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Maintaining Your F-1 Status

Maintaining Your F-1 Student Status

It is the student's responsibility to follow F-1 rules and regulations while studying in the U.S.


Because immigration laws and regulations change frequently, it is important to consult the International Student Services (ISS) for the latest information. U.S. law requires that Rockland Community College, as a condition of enrolling F-1 students, report students' presence and absence from the university, academic status, address, and other information to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Although ISS provides information about and assistance with U.S. immigration regulations and procedures, ultimately, students are held accountable for their actions. A student's eligibility to remain in the United States is contingent upon knowledge of and compliance with immigration laws. Stay informed and always use ISS as your primary immigration resource!

Additionally, the following websites should act as resources to help you stay up to date of changes in immigration regulations:

F-1 Student Rules and Responsibilities

Make sure your immigration documents are valid and unexpired

  • Your passport must be valid at least 6 months into the future
  • Your I-94 record should list your most recent entry to the U.S., state that you are in F-1 status, and that your expiration date is listed as "D/S" (Duration of Status).
  • An unexpired SEVIS I-20
  • A valid F-1 visa if you plan to travel into the U.S. Your visa may be expired while remaining in the U.S.
  • A current travel signature on page 2 of your SEVIS I-20 is you plan to travel outside the country.  Travel signatures are good for 1 year.

Register for full time study (12 credits) every fall and spring semester and attend classes

  • If you need to register or drop below full time, you must obtain ISS approval BEFORE your registration is finalized. There are a limited amount of reasons that will allow you to be less than full time. Please see our Reduced Course Load form for more information.

Do not begin off-campus employment without written authorization from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or ISS.

  • Full-time students in F-1 status may accept on-campus employment of no more than 20 hours per week during the school year, or full-time (20+ hours) during vacation periods.

Update your address within 10 days of moving

Contact ISS immediately if there are any changes in your personal or academic situation or items that need to be updated on your I-20

  • Change of name or citizenship
  • Change of program
  • Withdrawal from the college
  • Transfer to another institution
  • Extension needed for time to complete degree. Please see our SEVIS Program Extension form for more information.
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