Current F-1 Students

If you have questions about maintaining your immigration status contact Visa and Immigration Services. Our advisors are here to answer all of your questions on maintaining your F-1 status.

In order for you to stay in the U.S. as a lawful F-1 student, you must comply with the following regulations set forth by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In addition to making normal progress toward completing a course of study at Stony Brook, you must:

  • Enroll full-time (12 semester credits for undergraduate; 12 semester credits for G1 or G3 level graduate students, and 9 semester credits for G2, G4, or G5 level graduate students) during fall and spring semesters.
  • Do not enroll for more than one on-line/distance education class (up to 3 credits for the course) per semester towards the "full-time" course load requirement.
  • Keep your passport valid at all times.
  • Complete your degree or request a program extension prior to the program end date specified on your I-20.
  • Comply with required procedures for a school transfer.
  • Obtain a new I-20 for change in educational level, major or source of funding.
  • Obtain the appropriate employment authorization for any form of work (paid or unpaid).
  • Do not engage in more than 20 hours/week of on-campus employment.
  • Update your current residential U.S. address in accessVIS within 10 days of any change.
  • Depart the U.S. within the 60-day period following completion of your program; depart the U.S. within 15 days if you request authorized early withdrawal to leave in the middle of a semester or depart without completing your program of study.

If you fail to comply with any of the above regulations, you will be considered out of status. Subsequently, your status violation will be reported to the Department of Homeland Security through SEVIS, and you will be ineligible for any immigration benefits.

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