Maintaining F-1 Status
Every F-1 student must comply with the following guidelines in order to maintain his/her
legal status. Failure to maintain status can result in severe consequences. Please
note: "STATUS" is a function of physically being in the US. When leaving the US for
breaks, vacation, study abroad, etc. the student has no "status," but will be granted
F-1 status upon reentering the US with an F-1 visa. (See exception to F-1 visa requirements
below in section on traveling outside the US.)
- Enroll in Authorized School - This means that in order to attend the University of
Dallas full-time as an F-1 student, you must have a valid I-20 issued by the University
- Maintain full-time enrollment - This means you must register for, attend and complete
the minimum credits or clock hours listed below each academic term:
- 12 credit hours per academic term for undergraduate students (Fall and Spring)
- 9 credit hours per academic term for graduate students (Fall and Spring for graduate
liberal arts students; 2 consecutive terms for graduate business students)
- 20 clock hours per week for Intensive English students
- Vacation policies: In immigration terminology an F-1 student is permitted an annual
vacation (usually a period of 3+ months) once each academic year. For undergraduate
and graduate liberal arts students on a traditional calendar, summer is the annual
vacation. For graduate business students on the trimester calendar, an annual vacation
is permitted (but not required) after the student has been full-time enrolled for
two academic terms.
- Enrollment during one's final term: During the last term of your academic program,
less than full-time enrollment is permitted.
- Comply with employment and practical training regulations - This means do not exceed
20 hours per week of work when employed on campus during your academic term. Do not
work off campus without getting proper work authorization through the International
- Get your I-20 signed on the last page before departing the US for a temporary absence
- In order to reenter the US after a temporary trip abroad, you must have a current
signature on the last page of your I-20. Get this signature in the International Student
Office. Your passport must be valid to enter the US - see next item. Generally speaking,
to reenter the US after a temporary trip abroad, your F-1 visa must also still be
valid. See page on Automatic Revalidation for exceptions to this rule.
- Keep your passport valid - Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months into
the future at all times. If your passport is about to expire, contact your embassy
in Washington for instructions to extend the validity or to get a new passport. Click to find the website of your embassy.
- Report address changes within 10 days of moving - To have your address updated in
SEVIS, you must SEND AN EMAIL to the International Student Office, email@example.com to report your address change. Changing your address in Banner IS NOT SUFFICIENT!
- Apply for extensions of your I-20 before it expires - If your program of study is
going to take longer than the time provided on your I-20, make an appointment in the
International Student Office to get it extended.
- Comply with departure grace periods - Students who have completed their programs have
60 days to depart the country after the program end date or after the end of their
Optional Practical Training. Students who drop out of their programs of study in the
middle of an academic term for whatever reason with the approval of the International Student Office have 15 days to depart the country before their SEVIS records are terminated for
Authorized Early Withdrawal. Students who drop out without giving prior notification to the International Office AND the university are expected
to leave the US immediately and their SEVIS records will be terminated for Unauthorized