Maintaining Your F-1 Status

You are responsible for knowing and following these important requirements:

Report to the Office of Global Initiatives (OGI) within 30 days of the program start date listed on your Form I-20.


You must attend New International Student Orientation.

If you cannot attend, you MUST report to our office before you start classes. Bring your passport and your Form I-20.

Enroll FULL TIME every semester.

Graduate students: minimum of 9 credits

Undergraduate students: minimum of 12 credits.

(Only 3 online credits count toward full-time enrollment each semester)

There are very few exceptions to this regulation. Please talk to your OGI adviser BEFORE you drop below full-time enrollment or take a leave of absence.

You must have at least one in-person class in your final semester, even if your final semester is a summer term.

There are 5 different modes of instruction for NJIT courses. "Face-to-face" and "hybrid" are considered in-person. All other modes are considered online

Update your local address and personal information within 10 days of the change.

Use the Highlander Pipeline to update your information.

Any changes of name, major, or financial sponsorship will require a new I-20. Please contact your OGI adviser.

Keep your passport and I-20 current.

Your passport must be valid at all times. If you need to renew it contact your country's consulate or embassy in the U.S. We recommend that you make copies of your immigration documents and keep the originals in a safe place.

Your I-20 must always be valid. If you need more time to complete your academic program, you must apply for a program extension BEFORE the I-20 end date. If you do not complete the extension before that date, you will be out of status.

Your I-20 program end date will be shortened if you complete your program graduation requirements earlier than initially estimated.

Your F-1 visa can expire when you are in the U.S. as long as your I-20 is still valid. If you travel outside the U.S. you will need to renew your visa before reentering.

Discuss transfer plans with an OGI adviser.

If you plan to transfer to another U.S. school, your OGI adviser will need to complete the SEVIS transfer procedure. Make sure you meet the eligibility criteria and deadlines.

Never work off-campus without prior authorization.

Employment opportunities for international students in the U.S. are restricted by law and fall in two types of employment: On-campus employment and Off-campus employment. Make sure you meet the eligibility criteria and that you apply for the required authorization.

Working without authorization is a serious violation of your F-1 status and a reason for termination of your SEVIS record.

Notify OGI when you leave the U.S. or change your immigration status.

Email us if you are changing your status (example: H1B, permanent resident…) or if you leave the U.S. after graduation or after OPT.

If you decide to take a semester off, contact us BEFORE dropping your courses or leaving the U.S. so we can authorize your Leave of Absence

Request a travel signature to travel outside the U.S.

Travel signatures are valid for 1 year when you are studying and 6 months when you are on OPT.

You will need a valid visa in order to reenter the U.S.