Staying in Status

Like many nations, the United States has laws governing nationals residing temporarily within its borders. You may be confused by the many forms, numbers and deadlines. However, if you understand and meet the following requirements, you will be able to maintain your legal status in the United States.

Ten things to remember:

  1. Keep your passport valid for 6 months at all times.
  2. Have your documents checked by the IPS office before leaving the United States for any travel outside of the United States.
  3. Do not work without written authorization from the USCIS or the IP office, as required.
  4. Report a change of address within 10 days of your move to the IP office. Then we can update your information in SEVIS system. Also, update your address on the web using USF Connect so all USF offices have your current information.
  5. Register and complete each semester as a full-time student. This requires: 12 units for undergraduate students, 6 units for Arts & Sciences graduate students and 8 for all other graduate students.
  6. Meet with the International Student Advisor before dropping below full-time.
  7. Maintain good academic standing (2.0 grade point average)
  8. Contact the IPS office (or J-1 sponsor) if you need to transfer to another institution, change your status or drop below a full-time registration.
  9. If authorized to work, submit required tax forms and pay any taxes due.
  10. Apply to the IPS office for an extension of your program at least 45 days before your document (I-20 or DS-2019) expires.