International students are granted an F-1/J-1 student status, providing them with the opportunity to live and study in the United States. Student’s ability to stay in the U.S. on an F-1/J-1 visa is strictly dependent upon the student’s legal status. Even if a student’s F-1/J-1 visa is valid he or she may lose their ability to remain in the U.S. if a student does not comply with set immigration rules and regulations. International Students and Scholars must understand their responsibilities in order to avoid dire consequences for violations of the law.
In order for F-1/J-1 students to complete their academic program and maintain legal status International Students must understand and follow the rules listed below. Deviation from the law may result in deportation or severe penalty:
- Maintain a valid passport throughout your stay in the U.S.
- Understand the information on your I-20/DS-2019. Keep your I-20/DS-2019 up to date and valid. See your OGE advisor immediately if any changes to your current information occur.
- Report a change of address or legal name within 10 days of any change.
- Maintain Full-Time class registration schedule each semester. (minimum of 12 credits per semester for Undergraduate Students, 9 for Graduate)
- Be mindful that International Students are limited to of 1 (one) online course per semester except under special circumstances determined by OGE advisor.
- International Students MUST maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 for undergraduate students, and a minimum cumulative GPA of a 3.0 for graduate students to avoid academic dismissal.
- Consult with your OGE advisor before dropping below the required number of credits, taking a leave of absence or withdrawing from classes.
- Only attend the school (Stockton University) authorized by Department of Homeland Security.
- If changing schools within the US, complete the required “immigration transfer procedures.” (see your OGE advisor for details)
- Apply for Extension of Program at least 30 days before your program’s end date as indicated on your I-20/DS-2019, if you are unable to complete your degree by the end date indicated (make sure to have at least 30 days before I-20/DS-2019 expiration when applying for extension)
- Request Travel Authorization on your I-20/DS-2019 if planning on leaving the US
- Be mindful of the “grace period” that follows the completion of studies. As an F-1/J-1 student in good standing you have 60 days designated for departure. During those 60 days you may:
- Leave the country
- Apply for a new I-20/DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for a new program of school and enroll in the closest semester possible
- Apply for a change of status
- Students may work on-campus up 20 hours per week while school is in session and full time when school is not in session.
- Students may work off-campus ONLY if they have been granted written authorization from the Office of Global Engagement and the USCIS.
- International Students are required to submit U.S. tax forms regardless if they have made any money while in the U.S. or not.
Please refer to Maintaining Your Immigration Status While a Student or Exchange Visitor page to better understand the importance of maintaining legal status and consequences that follow violations of the U.S. Immigrations law.