Maintaining Status with F-1 Visa
Students authorized to study in the United States using an F-1 visa must abide by the rules and obligations associated with maintaining status as an F-1 visa student at all times. It is the F-1 student’s responsibility to be knowledgeable of and take the proper actions to comply with the requirements to keep valid F-1 status. Each number of the table below opens to share information to assist EFSC students with F-1 status maintenance. You can also download a PDF version of these requirements.
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1: Report to and maintain contact with EFSC International Student Services (ISS)
2: Keep visa documentation valid
- The I-20 has to be valid at all times. A student holding an expired I-20 is out of status in the U.S. If you have any concerns regarding your I-20, you must contact the ISS.
- I-94 card should be marked as "F1" and "D/S" (D/S stands for Duration of Status).
- Passport has to be valid six months into the future at all times unless the passport is issued by one of the countries listed in this Department of State manual.
3: Maintain accurate personal contact information on file at all times
- Local Address: must be a valid, residential address in the Brevard County area where you will be residing during your F-1 program at EFSC. This address cannot be an address outside of the U.S., outside of Florida, or an academic department address (P.O. Box addresses are not valid)
- Permanent Address: must be a valid, residential address outside of the United States (P.O. Box addresses are not valid).
- E-Mail: Your college-issued Titan email address will be the primary method of communication that EFSC will use to contact you. Please make sure that you log in and check it regularly.
4: Maintain full-time enrollment — 12 credit hours per semester — at all times
U.S. immigration regulations require F-1 visa students to register for and complete
a full course load each semester. At the beginning of each term, EFSC International
Student Services is required to confirm that all international students are registered
and maintaining full-time enrollment. Student enrollment will be monitored throughout
Students who drop below full-time enrollment without approval from EFSC International Student Services must be reported to the Department of Homeland Security via SEVIS. As a result, the SEVIS record will be terminated and the student will lose lawful F-1 status.
- Online Coursework can total ONLY 3 hours of full time enrollment each term
Immigration regulations limit the number of online courses a student can count toward the 12 credit full-time requirement. Only one course, or three online credit hours, can be counted toward a term's full-time requirement. Please meet with an International Student Advisor if you have questions regarding courses offered online.
- Summer Enrollment is generally not required for continuing students (that is, students who enrolled full-time for the spring semester and intend to enroll full-time for the fall semester). However, there are two important exceptions which require summer enrollment.
i. Students arriving from abroad to begin a program of study or resume studies after
a break in status are required to enroll full-time during the summer.
ii. Students graduating during the summer term are required to enroll for on-campus credits. Full-time enrollment is not required; rather, students are to take the credits required to complete. To remain in the U.S. while finishing degree requirements and, in order to be eligible to participate in post-degree completion work opportunities, final credits may not be online/distance learning.
5: Obtain PRIOR authorization from an ISS Advisor (if eligible) BEFORE dropping below a full course of study, withdrawing from classes or taking a leave of absence
6: Make normal progress toward degree completion
7: Report any changes in major or field of study
8: Provide proof of health insurance
9: Do not engage in unauthorized employment
10: Request proper travel endorsement before leaving the U.S.
If you leave the U.S. without completing your program of study, complete your program early or change to another non-immigrant status, you must notify the Eastern Florida State College ISS office so that your record in the DHS data base accurately reflects your current situation.
11: Do not remain in the U.S. beyond allowable F-1 visa duration of stay and grace periods
- Prepare for departure from the U.S.
- Transfer to another school/degree program by requesting a SEVIS Transfer Out
- Change your visa status
12: Obtain extensions, as needed, of your permission to stay in the U.S. before your I-20 expires
International Student Services (ISS)
Maria Butler, Admissions Specialist
Aggie Dobrosielski, Student Advisor
Ana Rhodes, Student Advisor
Office Hours by Campus
Cocoa: Building 11, Second Floor
Monday-Thursday, 8 AM – 5:30 PM
Melbourne: Building 1, 122
Monday-Thursday, 8 AM – 5:30 PM
Palm Bay: Building 1, 112A
Tuesday, 8 AM – 5:30 PM
Titusville: Building 1
Call 321-433-7341 for appointment