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Maintaining F-1 Status

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) holds student responsible for understanding and following immigration law.

Below is a summary of the immigration responsibilities for F-1 students. If F-1 students do not fulfill all of these responsibilities, they may jeopardize their eligibility for immigration benefits, including employment on or off campus. We are required to report any students who are found not complying with F-1 regulations to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 

Requirements for Maintaining F-1 Status:

  1. Register for and successfully complete a full course of study each semester.
  2. Have a valid I-20 from NOVA. You must update your I-20 if you change major, change education level, change address or transfer to another school.  
  3. Do not work without authorization.   
  4. Make good academic progress.
  5. Keep your passport valid at all times.


Download one of these documents for more information:

Failure to Comply
Failure to comply with these regulations will mean possible termination of your I-20 and loss of your F-1 student status. We refer to this as being "out of status". Falling out of status has very serious consequences. If you fall out of status for any reason, we advise you to meet with an international student advisor immediately. Depending on the situation, you may be able to apply for reinstatement of your status or you may need to leave the country.