Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Global Education: F-1 Status

International Student Advisor

Melody Reichoff, PDSO
Global Education Coordinator
B-110K, Global Education Center

Make an appointment.

Alternate Email:

Helpful Links

OPT Forms and Information

Student Forms

Global Education now offers immigration forms electronically. If a form requires your advisor or academic department to sign, please make sure to communicate with them prior to filling out the form.

Maintain F-1 Status

How to maintain your F-1 Status

In order to remain in active F-1 status, you are required to do the following:

  1. Enroll Full Time Every Semester: Each semester you are required to complete an amount of studies that is considered legal to be full-time. For undergraduate students, full-time enrollment means completion of at least 12 credit hours per semester. Only one online class per semester may be counted towards full-time. Audited courses (AU grades) are not counted toward F-1 full-time status.
    • Summer sessions are not required
  2. Receive DSO Permission Before Dropping below Full Time: A student may drop below 12 credits for only the reasons outlined below.
    • The student needs less than a full course load to complete the degree program at the end of this term.
    • Medical /psychological reason to be registered less than full time.
    • Student was placed in an improper course level (may be used once, uncommon)
    • Student is having initial difficulty with English Language, Reading Requirements, American Teaching Methods (may be used once in the first year)
  3. Remain at the College Unless Given Permission: F-1 students must remain at the college unless they request in writing to transfer to another college/university or officially withdraw from the college.
  4. Only work with authorization: F-1 students may work in specific situations as a benefits of their immigration status.
    • On Campus Employment: International students may work on campus immediately upon starting at the college.
    • Curricular Practical Training:  F-1 students may work or intern in a position related to their field of study with authorization from their DSO. CPT must be authorized each semester. Students become eligible after completing two semesters in valid F-1 status.
    • Optional Practical Training: Typically after students graduate, OPT is a year of work experience after a program is completed.
  5. Know your I-20 end date: You are responsible for your status and make sure you know when your I-20 ends. You must contact Global Education before your I-20 expires to extend it and must information Global Education if you finish your program early.
  6. End of Status: Upon completion of a program, F-1 students are eligible for a 60 day grace period. Students must do one of the following:
    • Apply for Optional Practical Training
    • Transfer to another college/university
    • Return home
    • Be accepted into another program at WCTC
    • Have a change of status approved
  7. ​Report any Changes within 10 Days: F-1 students are required to update DSOs with the following information:
    • Address changes (including home country address, phone number, and email address)
    • Name changes
    • Program changes (academic program, program dates)
    • I-20 Information (financial information, nationality, legal status in US)
  8. Maintain Health Insurance: All WCTC F-1 students are required to have health insurance.