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Responsibilities of F-1 Students

As an F-1 visa student, you must:

  • Maintain a valid passport at all times, unless exempt from passport requirements.
  • Maintain a valid Form I-20 at all times. This includes correct level and major, current funding and a valid program end date.
  • Enroll and attend classes. If taking a semester off other than summer, obtain prior approval from an IPS International Student Advisor.
  • Attend the University shown on your SEVIS Form I-20. You must obtain prior approval if you want to enroll in a second school. If you enroll in a second school, you must take the majority of your credits each semester at Pacific.
  • Maintain a full-time status for each academic year. Students in the semester system like Pacific may take the summer semester off as vacation. Full-time status at the Pacific is:
    • Undergraduates: 12 credits each semester
    • Master without Assistantship: 9 credits
    • Masters with Assistantship: 6 credits
    • Ph.D. without Assistantship: 6 credits
    • Ph.D. with Assistantship: 3 credits
  • Immediately inform IPS of an "under enrollment" or your inability to maintain full-time status. A completed and signed Academic Advisor Certification (for Graduate Student) or Academic Advisor Certification (for Undergraduate Student) must be submitted to IPS prior to registering for less than a full course of study. Any student who is less than full-time will be reported to USCIS through SEVIS.
  • Work only with authorization of USCIS. You are not allowed to work without an Employment Authorization Document.
  • Have your Form I-20 endorsed if you transfer schools; change your major or degree, if an F-1 visa extension is needed, or when traveling abroad. For more information, see an IPS International Student Advisor.
  • Immediately inform IPS of a change of address or residence and/or any change of name (bring legal document(s)) for you and your dependents. You must also file a paper  Form Alien’s Change of Address Card and submit it to the Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service.
  • If you need an extension of your program of study, you must apply to IPS for an extension at least 30 days prior to the expiration date, item #5 on the current I-20. The completed and signed Academic Advisor Recommendation for Extension of Time to Complete a Program of Study must be submitted to IPS.
  • If you change your academic program from one degree level to another (for example, from Bachelor’s to Master’s level), or one major/field of study to another (e.g., from Engineering to Physics), you must obtain a new Form I-20. You must also obtain a new Form I-20 if your source of funding changes (for example, from scholarship to parents).
  • Complete, sign, and submit a Notice of Intent to Transfer if changing educational institution.