Student Life: International Students


Maintaining Your Student Status

Once you enter the US as a non-immigrant student, you are required to meet the following obligations in order to maintain your lawful student status. You must:

  • Be enrolled as a full-time student each semester during on-campus phases of SIT programs (9 credit hours for full-time graduate students).
  • Not participate in any Off-Campus Employment without proper authorization from Director of International Student and Scholar Services or the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Limit your on-campus employment to 20 hours per week while school is in session. Vacation periods are exceptions.
  • Complete your educational program by the date specified on your I-20 or DS2019. If you cannot complete your program in time, you must meet with the Director of International Student and Scholar Services and apply for program extension at least 15 days before your I-20 or DS2019 expires.
  • Notify the Director of International Student and Scholar Services if you plan to transfer from SIT to another school or language institution.
  • Keep the International Student and Scholar Office informed of your current address, telephone number, and email address.
  • Notify the Department of Homeland Security of a change of address with in 10 days of the change.
  • Keep your passport valid at all times.
  • Maintain insurance coverage for yourself and all dependants in the US.

Failure to Maintain Status

If you fail to maintain your lawful F-1 or J-1 status, you are considered to be unlawfully present in the US. The student may request to be reinstated by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and only the Department of Homeland Security is authorized to decide whether or not to reinstate the student. Violations of status and being unlawfully present in the US carry serious consequences, so do make sure that you carefully follow the regulations and properly maintain your status at all times.

Refer to the USCIS Fact Sheet for more information on maintaining your student status.

Note for participants who come to the US on an F-1 or J-1 visa: SIT is authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant students.

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