Maintaining F-1 Status

It is extremely important for a nonimmigrant to maintain his or her status while in the United States. Failure to maintain the terms and conditions of nonimmigrant status is a ground for deportation from the United States.
To maintain F-1 status, you must:
  • ​Report to the ISP office to have your SEVIS record Registered in SEVIS in a timely fashion: no later than 30 days after the program start date on your I-20 (new students in Initial SEVIS status); and each semester thereafter, no later than 30 days after the start date each semester (continuing students).

  • For the first entry for initial school attendance, the school listed on the visa and on the I-20 must be the same, and that is the school the student must intend to attend.

  • Pursue a "full course of study" at the school listed on the currently valid Form I-20 during every academic semester except during official school breaks, or unless approved under a specific exception, in advance, by the ISP office.

  • Make normal progress towards completing the course of study, by completing studies before the expiration of the program completion date on Form I-20.

  • Keep Form I-20 valid by following proper procedures for extension of stay.

  • Keep Form I-20 valid by following proper procedures for change in majors of study.

  • Keep Form I-20 valid by following proper procedures for transfer of schools.

  • Abide by the F-1 grace period rules.

  • Report a change of address (both in the U.S. and in home country) to the ISP office within 10 days of the change, so that SEVIS can be updated.

  • Abide by rules requiring disclosure of information and prohibition on criminal activity.

  • Abide by any special requirements, such as Special Registration requirements.

  • Not Work, either on or off-campus, unless specifically authorized under the regulations.
Also, information on "Maintaining F-1 Status" is available in various languages in Study in the States - Maintaining Status. 

Students are required to properly manage their course load as part of maintaining compliance with their student visa status.
Full Course Load:
Students are required to be in a full course load. A full course load (FCL) is defined both by Federal law and by the institution that sponsors the student visa. At College of the Canyons, a full course load during Fall and Spring semesters is 9 units of in-class or hybrid sections and at least 3 other units for a total of 12 units. Please contact the ISP office for information concerning a full course load for Summer and Winter terms. Although rarely approved, with guidance from an ISP counselor a student may petition for a reduced course load (RCL) under certain special circumstances.
Late Start Classes:
Students must be enrolled in at least 6 units of on campus or hybrid classes at all times throughout the entire Fall and Spring semesters. 
Part Time Students
  • Concurrent enrollment
    F-1 regulations allow an F-1 student to be enrolled in two different SEVIS-approved schools at the same time (concurrent enrollment), as long as the enrollment in both schools amounts to a full-time course of study.
    • A student should ask for a Reduced Course Load (RCL) authorization to the ISP office, and bring a registration record at the beginning of the semester, and a grade report at the end of the semester, from another school. Otherwise, a student's RCL will be reported to SEVIS as "Failure to maintain F-1 status."

    • The concurrent enrollment provision is applicable only to those who will be registered less than full-time at the school that issued their I-20, and who are relying on enrollment at another school in order to meet the requirement that they be enrolled for a full course of study. As long as a student is enrolled full-time at the institution that issued his or her Form I-20, he or she does not need special permission to take an additional class at another school.

Please also check the official USCIS information in various languages in Study in the States - Full Course of Study