Maintain F-1 Status
Click on any of the linked statements for additional information.
- 1. Keep your passport valid at all times.
Passports may be revalidated or reissued in the U.S. at the Embassy of the country that issued your passport. Contact your Embassy to learn your country's requirements for passport renewal.
- 2. Keep your I-20 valid at all times.
Review sections 4, 5, and 8 of the I-20 on a regular basis and notify International Programs immediately about any changes in your major, degree level or financial support. Also notify International Programs about any name changes, errors or misspellings on the I-20. Failure to maintain a valid and accurate I-20 can result in serious immigration problems for you.
- 3. Attend the school you are authorized to attend as noted on your I-20 (in section 2) AND as noted on your visa (if it is for initial attendance).
If you attend a school without authorization from International Programs on an I-20, or without following proper USCIS transfer procedures, you are considered to be out-of-status and must consult with International Programs immediately. Also, if you do not attend the school listed on your visa upon your initial entry into the U.S., you are considered to be out-of-status. Consult with International Programs if you have questions about which school you are required to attend.
- 4. Stay enrolled full-time each session and make normal progress towards the completion of your degree.
At Bellevue University, all International students must be enrolled full-time at all times during the academic year. In general, full-time enrollment is defined as a minimum of nine (9) credit hours for undergraduate students, and a minimum of six (6) graduate-level credit hours for graduate students. A few exceptions can be made to this full-time rule, but only after receiving authorization from International Programs. Failure to receive prior approval from International Programs for a reduced course load is a serious violation of the F-1 status which will result in the loss of the student's lawful immigration status. In addition, international students are limited to enroll in a maximum of three online credits per semester.
- 5. Work off-campus only with permission from International Programs on your I-20 or with an Employment Authorization Document card (EAD) from USCIS.
- 6. Work On-campus 20 hours per week or less while school is in session.
For students who have completed all degree requirements and for students who have an expired I-20, on-campus employment is ONLY permitted with a valid Employment Authorization Document card from USCIS.
- 7. Report a change of address to Bellevue University (BU) within 10 days of the change.
To report a change of address:
- Login to the new BRUIN
- Click on the "Self Service" link
- Click on the "Student Center" link
- Scroll down towards the bottom of the page to view the "Personal Information" section
- Click on the "Home Address" link
- Click on "Edit"
- Edit the Information
- Click on "Ok"
- Click on "Save"
- Click on "Ok"
- Complete the online Change of Address Form Change of Address Form.
- NOTE: Please also inform Bellevue University of any changes in your telephone number, even if your mailing address does not change. Also, for students who have an application pending with USCIS, you will also need to update your address through the USCIS website change of address link.
- 8. Travel and reenter with authorization from International Programs.
Students who travel outside of the United States during vacation periods and reenter to continue their academic programs need their I-20 endorsed for travel with a signature of one of the Designated School Officials (DSOs) before they leave the United States' borders. This signature must be dated within the current academic session to reenter. Before requesting the travel signature from International Programs, students need to register for classes for the next academic session. Students need to carry all I-20s with them while traveling, and may also carry their academic transcripts and a verification of enrollment letter from International Programs with them while traveling for ease of reentry.
- 9. Notify International Programs about any degree level changes at Bellevue University
(e.g. from a Bachelor’s to a Master’s degree), or any changes with your major, and request a new I-20 from the International Programs Office when changing your degree level or changing your major.
- 10. Notify International Programs if you plan to withdraw, transfer, take a leave of absence, or cease your enrollment at Bellevue University for any reason.
All students must notify International Programs before they terminate their studies at the university if they have not completed the degree and must depart the U.S. within 15 days. Students who do not notify International Programs before terminating their studies will have no grace period and are required to depart the U.S. immediately.
- 11. Notify International Programs if you complete all of your degree requirements before the end date in section 5 of the I-20.
- 12. Request an F-1 program extension at least 30 days before the program expiration date on your current I-20 if you are unable to complete your degree by the required date listed in section 5 of your current I-20.
F-1 program extensions can only be granted for limited reasons. Students who fail to request an extension by the deadline will be out-of-status and may need to apply for a reinstatement to lawful status.
- 13. Leave the United States within 60 days after the program expiration date on your I-20 (listed in section 5) OR your
actual program completion date, whichever comes first.
Students on OPT must depart the U.S. within 60 days after their OPT expiration date on the EAD card if they have not filed for a change of status or have not been accepted into a new degree program. Failure to depart on time is a violation of the F-1 status. Students who do not complete their degrees are not eligible for the 60-day grace period and should consult with International Programs immediately.
- 14. TRANSFER STUDENTS – Notify International Programs at Bellevue University of your intent to transfer; CONTACT
International Programs at the school you would like to attend to inquire about their transfer procedures, the
paperwork you will need to complete for the new I-20, and any time limitations that might apply to you; obtain an
acceptance letter from the new school, and report to International Programs at the new school within 15 days of
beginning attendance to obtain an I-20 from the new school.
Failure to follow these procedures is a violation of F-1 status.
- 15. Maintain continuous enrollment in health insurance for the duration of your time as a BU student.
- 16. Submit current documentation for a TB test administered in the U.S. to International Programs during your first week at Bellevue University.
If you have any questions or uncertainties about your responsibilities for maintaining your lawful F-1 status, the SEVIS reporting requirements, working in the U.S., or if you think you may need to apply for a reinstatement to lawful status, please meet with International Programs immediately. No other office on campus can assist you with these questions.
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Please reach out to one of our Admission Counselors and they can answer any questions you have at 1-800-756-7920 (option 1). The Admissions office is open Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (CST) and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (CST).
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