Maintaining F-1 Status

It is your responsibility as an international student to maintain your F-1 student status while in the United States. The International Student Service (ISS) is here to assist you to maintain your status. Here are important steps for you to take to ensure you stay in status:

  1. Under the F-1 Visa requirements, you must enroll as a full-time student during each fall and spring semester. At Dixie State University (DSU), to be considered a full-time student you must be registered for 12 credit hours as an undergraduate student.
  2. Summer semester is considered a vacation semester. Current DSU international students admitted after January 1, 2016 may not use the summer semester as a full-time semester to maintain immigration status. Current international students admitted before January 1, 2016 may not use the summer semester as a full-time semester to maintain immigration status beginning Fall 2017.
  3. In order to ensure that you complete your course of study by the program end date (item 5 of your I-20), we encourage you to register for an average of 15 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters. We also encourage you to take advantage of the summer semester to complete additional coursework at a lower tuition cost.
  4. You must notify the PDSO/DSO in the ISS office before you:
    • Drop a class that takes you below 12 credit hours
    • Change your major
    • Withdraw completely from classes
    • Transfer to another school (Must complete an official transfer form)
    • Work on or off campus (Must have proper authorization before you start working)
    • Travel outside of the U.S.
    • Apply to change your nonimmigrant status
    • Add or remove dependents from your I-20
    • Contact the office at least 30 days prior to your program end date (item 5 of your I-20).
    • Receive authorization for Reduce Course Load due to:
      • Medical Reasons
      • Last semester of study
  5. You need to notify the PDSO/DSO in the ISS office if you:
    • Move to a new address – this needs to be done within 10 days of moving to a new address
    • Have a change in financial support
  6. Warnings and Terminations:
    • Termination of your F-1 student status is a serious problem that may ultimately result in deportation from the United States. Upon termination of your F-1 student status, you must contact the ISS and arrange to meet with a DSO/PDSO immediately. The DSO will discuss all the available options, including the possibility of applying for reinstatement.
    • If a student has violated the terms of the F-1 visa, he or she may work with the (DSO) to properly file a reinstatement application if the DSO agrees to support the application. The DSO is not required to support a case for reinstatement. The DSO will support the application if ALL of the following criteria are met:
      • The student is making satisfactory progress toward their program completion (Cumulative GPA is above a 2.0, student has passed 2/3 of the credits attempted).
      • The student has been out of status for less than 5 months.
      • The violation of status was a result of circumstances beyond the student’s control or if failure to receive a reinstatement would result in extreme hardship to the student.
      • The student has not previously violated the terms of their F-1 visa.
      • The student is currently pursuing a full course of study at DSU.
      • The student has not engaged in unauthorized employment.
      • The student is not otherwise deportable.
    • Although the ISS office may try to give you a warning before you are terminated, this is not always possible. You may and can be terminated without warning if you fail to maintain your F-1 student status.
    • It is YOUR (the student’s) responsibility to attend class, do homework, and study in order to pass all of your classes.
    • Remember that if you withdraw (W) from a class that drops you below your required credit hours (12 credit hours), you will be OUT OF STATUS and your I-20 will be terminated, unless you have previously requested permission.