You MUST maintain your legal immigration status at all times in order to remain legally in the United States. Here are some rules you MUST follow:
Your temporary presence in the United States as a student is governed by a set of immigration regulations. Your F-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa for individuals intending to study full time at a particular institution and who do not intend to live permanently in the United States. While some other visa categories allow someone to enroll at an educational institution, not all do. If you are already in the US on another kind of visa, please let Admission or IPO know.
IPO F-1 Agreement:
As part of the clearance process at the beginning of each semester, international students must report to the IPO (McKinnon Family Center for Global Affairs, Johnson Hall Room 102) with your immigration documents WITHIN THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF CLASSES. These documents include Form I-20, passport, visa, and I-94 print-out. Each semester you will sign an electronic statement that you understand and agree to follow each of the rules listed below so that IPO can register you in the SEVIS system. Failure to complete the clearance process within 30 days of the start of classes will result in your being out of status and possible termination in the SEVIS system.
Enrolling full time:
International students MUST be enrolled for at least 12 units per semester. Additionally, you must be making progress toward completion of the program. Otherwise, you will have fallen out of status.
Dropping below full time: If you don't intend to enroll full time during a semester (taking a leave of absence, medical problem, or initial difficulties) you MUST talk to the IPO before you drop below full time status. This action must be reported in the SEVIS system, therefore you must obtain prior approval from the IPO before applying for half-time status. Please note that you are required to resume a full course load the next semester.
Your Major/Minor: Please alert IPO when you declare or change your major(s) and/or minor. This information must be updated in the SEVIS system as soon as you know about the change.
Transferring to another school:
If you plan to transfer to another school, you must first come to the IPO. IPO will need to complete an immigration transfer procedure, BEFORE the new school will be permitted to issue you a new I-20. Students should send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, attaching the acceptance letter from the new institution and any forms they need completed by the old institution. This must be accomplished within a certain time-frame, so speak with a DSO as soon as possible.
Extending Your Graduation Date:
Some students may not graduate by the time estimated on their I-20 document. Students requiring an additional semester to fulfill graduation requirements must apply for an extension of form 1-20 prior to the current I-20 end date as listed in #5 of your I-20 document. No extension can be granted if students do not request one prior to the I-20 end date. Please contact IPO to discuss.
Updating your address:
You MUST update both your local residential address and your foreign address with IPO within 10 days of moving within the U.S. If you live on campus, IPO must know your dormitory and room number. Contact IPO with your new US address and contact info within 5 days of moving.
If you live off-campus, the address you use should be the place you actually live, rather than your Oxy box. If you cannot receive mail at your residence, you will also indicate your Oxy box, but must also notify the IPO of your actual physical location. No office addresses may be utilized. Failure to complete the address change could result in failure to maintain status.
Maintaining a valid passport:
Your passport must remain valid at all times. Please begin the renewal process when your passport is within six months of expiration.
If you fall out of status for any reason, a reinstatement application must be filed with USCIS (through the SEVIS system and on paper; or by leaving and re-entering the US with a new I-20, see IPO) within 5 months of the violation. The violation must have resulted from circumstances beyond the student’s control (such as illness, injury, closure of school, natural disaster, or oversight or neglect on the part of IPO). Employment off-campus without authorization eliminates the possibility of a SEVIS/paper reinstatement application.
While IPO is responsible for ensuring Oxy's institutional compliance with Federal Regulations with regard to Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), YOU alone are responsible for maintaining lawful status.
See IPO BEFORE any of the following occur:
- Change of address, either US or foreign;
- An extension of your program beyond the end date on your I-20;
- Replacement of a lost I-20;
- Reduction of your course load below 12 units;
- Authorization to work off-campus;
- Getting a Social Security number for on-campus employment;
- Enrolling concurrently in another institution;
- Summer work options;
- Transferring your immigration records to another institution;
- "Reinstatement" to lawful status after violation of status;
- Change of status to/from another visa type;
- Lawful travel outside the United States;
- Return to campus after a leave-of-absence or study abroad;
- Declaring or changing your major(s) and/or minor.
Data Schools Must Report:
Occidental College is required by law to report certain information to the Federal Government through the SEVIS system. The following data must be reported through the SEVIS system:
- Name, date of birth, country of birth, country of citizenship, source and amount of financial resources, academic program, level of study, program start and end dates
- Arrival and enrollment or failure to enroll
- A change of the student’s legal name or address
- Graduation prior to the end date listed on the I-20
- Academic or disciplinary actions taken due to criminal conviction
- Registration for less than a full course of study without PRIOR authorization from the IPO
- Termination date and reason for termination
- Other data generated by standard procedures such as program extension, school transfer, change in level of study, employment authorization, and reinstatement
- Failure to complete the academic program or program objective
- Declaration of major/minor or change of major/minor
- Extension of program
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: (323) 259-2533
- Visit: McKinnon Center for Global Affairs Johnson 102