage in full-time on-campus work during official school breaks and vacations.  Obtain appropriate authorization before engaging in any off-campus employment.

6.) Notify your International Student Advisor immediately in the following circumstances: 

  • Compelling academic or medical (including psychological) circumstances that could necessitate a reduced courseload or extension of your academic program. 
  • Leave of Absence or withdrawal from Georgetown
  • Transfer to another institution in the U.S.
  • Change in degree level (such as from LL.M. to S.J.D.) 

The U.S. government considers students who violate F-1 regulations "out of status." Penalties for violating status can be serious and may affect not only a student's entire academic career, but also future applications for U.S. visas or other immigration benefits.


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