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Maintaining Your Status

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Guidelines for Maintaining F-1 Student Status

If you follow the guidelines listed below, you should be able to maintain F-1 student status.

  1. Keep an unexpired passport valid for at least 6 months into the future. Contact your country's nearest consulate for instructions if you need to extend your passport while in the U.S.
  2. Notify the Office of International Programs of your address upon arrival and any time you change addresses. Upon your initial arrival in the U.S. to study at ESU, you must notify the Office of International Programs of your local address. Thereafter, you must notify the Office of International Programs of any change in address within 10 days of moving. The Office of International Programs is responsible for updating your address electronically on SEVIS.
  3. Maintain full-time enrollment and normal, full-time progress toward your degree. Department of Homeland Security regulations require that you register during the University's published registration period. Failure to do this will result in violation of your F-1 status. You are expected to maintain full-time registration and make normal progress toward your degree.

Change of Status

A change of status is a change in one's primary purpose for being in the U.S. There are two ways to change one's immigration status. One way is to travel back home or outside the U.S., apply for a new visa at a U.S. Consulate and re-enter the U.S. in the new visa status. The other way is to submit a change of status application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) while remaining in the U.S. The USCIS reviews applications for changes of status based on the applicant's ability to document and justify a change of intent since his/her arrival in the U.S.

Check out the links below to learn more specific information about changing status.

Change of Status B-1/B-2 to F-1
Change of Status J-1/J-2 to F-1
Change of Status F-2 to F-1
Change of Status H to F

Filing for Reinstatement

Why would a student seek reinstatment to F-1 status?

A student who is no longer in valid F-1 status and has not changed to another status is considered "out of status." Students who are out of status cannot remain legally in the U.S. To regain legal student status while in the U.S, a student must request reinstatement to F-1 status from the USCIS. USCIS makes the determination to approve and reinstate the student into F-1 status; or to deny the application and require the student to leave the U.S. by a certain date.