Maintaining your F-1 or J-1 Status
Students bear full responsibility for maintaining their F-1 or J-1 nonimmigrant status while in the U.S. The Center for International Students (CIS) can provide international students with guidance and resources on how to maintain status; however the CIS is not responsible for maintaining status for the student. Students MUST regularly check their Truman email. Important notifications from the CIS, professors, and other offices will be delivered via Truman email. All students are responsible for knowing information delivered to them via Truman email.
The F-1 and J-1 Visa regulations require that all students be enrolled full-time during any semesters they are in the United States. Full-time means enrollment in at least 12 credit hours for undergraduate students and at least 9 credit hours for graduate students.
- Truman’s academic year is composed of two semesters. Students must be enrolled full-time during the Fall and Spring semesters (one-semester exchange students are the only exception). For students who have completed at least two semesters in the U.S., enrollment in summer classes is optional.
- Undergraduate students are encouraged to limit their first semester to 12-14 credit hours, in order to make allowances for academic, social, and cultural adjustments.
- International students are required to notify the CIS of any of the following circumstances (prior notification is required when at all possible) as well as complete any university forms:
- Drop ANY class that would reduce enrollment below 12 credit hours (or 9 for graduates).
- Add/Change a major or minor
- Withdraw completely from Truman classes
- Transfer to another school (For instructions, the Transfer Information Page)
- Work off-campus (DO NOT DO THIS WITHOUT PRIOR AUTHORIZATION!)
- Travel outside of the U.S.
- Change of nonimmigrant status (ex. F-1 to J-1, H4-F-1, F-1 to LPR, etc.)
- Request any kind of exception to a full course of study/reduced course load.
- Move – Changing apartments, dorm rooms, any address change must be reported within ten days using the the Address Verification on Truview. Navigate to Update and View My Personal Information, select Verify Local Address and Phone. Even if you have already completed this at the beginning of the semester, it must be done again if your information changes.
- Change/modify sources of funding/sponsorship.
- Are involved in legal proceedings or commit a crime.
- If students fail to maintain status:
- Students who are currently following all requirements of the F-1 or J-1 visa are considered to be “in-status” and their SEVIS records are considered “active.” Students who do not comply with F-1 or J-1 requirements will be considered “out of status” and their SEVIS records will be “terminated.” Any student who violates the requirements of his or her visa status is subject to termination. Students with terminated SEVIS records are no longer legally allowed to be present in the United States and must immediately apply for reinstatement in order to remain in the U.S.
- Any F-1 or J-1 student must contact the CIS as soon as his or her status is terminated. These students must meet with a professional staff member to discuss options. In some cases, the CIS may be able to help a student apply for reinstatement. To be eligible for reinstatement at Truman, a student must be eligible to continue studying in the next term and prove that their loss of status was beyond their control.
- The CIS will attempt to warn students before their status is terminated, however that is not always possible. Status may be terminated without warning (though status will NEVER be terminated without proof of a violation)
- The CIS has the right to notify the sponsor when a student’s violation results in SEVIS termination.
- Any student who is enrolled in less than a full-course load without prior authorization is considered Out of Status and subject to termination.
- It the responsibility of each student to regularly attend classes, complete homework and assignments in a timely manner, and study for exams and quizzes. No one can make students do these things; they must take responsibility for their own time management.
- It is the responsibility of each student to make normal progress toward his or her degree or program objective. This includes maintaining a sufficient GPA, following the degree plan when choosing courses, and doing everything possible to ensure a timely graduation. J-1 students are also required to make academic progress toward the objective of their programs.
- It is the responsibility of the CIS to help students understand the terms and requirements of their visa status and provide advice and assistance to comply with these requirements. This is done most often through the information provided on the CIS website and emails. It is NOT the responsibility of the CIS to make a student check their email or the website.
- It is the responsibility of each student to maintain their own F-1 or J-1 status. International students should contact the CIS for any questions regarding maintaining F-1 or J-1 status. The CIS can make recommendations, but only the student is responsible for following these recommendations.