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Immigration Requirements for F-1 Students

Students in F-1 status are responsible for learning, understanding, and complying with U.S. federal laws and regulations governing the J visa. Failure to do so will violate the scholar’s legal status in the United States.

1. Report Address changes to International Students & Scholars Services (ISSS) within 10 days. (Change of Address Form)

U.S. federal regulations require all F-1 students to report a change of address within 10 days (of the address change) to an international student advisor in ISSS. The U.S. federal government requires international students and scholars to report directly to ISSS. ISSS is required to provide this and other data to the federal government electronically. No other university office is authorized by the federal government to process this data.

2. Obtain Prior Authorization from ISSS to Drop Below a Full Course of Study

To maintain in good standing with your student status at WVU you must take at least 12 credit/hours per semester at the undergraduate level and meet all the WVU requirements. At the graduate level full course of study is defined by your college but usually 9 credit/hours per semester.

3. Report Departure Date and Reason to ISSS

Sometimes, and for a variety of reasons, students leave the university early or unexpectedly. Some of these reasons include early graduation, completion of practical training, leave of absence, suspension, or expulsion. U.S. federal regulations require F-1 students to inform their International Student Advisor in ISSS if they plan to leave the university before the expiration date of their I-20 form as well as the reason for doing so.

4. Report Changes in Program to ISSS

Students must notify ISSS whenever there is a change in their academic program or program dates.

5. Abide by Employment Regulations

F-1 students may work no more than 20 hours per week on-campus while school is in session. These 20 hours include the work you do for an assistantship if you have one. You are not permitted to work off-campus without PRIOR authorization.

6. Apply for an Extension Prior to the I-20 Expiration

All students must apply for an extension before their I-20 form expires if they intend to stay at WVU.

7. Receive Transfer Authorization Prior to Leaving WVU

Scholars must receive authorization from ISSS before leaving WVU in order to transfer to another institution.

8. Depart the U.S. within 60 Day Grace Period

F-1 visa holders must depart the U.S. within 60 days of their I-20 expiration date or program end date, whichever is earlier.

9. Obtain Travel Signature Prior to Departing the U.S.

You should obtain a signature from an ISSS International Student Advisor on the I-20 form prior to traveling outside the U.S.