Maintaining F-1 Status

United States immigration law places responsibility upon the individual student to know and follow all relevant immigration regulations. Failure to comply with these regulations may have very severe consequences for your ability to study, seek employment, or even remain in the United States.

Make sure that your immigration documents are valid and/or unexpired.

  • ​​A foreign passport valid at least six months after entering the U.S.
  • A valid I-94 record (Official arrival/departure record for all non-U.S. citizens). This can be accessed at this site​.
  • An unexpired I-20 (for F-1 students) that has been stamped by an immigration inspector. 

Register for and complete a full course load of 4 course credits for undergraduates.

  • ​The minimum number of full time course credits per semester is 4. You are expected to maintain full-time registration and make normal progress toward your degree.

  • Obtain PRIOR authorization from you Designated School Official (the International Student Advisor) BEFORE dropping below full course of study, withdrawing from classes, or taking a leave of absence. There are very limited exceptions to the full-time requirement - so you must consult the DSO (Director of OISS) in advance of any drop below full-time, or you will be in violation of your status.​

Change of Address:

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) requires that you inform the DSO within 10 days of any address change.


If you are planning to transfer to another institution, you are required by law to notify the DSO before the end of the semester. Your new school cannot issue you a Form I-20 until Trinity has rel​eased your immigration record to your new institution.

Optional Practical Training:

Graduating seniors who are planning to do Optional Practical Training (OPT) must contact the office and file a Form I-765 so that it is received by USCIS before the completion date of  your program.

Graduating seniors:

Graduating seniors not doing OPT must leave the U.S. within 60 days of the completion of your program, or transfer to a higher level of degree program.​