Congratulations! You’ve finally got your hands on the visa you were stressing over for months, and you’re legally allowed to study in the United States. And while it’s great news that you’ve got your pass into the land of opportunities, it’s important to remember that maintaining your student visa status takes a bit of hard work. In this post, we’re telling you all about what you must do to maintain your F1 student visa status to continue studying in the United States without getting in trouble.
Maintaining Your F1 Visa Status
Once you get your student visa in hand, it’s important that you move to the United States no more than a month before your academic program commences. Additionally, you are advised to check in with the relevant international office as soon as possible before the start of your classes. Remember, delaying this more than thirty days after your entry into the country could potentially lead to problems which is why you should avoid such a situation as much as you can.
When checking in with your international office, you will be required to provide them with your local address in order to keep your Student and Exchange Visitor Program records updated. Similarly, it is also recommended to get in touch with your international office if you ever change your address throughout the academic program.
If you wish to work off campus, it is also important to do so once you’ve obtained authorization for employment. If you are found working without authorization, you can be stripped of your F1 status and barred entry into the country in the future.
As an international student, you also need to be mindful of the minimum number of credit hours that are expected of you each semester to ensure that you can maintain your F1 status. In case you need an extension for your I-20, it is recommended that you notify the international office as much as a month before it expires so that you can be provided with the relevant documentation in a timely manner and maintain your legal status.
Why Is It Important to Maintain F1 Status?
Studying in the United States is a privilege that not many people get which is why it is important to put in the right amount of effort to maintain your status. Additionally, since not enough people are fortunate enough to get approval to study in the country, there are certain rules and regulations that you must abide by if you wish to maintain your legal status in the United States.
If you fail to maintain your F1 status while studying in the United States, there’s a chance that your visa will be terminated, and you will be residing illegally in the country. Additionally, failure to maintain F1 status while you’re in the country could also act as a barrier if you wish to reenter the country in the future, which is why it is recommended that you put in the required effort and prove that you deserved the opportunity.