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Global Education: F-1 Status

International Student Advisor

Cyndy Taormino, PDSO
Director, Cultural Engagement and Inclusion
C125, Multicultural Engagement 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.