keys to maintaining status

As an international student, it is important to follow certain rules pertaining to your F-1 or J-1 nonimmigrant status. Here is a list of things that you can do to help maintain your status:

  • Do not let your immigration documents expire
    Look for the expiration date noted on your I-20 or DS-2019. If you cannot complete your studies by that date, you must request an extension of your document before it expires. The application materials for F-1 and J-1 program extension are available at ISSS. Sponsored students should contact their J-1 Program Officer for extension materials and instructions. 
  • Keep your passport valid
    As is the case with your immigration documents, you should keep your passport valid at all times. Contact your home country consulate or embassy for information on extending the validity of your passport. 
  • Register for a full course of study
    In general, you should plan to register for 12 credit hours in the Fall and Spring semesters. Summer registration is optional, unless you begin or end your studies during the summer. Click here for more detailed information on this requirement. 
  • Do not work without authorization
    You must always secure permission to work, even for jobs at the University of Illinois. Check out our web pages for more information on F-1 or J-1 employment rules. 
  • Work no more than a total of 20 hours per week during the Fall and Spring semesters
    In some instances, you may be eligible to work more than 20 hours per week. However, you should consult with an ISSS staff member for more information. 
  • Update your home address no later than 10 days after moving
    F-1 and UIUC-sponsored J-1 students may do so by updating UI Integrate to reflect the new home address.  J-1 students sponsored by an outside agency must contact their J-1 program sponsor for instructions.  Please note that you must provide the address where you live - no P.O. boxes or office addresses! 
  • Follow transfer procedures if you plan to begin a new program of study, change field of study, or attend a different school
    Consult with a staff member at ISSS prior to the change in order to determine what you must do.

Please contact ISSS if you have any questions about maintaining your status.

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