Maintain Your Status

Maintaining Legal Status

ISSS is here to help you navigate US immigration regulations; however it is the responsibility of each international student to maintain his or her status. Here is a quick overview of what you are responsible for as an F-1 or J-1 student. Click on the left hand navigation menu for more details.

Maintaining your F-1 or J-1 status

  • Register as a full-time student every Fall and Spring semester
  • Always keep your I-20 / DS-2019 valid
  • Extend I-20 / DS-2019 form before expiration date
  • Keep a valid Passport at all times
  • Work no more than 20 hours per week on-campus during the Fall and Spring semester.
  • Do NOT work Off-campus without authorization from the ISSS office.
  • Request a Travel Endorsement before leaving the U.S.
  • Report a change of address to ISSS within 10 days of moving.
  • Report any changes of degree Level, Major or minor, and source of Funding at ISSS
  • File taxes by April 15th


All F-1 and J-1 students must maintain full time enrollment. Students must be enrolled full-time every spring and fall semester.

  • Undergraduate - 12 credits
  • Masters - 9 credits
  • Doctoral – 6 credits

If you are starting a new program in the summer semester, you are also required to enroll full time for the summer semester.

If you conditionally admitted and are currently graduating from ELS, you are required to enroll at UIW at the earliest available semester after your ELS level 109 graduation.

There are few allowable reasons per federal regulation for a reduced course load, such as illness, graduation in the current semester, and completion of formal coursework for graduate and doctoral students. These reasons must be verified by your academic advisor and then approved by our office before you are authorized to drop below full time enrollment. If you feel you may be eligible, please come speak with our office.


  • You must report the following changes within 10 days of the change:
  • US Living address and Foreign address
  • Phone number and non-UIW email address
  • Degree Level, Major or Minor changes
  • Source of Funding


Are you graduating this semester? Apply for OPT now! Come to our office if you have any questions about OPT authorization.

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