Maintaining F-1 Student Status:

  • Passports must be valid at all times and should be renewed at least six months prior to the expiration date.
  • You must be enrolled and attend the school that issued your visa document (I-20)
  • You must carry a full course load throughout the academic year, except during summer break, and maintain satisfactory academic progress. (A full course load is 12 credit hours for undergraduate students)
  • Always consult the Office of International Student Services (OISS) before dropping your course load to part-time or withdrawing from all your courses. If not, you jeopardize your LEGAL status.
  • If you change your major, you must contact the Office of International Student Services at 718-289-5100 ext. 3406.
  • If you move, you must give OISS the new address within 10 days.
  • If you are travelling outside the United States, be sure to have a valid passport, visa and endorsed I-20.

Duration of Status

This allows all F-1 student who are pursuing a full course of study to complete any educational level, any practical training and also have 60 days either to depart from the U.S. or transfer to another USCIS approved school.

Extension of Stay

Request an extension of stay at least 30 days before the expiration date on your I-20 if your studies will not be completed within the allotted period of time. Locate the specific date on your I-20. Unacceptable reasons for extending one’s program include suspension or not maintaining full-time status.


If you fail to maintain status you may be reinstated to lawful F-1 status at discretion of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), but only under limited conditions.

F-1 Resources :


  • You do not need a new I-20 to re-enter the U.S. after an absence of less than five months. You will need your I-20 properly endorsed by the Designated School Official at the OISS within six months prior to traveling.
  • If your F-1 visa has expired, it is all right to remain in the U.S., as long as your I-20 has not expired and you are maintaining your status.
  • If immigration approved a change of status for you within the U.S., you will need to apply for an F-1 visa stamp while outside the U.S. in order to re-enter the country. Be sure to take your approval notice and documentation of your financial support.

Health Insurance

In the United Stated, and in Bronx Community College, students are not automatically issued health insurance coverage. It is highly recommended that you and your dependents also purchase health insurance throughout your stay; especially since health care in the U.S. can be very expensive.


Immigration & Visa Information

Additional information, forms and instructions are available on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website (


On-campus Employment

International students may work on campus up to 20 hours per week during Spring and Fall, full-time during the Winter and Summer sessions. You will need to come to OISS for a work authorization form.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is legal F-1 employment authorization; it enables work experience for students before or after completion of studies. OPT must be both recommended by the International Student Advisor and authorized by the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before beginning work or re-entering the U.S. from another country after graduating.

Economic Hardship Employment

International students may be authorized for off-campus employment due to severe, unforeseen economic necessity. Prior to seeking employment off campus, you must get permission from the OISS and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). A student cannot begin the off-campus employment until he or she receives the employment authorization document (EAD) from USCIS.

Application for employment authorization.

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