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F-1 Visa StudentsRules & Regulations

Information for F-1 Visa Students

  • 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 Curricular Practical Training, 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 a DSO 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.


  • Cross, Katie

  • Coordinator, International Student Services and Academic Advisor

  • COA – Dare: 104

  • 252-473-2264 ext. 7011