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Maintaining F-1/J-1 Status

International students have an obligation to comply with the immigration laws and regulations of the United States. As a student in F-1 or J-1 status, you are responsible for learning, understanding, and complying with the U.S. laws and regulations that apply to you. Your failure to be aware of and/or comply with these requirements could jeopardize your status and academic plans.

In addition to making normal progress toward completing a course of study at Stony Brook, you must comply with the following regulations set forth by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS):

  • Enroll full-time during fall and spring semesters.

  • Keep your passport valid at least 6 months into the future at all times.

  • Do not enroll in more than one online/distance education class (up to 3 credits for the course) per semester towards the "full-time" course load requirement.

  • Request a new I-20 if/when your degree program, educational level, or source of funding changes.

  • Obtain the appropriate employment authorization for any form of off-campus work (paid or unpaid).

  • Do not engage in more than 20 hours/week of employment during fall and spring semesters.

  • Report any changes to your local U.S. and foreign home addresses in accessVIS within 10 days.

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

*This is not an exclusive list of federal immigration requirements


  • Keep your I-20 valid.  You are required to apply for an extension on your I-20 at least 30 to 90 days before it expires.

  • Do not engage in any off campus employment (paid or unpaid) without authorization from VIS

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