Once you are approved for your F-1 visa, you are able to enter the United States as an international student. However, after arrival, you will need to be aware of your obligations as a holder of F-1 visa. If you do not maintain the validity of your F-1 visa, you will not be allowed to return to the United States if you leave. You will also not be eligible for practical training or employment on campus. Here are some tips to ensure you are in good standing during your study abroad:
Make sure you arrive in the United States no more than 30 days before the first day of class. Check the regulations in force with your international advisor as soon as possible before the beginning of your program.
During your program
You must remain enrolled full-time. Attend all your classes. If you are struggling with your grades, inform your international advisor. If you are unable to complete your program on the date indicated on your I-20 form, your international advisor can help you apply for an extension.
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your program’s completion date. The consulate or embassy in your country can help you extend your passport if necessary. Always carry a copy of your passport and your ID card for identity verification purposes.
Always inform the international advisor of your university if you change your address, curricula, or visa status.
Students who have an F-1 visa are not allowed to work off campus. However, there is the possibility for on campus or practical training if you are qualified.
Check with your international advisor to see if it is possible for you. If you choose to work without proper authorization, your visa will be canceled and you will be forced to leave the United States.
After completion of the program
After your program ends, you have 60 days to leave the United States as part of your F1 visa. To stay in the US, you will need to re-register to a higher program, transfer to another school to receive a new I-20 form, or apply to change your visa status. Your international advisor can give you more information about your options.