Registration & Attendance: You must register at and attend the school indicated on your I-20.
Course Load: You must register as a full-time student when school is in session. For undergraduate students, full-time is defined as a minimum of 12 credits. For graduate students the requirement is 9 credits (6 credits if on a full assistantship) or registration for Master's Thesis or Doctoral Research.
Reduction in Course Load: You may register for a lesser course load if
You must complete and submit OISS’s online Reduced Course Load Request eForm at least two weeks before the start of the semester you would like to take a lesser course load.
After your eForm has been approved by your Academic Advisor (and the Graduate School, if applicable), an OISS Advisor will authorize your reduced course load in SEVIS.
Within the U.S.: You have the right to travel freely within the U.S. provided you maintain your legal F-1 status and have your passport and immigration documents in your possession.
Outside the U.S. with return planned to the same school: You must consult the OISS in advance regarding travel authorization and the necessary documentation required to facilitate your reentry to the U.S.
Outside the U.S. with return planned to a different school: You must consult the OISS in advance regarding your proposed travel and change of schools. If the change is permissible, you must obtain a new Form I-20 from your new school before you attempt to reenter the U.S.
Upon completion of studies, you may have the right to a) continue study at the same school or transfer to a different school for a higher academic degree, certificate or program of academic work; b) apply for Optional Practical Training; or c) take up to 60 days to depart the U.S.
If you complete your studies before the expiration date listed on your I-20, you will have 60 days to prepare for departure. If you choose to remain in the U.S. for more than 60 days following the end of your program (without entering a new program or Optional Practical Training), you will be in violation of your immigration status, could be subject to deportation, and/or may be denied entry to the U.S. in the future.
All foreign nationals in the United States are issued "immigration documents" indicating the type of immigration status one holds. The information on these documents determines the nature of activities permitted under the terms of the particular immigration status.
Every foreign national who enters the U.S. legally is given an "immigration status" upon entry. This immigration status determines the types of activities the foreign national can engage in and the length of time he/she is eligible to remain in the United States.