Maintaining your status with the USCIS is important for an international student who is expecting to apply for a work permit and/or practical training, returning back to United States after visiting outside the U.S. border, and wish to stay legally in the U.S. Maintaining your status simply means that you comply with the USCIS policies and regulations.
Full-Time Study: F-1 students must maintain full time student status each semester until they receive their degrees. F-1 students are not required to register for the summer session unless it is their first semester at this university. Full-time study for international students means a minimum of 9 credit hours for graduate students, and 12 credit hours for undergraduate students. Any deviations from this should be discussed with OIA.
Transfer to Another School: If you wish to transfer to another school, please email the following documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Acceptance Letter from new school
- Transfer-In form from new school (if applicable)
- Transfer-Out form
Withdrawal from UL Lafayette: If you will not return to the university, please fill out the Withdrawal Form and email it to email@example.com. Please make sure you have dropped your classes for the following semester.
Employment: Employment opportunities are limited for international students in the US. On-campus employment is allowed for F-1 visa holders with permission through the OIA. On-campus employment is limited to 20 hours during the academic year and 40 hours during vacation periods. Off-campus employment is available with special permission, please refer to off-campus employment section before you schedule an advising appointment with OIA staff for further information.
Address Changes: You must keep the Office of International Affairs informed of your current telephone number and address. Please click here for infomration on how to update your address.
- Extending Your Stay: If the date on your SEVIS I-20 is going to expire and you need to remain in the U.S. beyond the expiration date in order to continue your program, you are responsible for extending your stay. You may apply no sooner than 45 days before your I-20 program end date. You should apply at least 30 days before the expiration or before completion of any program of studies.
Process for I-20 Extensions (within 45 days of your program end date):
- Complete the Graduate Request for SEVIS I-20 Extension or the Undergraduate Request for SEVIS I-20 Extension no sooner than 45 days before your program end date, but at least 10 days before your program end date. Each semester our office emails the following process to all students who have I-20 program end dates approaching.
- The form MUST be routed electronically from the student to the department following the routing procedure listed on the form.
- Self-funded students or students whose funding does not meet University amounts will be required to submit a Confidential Financial Information Form and bank statements that meet current University requirements for graduate or undergraduate programs.
- The last campus department listed on the routing process will email the form to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Our office will notify you once your extended I-20 is ready to be picked up in our office (Room 136 of the Student Union).
There must be "compelling academic reasons (8 C.F.R. 214.2 (f) (7) (iii)) and requirements for an extension of program. Students requesting an extension who have completed all coursework are instead encouraged to apply for Optional Practical Training.
SEVP regulations only allow for an extension of 1 year at a time from the student's program end date. Students needing extensions of more than one year will be required to request another extension in one year's time.
Adding an F-2 Dependent (Spouse or Child): F-1 students who wish to add a spouse or child to their I-20 must show proof of the relationship, as well as, provide additional and updated proof of funding ($2,000 for spouse or $1,000 per child) to demonstrate that they have sufficient finances to cover the cost of living expenses for their dependents. F-1 students who wish to add dependents to their I-20 must provide the following information for EACH dependent added.
We encourage all students who wish to bring dependents to the U.S. to review the regulations for F2 students here. If your F-2 dependent has plans of pursuing post-secondary education in the U.S., we strongly encourage them to apply for and enter the U.S. with their own F-1 visa instead of the F-2., which restricts study to part-time and does not allow for on-campus employment (graduate assistantships, fellowships, hourly on-campus employment).
Process for Adding an F-2 dependent:
Email documents below to email@example.com. - Please note that F-2 I-20s cannot be issued at the beginning of an academic semester (Spring or Fall) due to SEVIS registration. SEVIS registration must be complete before an F-2 I-20 can be added.
- Complete the Request for Dependent I-20 for F-2 Visa Form (1 form per dependent)
- Copy of valid passport for each dependent (picture page only) - passports must have a minimum of 6 months validity.
- To add spouse: Copy of official marriage certificate (English translation required)
- To add a child: Copy of official birth certificate (English translation required)
- Confidential Financial Information Form
- Bank statement showing the appropriate amount of funding ($2,000 for spouse and $1,000 per child) meeting all requirements listed on Confidential Financial Guarantee Form.