F-1 Student Status Violations
In addition to the requirements of ALL non-U.S. Citizens discussed here and the specific Student Academic Requirements listed here, all foreign national students who are sponsored by LSUHSC in F-1 status must comply with the following.
Failure to comply with the following will be considered a status violation and will result in appropriate action up to, and including, program termination.
Report Address Changes to the Office of International Services (OIS)
U.S. federal regulations require all F-1s to report a change of address within 10 days of the address change to the OIS. The U.S. federal government requires F-1s to report this directly to OIS. OIS is required to provide this and other scholar data to the federal government electronically. No other university office is authorized by the federal government to process this data, though other offices may also need to be notified of this change.
Report Departure Date and Reason to OIS
Periodically, F-1s leave the University early or unexpectedly due to a variety of reasons. U.S. federal regulations require F-1s to inform their advisor in the Office of International Services if they plan to leave LSU HSC-New Orleans before the completion date listed on their current I-20 form as well as the reason for doing so. If an F-1 student withdraws from classes or stops attending classes without prior approval from the OIS, this can impact future ability to return to the U.S. as an F-1 student.
Report Changes in Program to OIS
F-1s must notify the OIS through their Program Coordinator/School whenever there is a change in their program activity (change in major/minor or education level) or program dates (delayed graduation/early graduation).
Maintain a Full Course of Study
F-1 regulations require that students maintain a full time course load for each regular semester (Fall and Spring). For undergraduate students, full time enrollment is a minimum of 12 credit hours. For graduate students, full time enrollment is a minimum of 9 credit hours. Federal Regulations permit only three (3) credit hours of online classes to count toward the full time minimum per semester. Students who need to enroll in less than full time credits (if permissible) must request and receive appropriate approval from OIS before dropping any hours putting them below full time enrollment. Students in their last semester may be less than full time.
Abide by Employment Regulations
F-1s may generally work on campus as graduate assistants or student worker for up to 20 hours per week if enrolled full time and up to 40 hours per week during regular school breaks. All on campus employment is counted in the hour limitations. Thus, a student who is a graduate assistant (50% effort-20 hours) is not eligible for additional student worker hours. Off campus employment, any employment that is required as part of student curriculum (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT) must be specifically authorized ahead of time by OIS and/or USCIS.
Apply for an Extension Prior to Expiration of I-20
F-1 Students must apply for an extension through their School’s Program Coordinator before their I-20 form expires if they intend to stay at LSU HSC New Orleans past the expiration/completion date on their current form. Any extension that is beyond the normal length of study must include justification. The F-2 dependents’ program duration cannot exceed that of the F-1.
Receive Transfer Authorization Prior to Leaving LSUHSC
F-1s must receive authorization from the OIS before leaving LSU HSC New Orleans in order to transfer to another institution.
Depart the U.S. within 60 Day Grace Period
F-1s must depart the U.S. within 60 days of their I-20 expiration date or the end of their OPT/OPT STEM authorization, whichever is later, unless they have applied for a change of status with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services.
For more on F-1 grace periods, click here.
8 CFR 214.2(f) states "The district director may consider granting the request if the student:
(A) Has not been out of status for more than 5 months at the time of filing the request for reinstatement (or demonstrates that the failure to file within the 5 month period was the result of exceptional circumstances and that the student filed the request for reinstatement as promptly as possible under these exceptional circumstances);
(B) Does not have a record of repeated or willful violations of Service regulations;
(C) Is currently pursuing, or intending to pursue, a full course of study in the immediate future at the school which issued the Form I-20;
(D) Has not engaged in unauthorized employment;
(E) Is not deportable on any ground other than section 237(a)(1)(B) or (C)(i) of the Act; and
(F) Establishes to the satisfaction of the Service, by a detailed showing, either that:
(1) The violation of status resulted from circumstances beyond the student's control. Such circumstances might include serious injury or illness, closure of the institution, a natural disaster, or inadvertence, oversight, or neglect on the part of the DSO, but do not include instances where a pattern of repeated violations or where a willful failure on the part of the student resulted in the need for reinstatement; or
(2) The violation relates to a reduction in the student's course load that would have been within a DSO's power to authorize, and that failure to approve reinstatement would result in extreme hardship to the student."
While a request for reinstatement is pending with USCIS, the student:
Must continue a full-time program of study at the school where they are enrolled;
Must comply with all the requirements for maintaining student status;
Should NOT travel outside the United States;
If you feel you may meet the requirements for Reinstatement, please schedule an appointment with OIS to discuss your situation.