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International Student Services

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Maintaining Status

Immigration status refers to the lawful status you hold as a non-immigrant in the United States, which is determined either by the manner in which you last entered the country, or by the result of a change of status petition submitted to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

"Maintaining status" means to abide by the regulations and reporting requirements governing your immigration status. Failure to properly maintain your status may result in the termination of your program and losing your eligibility to study in the United States.

  • F-1 Status
  • J-1 Status
F-1 Status
  1. Keep your passport valid at all times.
  2. Consult your country’s consulate or embassy in the US to renew your passport. The advisors in ISS have a list of the embassy/consulate addresses and telephone numbers.
  3. Attend only the school you were authorized to attend as listed on your I-20.
  4. Register as a full time student full-time (or be full-time certified/get full time equivalency) and complete a full course of study during the academic year.
  5. Request a program extension if you must remain in the US beyond the date indicated (in section 5) on your I-20 BEFORE your I-20 expires. Program Extension Forms are available in the ISS office or on the ISS web site under Forms and should be submitted 30 - 90 days prior to the expiration date of the Form I-20. to  Submit the Program Extension Form early enough to allow the extension to be completed prior to the expiration date on the document.
  6. Complete the official immigration transfer process whenever changing educational institutions. You must submit an Acceptance letter and a Transfer Request form from your new school to ISS before we can transfer your SEVIS record to the new school.  Once ISS has transferred your SEVIS record, your new university can issue an I-20 to you. Once you begin studying at the new school, you must report to the Designated School Official within 15 days of the program start date listed on the Form I-20.
  7. If you will continue from one educational level to another at RIT (e.g. Bachelor's to Master's), request a new I-20 from the Admissions Office or from the Office of Part Time and Graduate Enrolment. Bring the new I-20 to International Student Services to complete the change of program notification to USCIS.
  8. Limit employment on campus to no more than 20 hours per week while classes are in session.
  9. Refrain from all off-campus employment without prior authorization from an ISS advisor and/or  USCIS.
  10. Receive permission from your academic advisor AND a Designated School Official at ISS BEFORE reducing your course load, withdrawing from classes or taking a leave of absence from RIT.
  11. Report any change of address directly to the RIT Student Information System (SIS) within 10 (ten) days of the move. ISS will then electronically notify USCIS of the change, via SEVIS.

 

J-1 Status
  1. Keep your passport valid at all times
  2. Consult your country’s consulate or embassy in the US to renew your passport. The ISS advisors have a list of the embassy/consulate addresses and telephone numbers.
  3. Attend only the school you are authorized to attend as listed on your DS-2019.
  4. Maintain continuous registration as a full time student each academic term (12 credit hours for undergraduates, 9 credit hours or Full Time Equivalency for Graduate students.  Thesis, final project, capstone and registered Co-ops all count as full time enrollment.)
  5. If your DS-2019 will expire before you can complete your degree, you must apply for a DS-2019 extension BEFORE the DS-2019 expires. Requests for extensions should be submitted 60 days prior to the expiration date of the Form DS-2019 so the extension process can be completed prior to the expiration date on the document.
  6. If transferring from one US institution to another, you must complete the official immigration transfer process. You must notify the ISS office if you intend to transfer. You must obtain a new DS-2019 to attend the new institution, and you must report to the Responsible Officer/Alternate Responsible Officer within 15 days of the program start date listed on the Form DS-2019.
  7. Limit employment on-campus to 20 hours per week while classes are in session.
  8. Obtain written authorization from the J-1 Responsible or Alternate Responsible Officer for your program BEFORE accepting any off campus employment.
  9. As a J-1 exchange visitor you must maintain the required level of health insurance coverage for yourself and any accompanying J-2 dependents, covering illness, accident, medical evacuation, and repatriation of remains.
  10. Consult with the J-1 Responsible Officer or Alternate Responsible Officer of your J-1 program BEFORE reducing your course load, withdrawing from RIT, or taking a Leave of Absence from the Institute.
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