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F-1 Visa StudentsRules & Regulations

Information for F-1 Visa Students

  • If you’re in the U.S. awaiting approval of your change to F-1 status request, you’ll still be required to enroll every fall and spring semester as you wait for a decision.
  • You’ll need to be enrolled as a full-time student (12 credit hours or more) per semester unless approved for less.
  • Of the 12 credits you’ll need to take each semester, nine will need to be in seated classes. The balance of the 12 may be taken online.
  • Please follow all immigration policies to avoid termination of your F-1 status and possible deportation.
  • It’s your responsibility to provide a current address and phone number to both the college as well as the Department of Homeland Security.
  • You may not work for pay while on an F-1 visa, with the exception of special cases related to Optional Practical Training or Cooperative Education, available after completing one fall and one spring semester.
  • Please see a Designated School Official (DSO) for an updated travel I-20 if you plan to travel outside the U.S.
  • Your I-20 is valid for two years. You may be given an extension as long as you’re continuously enrolled. If you need an extension, contact us well before the expiration date to avoid allowing your I-20 to expire. Please remember that it’s your responsibility to check the I-20 form.
  • Be sure to not let your passport expire. You’ll need to possess a valid passport at all times. Renew your passport six months prior to the expiration date at your country’s consulate in the U.S. or in your country.
  • International students will need to attend a check-in meeting at the start of every semester. Be sure to attend to avoid delaying your Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIS) registration.

For more information about rules and regulations for F-1 visa students, please visit the Study in the States website.

Email Addresses

We aren’t usually able to receive email from foreign servers, and strongly recommend that you establish a U.S. email account (Gmail, Yahoo, Earthlink, AOL, Hotmail) in order to communicate with us by email.


  • Boyce, Cherrie

  • Academic Advisor

  • Elizabeth City Campus: AE 133

  • 252-335-0821 ext. 2281

  • Cross, Katie

  • Coordinator, International Student Services and Academic Advisor

  • Dare County Campus: 104

  • 252-473-2264 ext. 7011