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Maintaining Your Immigration Status

Campus

Mantaining your status is your responsibility! The Office for International Students and Scholars is here to help advise you, but it is up to you to keep up-to-date on your records. Here are some tips from OISS on how to stay legal, and be a responsible visa holder:

Click on a subject below for more details.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF F-1 & J-1 STUDENTS

As an F-1 or J-1 student, you must enroll as a full-time student. Undergraduate students must enroll for at least 12 semester credits. Graduate students must enroll for 9 semester credits. If you are a graduate student with a Teaching or Research Assistantship, you must enroll for 6 semester credits.

If you are a full-time student in good standing (2.00 GPA or above for undergraduates and 3.00 GPA for graduate students) you may work 20 hours per week on-campus. Before becoming employed on-campus, you must get written permission from the Office for International Students & Scholars.

As an F-1 student, you may apply for optional practical training which is directly related to your major area of study. Optional practical training is limited to 12 months. You may take the practical training during summer vacations, while school is in session not to exceed 20 hours per week, after completion of course requirements, or after graduation. You must apply 90 days before graduation or no later than 60 days after graduation.

As a J-1 student, you may apply for academic training that is directly related to your major area of study. Academic training is limited to 18 months.

F-1's should make sure the dates on your I-20 are valid. If you do not complete your degree by the date on the I-20, you need to come to the Office for International Students & Scholars 30 days before expiration of your I-20 so that we can extend it. You will need a valid I-20 to be granted practical training when you have completed your degree.

J-1's should make sure the dates on your DS-2019 are valid. If you do not complete your degree by the date on the DS-2019, you need to come to the Office for International Students & Scholars 90 days before expiration of your DS-2019 so that we can extend it.

The following are your responsibilities:

  1. Do not take even a short trip outside the U.S. until you have checked with the Office for International Students & Scholars.
  2. Be aware of immigration laws.
  3. Maintain a full-time course of study.
  4. Pay U.S. and Delaware taxes if you are required to do so.
  5. Keep your passport valid.
  6. Inform the Office for International Students & Scholars if you have changed departments or degree levels.
  7. Do not accept public benefits from federal, state, county or local public service agencies, such as Medicaid, food stamps, federally subsidized housing, etc. as doing so may jeopardize your non-immigrant status in the U.S.

Always bring your passport, I-94 and I-20 or DS-2019 with you when you consult our office about immigration matters.

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