Understanding F-1 Status

As an F-1 student, you are either "in status" or "out of status". These rules also apply to students on a J-1 issued by a partner sponsor such as IREX or CCID.

"In status" refers to following the rules required by USCIS (a branch of the U.S. government). Students are "out of status" when they do not follow the F-1 regulations and are reported to SEVIS as such. If you are reported to SEVIS as "out of status" you will need to leave the United States immediately or file for reinstatement. Students are "in status" when they follow their F-1 student visa regulations.

The following are the 10 most important things to do in order to be "In Status" with immigration and your I-20 requirements:

  1. Attend the school that issued your I-20.
    •  Make sure to attend your classes the first week.  Lane has a strict No Show Drop policy for all classes during the first week. Attendance is required or your SEVIS record will be at risk of being terminated for being under-enrolled.
    • ESL students should see ESL Program guidelines for detailed information.
  2. Maintain a full course of study each term.
    • For College Level Students, this means:
      • Enroll in at least 12 credits per term
      • Only 1 class of online or distance learning may count towards the total number of credits required. 22-23 SEVIS guidance still allow students to take more than 1 online class
      • Audits do not count towards your required 12 credits.
      • Earn at least a 2.0 GPA and maintain 80% attendance in all of your classes
    • For ESLStudents, this means:
      • Register in at least 20 class hours per week (online classes are not allowed)
      • Show regular progress to higher levels
      • Maintain 80% attendance in all of your classes and pass all of your classes
  3. Attend school for three terms in a row. F‑1 students are not eligible for a vacation term until the student has attended full‑time for 3 consecutive terms and maintained their status. If you prefer to take a vacation fall, winter, or spring terms, you must attend 3 terms in a row before and after your vacation term. As long you are out of the country, you may be able to take a leave of absence term, but to come back on the same I-20 you must not be out of the country for more than 5 months.
  4. Limit authorized on‑campus employment to 20 hours per week while school is in session.
  5. Do NOT participate in any off‑campus employment without proper authorization through USCIS and your DSO. Working off campus without proper authorization is considered reason for termination.
  6. Apply for an extension of your I-20 before the expiration date on your I‑20. You must do this one term before your I-20 expires. See one of our international advisors
  7. Keep your passport valid. You might be able to renew your passport at the Consulate or Embassy of your country. For a current list of consulate and embassy locations in the U.S. go to the USEmbassy web page.
  8. Do not get involved in any criminal activity. A felony conviction may lead to immediate termination or denial of visa renewal.
  9. Maintain authorized health insurance coverage. Failure to do so will restrict your ability to register for classes, which will result in you being "out of status." Please be aware that at any time you have a valid I-20 from Lane, including vacation terms both in and out of country, you are required to purchase Lane's health insurance plan unless you have an approved alternate plan. Failure to do so will result in termination of your I-20.
  10. Keep your address, phone number, and email address current in express Lane.

Above all, ASK YOUR SEVIS ADVISOR QUESTIONS! If there is something you don't understand about F-1 visa status or immigration regulations, our International Programs staff is here to help you.

If you receive mail from USCIS or any other immigration agency we encourage you to see us as soon as possible so that we may help you with any items requested by USCIS.

Contact information for USCIS:

Most documents and application forms you might need are available from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization services by calling them at (800) 870-3676 or online at www.uscis.gov.

The closest immigration office to Eugene is:

Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
511 NW Broadway in Portland
Call (800) 375-5283 for 24 hour automated system or visit their website at www.uscis.gov

Note: Most F-1 student processes are not handled in the Portland office and therefore we recommend that you see your International Advisor/DSO prior to going to the Portland office.