Maintaining F-1 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:
- Upload the following immigration documents to your document portal account:
- I-20 and I-20s of any dependents
- F-1 visa page and admission stamp
- I-94 record
- Attend the mandatory Immigration & Compliance Session during Orientation.
Students who transfer from one academic institution to another must complete the steps above within one week of the I-20 program start date.
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.)
- Ensure that your I-94 record 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
- Log in to MyAccess with your NetID and password.
- Click the “Personal Information” tab.
- Select “View/Access Addresses and Phone Numbers”
- Select “Update Addresses and Phones”
- Select “Local Off-Campus and click “insert”
- Input your local address and phone number and save. The end date (until this date) field can be left blank.
Students under an approved period of post-completion OPT should submit address updates via the SEVP Portal.
5. Do not engage in unauthorized employment.
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 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 course-load 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.