It is of utmost importance that you follow the regulations to keep your status as an F-1 visa holder as active and valid. Our office is here to help, but your visa is ultimately your visa, so it is imperative that you know the policies related to your visa.

Below is a list of the regulations you must follow in order to keep your F-1 visa active. Click on each box to read more information about that specific regulation.

In order to maintain status as an F-1 visa holder you must:

You have been given a visa specifically to study and be a full-time student in the United States. You must be attending and passing in-person classes every semester. Failure to attend class, or only participate in classes online, is a violation of your F-1 visa regulations. 

Attending in-person class part-time is unacceptable on an F-1 visa. You must be enrolled as a full-time student every semsester. "Full-time" is defined as:

  • 12 units for undergraduate students
  • 9 units for graduate students (unless otherwise stated by your program rotation)

You must be actively pursuing the completion of a degree. You are welcome to take electives or courses that interest you outside of your degree, but not as part of your core 12 or 9 units if degree-related courses are available.

Once your Program End Date (listed on page 1 of your I-20) has passed no further changes can be made to your SEVIS record or I-20. Any program extensions need to be made before your listed Program End Date.

If you wish to change programs at CBU (e.g., go from a Bachelors program to a Masters program after graduation) then you must follow USCIS regulations, and CBU's International Admissions timeline.

If you need to transfer to another institution you need to follow proper transfer procedures. Please contact your International Student Advisor for assistance and to ensure you are following visa regulations.

When class is not in session students on an F-1 visa may work up to 28 hours on campus. If you are a graduate student who has summer session courses you cannot work more than 20 hours during summer months until your summer classes have ended. 

Off-campus employment, of any kind, without prior authorization is not permissible on an F-1 visa. Examples of authorized off-campus employment would be through university-approved CPT or USCIS-approved Economic Hardship.

Your DSO must report the change to SEVIS within 21 days.

After you graduate, or finish your post-completion OPT you have 60 days to do one of the following:

  1. Begin a new program at CBU
  2. Transfer to another institution
  3. Apply for a change of status, or
  4. Depart from the United States

Keep your passport valid, and renew it within seven months of it expiring.

You will learn more about these visa regulations at the International Student Mandatory Meeting, which is held once each semester.

Have questions about these regulations? Contact our office!

Contact the International Center

Phone: (951) 343-4690

Lancer Arms 56
8432 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504

Intensive English Program

IEP Director: Heather Snavely

International Student and Scholar Services

ISSS Director: Courtney Watson

Find your DSO.