It is the responsibility of each F-1 and J-1 student to understand and be familiar with the regulations governing their immigration status. The Office of Graduate & International Programs is the primary resource for learning about rights and responsibilities as an F-1 or J-1 student at Georgetown Law. Explore our webpages or contact your International Student Advisor to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations below.

The U.S. government considers students who violate F-1 or J-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.

To maintain legal status, F-1 and J-1 students must:

After initial entry into the United States in F-1 or J-1 status, report to the Office of Graduate & International Programs to complete immigration check-in. To activate your F-1 or J-1 immigration record, you must accomplish three steps after arriving at Georgetown Law:

1 – Upload immigration check-in documents into the International Student Portal

2 – Update your U.S. local address and phone number in MyAccess

3 – Attend an in-person Immigration and Compliance Session

All new F-1 and J-1 students, including SEVIS transfer students, must complete the three steps above within 30 days of their Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 program start date.

Double check to make sure the following immigration documents remain valid during your time in F-1 or J-1 status:


Your passport should always be valid at least six months into the future.

Form I-20 or Form DS-2019

— Be aware of your program end date, and make sure that you will complete all program requirements by the program end date listed on your document.

— Maintain a valid travel signature in case of international travel.

F-1 or J-1 Visa

A valid/unexpired visa is needed for international travel in order to reenter the United States.

I-94 Entry Record

Ensure your I-94 entry record shows that you were admitted in F-1 or J-1 status and that the “Admit Until Date” section shows “D/S” (Duration of Status)

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

While your F-1 or J-1 status is active, you must report any local address changes within 10 days of moving.

Current students must update their local address via MyAccess. Instructions are below:

1 – Log in to MyAccess with your NetID and password.

2 – Click the “Personal Information” tab.

3 – Select “View/Access Addresses and Phone Numbers”

4 – Select “Update Addresses and Phones”

5 – Select “Local Off-Campus and click “insert”

6 – Input your local address and phone number and save. The end date (until this date) field can be left blank.

After graduation:

— F-1 students under an approved period of Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) must submit local address updates via the SEVP Portal.

— J-1 students under an approved period of Post-Completion Academic Training (AT) must email their International Student Advisor to submit local address updates.

Visit the International Student Services Employment page for more information on how to obtain on-campus and off-campus employment authorization.

For on-campus employment:

— Do not exceed a maximum of 20 hours per week of work during the academic year.

— Students may engage in full-time on-campus employment during official school breaks and vacations.

— J-1 students MUST ALWAYS obtain authorization for every position before the start of their first day of on-campus employment.

For off-campus employment:

— Obtain employment authorization before engaging in any off-campus employment, regardless if the opportunity is paid or unpaid.


Notify your International Student Advisor immediately for any of the following:

— Compelling academic or medical (including psychological) circumstances that could necessitate a reduced course-load or extension of your academic program.

— Leave of Absence or withdrawal from Georgetown

— Transfer to another institution in the United States

— Change in degree level or academic program (such as from LL.M. to S.J.D.)

J-1 students must maintain health insurance for themselves and any dependents in J-2 status for the entire duration of studies at Georgetown Law, as well as any approved time under Post-Completion Academic Training (AT). Insurance coverage must meet the minimum health insurance requirements mandated by the U.S. Department of State.

Georgetown University requires all J-1 students to purchase the University Premier Plan. This coverage is greater than that required by Federal Regulations for J-1 students. Dependents in J-2 status may be added to the University Premier Plan, or they can purchase other health insurance, provided it meets U.S. Department of State requirements.