Maintaining Your F-1 Status
Obtaining a visa with a specific expiration date is not an assurance that you will be able to stay in the US and maintain the visa. Your right to stay in the US may be forfeited at any time if you violate the regulations of your visa status. Please place your initial by each point confirming that you understand each compliance requirement.
1. You must maintain a valid passport at all times.
· Apply for renewal at least 6 months before the expiration date.
· Keep copies of passport, visa, I94 and I20 with you at all times.
· Any time you travel outside Arkadelphia, keep these original documents with you.
2. You must receive written authorization to make changes to your I20 activity such as:
· Attending another school
· Transferring to another school
· Changing your degree level
· Changing your major
3. You must complete a full course of study for each spring and fall semester.
· 12 hours for undergraduate students
· No more than one (3 hours) on line class or distance learning class per semester.
· Exceptions may be discussed with the International Office.
· Obtain authorization from the International Office before dropping below full time hours.
4. You must obtain permission from the DHS or the OBU International Office before accepting any kind of employment (on/off campus) in the U.S. Even one day of work outside DHS guidelines will result in loss of status. On campus work is limited to 20 hours per week when school is in session. You must get work authorization every time you add/change your place of work. If you do not have work authorization IN WRITING, you do not have work authorization.
5. You must obtain a new signature on your I20 BEFORE traveling out of the US. Do not pack your I20 in your checked luggage. A minimum of 3 business days is needed to do this.
6. To be in legal status, you must complete your course of study on or before the completion date in section 5 of your I20.
To request permission to extend this date you must apply to the OBU International Office one month before the completion date.
7. Update of U.S. Residence address and phone number must be reported to the International Office. These changes must be reported within 10 days in http://info.obu.edu/. Changes in your Home Country address must be reported to the International Office by sending an email to: email@example.com within 10 days from the moving date. Failure to make notification within 10 days is a violation of DHS regulations. Students subjected to the “Special Registration” must also send an AR11SR form with an update of address to the address listed on that form within 10 days of any change of address.
8. You must maintain contact with the OBU International Office by checking all email correspondence using your official OBU email address. Failure to check OBU International Programs Office email at least once per week will have serious consequences.
9. You must maintain continual health insurance coverage for yourself and any dependents in the U.S. through Macori, Inc. You must have a copy of your current card on file in the International Office at all times. Health insurance is a must.
10. You must obey all federal and state laws.
11. You must leave the U.S. when:
· Your I20 expires OR
· You graduate OR
· You have ended or suspended your OBU program as a student. Even if your I20 is still valid, you must leave the U.S. if you are no longer in your program for any reason. You may consult the International Office to discuss exceptions to this requirement, such as extending your program, transferring to a new program or participating in optional practical training.
12. You must fill out the form 8843 to the IRS every year. You must submit this form even if you did not earn any wages. If you have earned wages you must also submit the form 1040NR or 1040NREZ.
13. Students must attend the mandatory orientation session held at the beginning of the semester for all new international students. By signing below, I agree to comply with the requirements on pages one and two of this document. I also acknowledge that OBU is required by law to terminate an F1 visa holder’s program if compliance requirements are violated.