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Maintaining Status

How to Maintain Status with USCIS

Maintaining your I-20
  • Always be aware of the expiration date on your I-20, and do not let your I-20 expire.
  • If you need more time to complete your studies, you should apply for an extension of your I-20 at least two weeks prior to your expiration.
  • You will also need to get a new I-20 if you change your degree level, your major, your funding source, or the number of F-2 or M-2 dependents you have.
  • Timing can be critical for all of these changes, so start the process early.

Full-time Enrollment Requirement

  • To stay in status, you need to enroll in a full load of classes each fall, winter, and spring quarters.
  •  Students must enroll in at least 12 credit hours with 9 being in a KCC classroom each session.
  •  You can obtain an exception from this requirement under special circumstances such as medical reasons or during your final quarter of study.

Report to School

  • Report to school and verify your address each session.
  • Submit a KCC Report to School Form when you register for classes.

Vacation and Travel Request

  • You may leave the country during breaks
  • Be sure to get a travel signature before departing the United States.
  • Summer term is optional for continuing students.

Remain in Good Academic Standing

  • Earn at least a 2.0 GPA in all classes
  • Maintain 80% attendance in all of your classes
  • Submit concurrent enrollment requests and documents on time

Work only with Authorization

  • While you are studying in the United States, you may wish to work, either to gain experience in your field of study or simply to make some money.
  •  As an F-1 or M-1 student, you may be eligible to work both on and off campus. However, you need to get authorization before beginning work in many cases. You must also follow the rules and restrictions that apply to your employment.

Keep your Address Updated

  • You must update your address within 10 days of any move, even if it is only temporary.

Keep a Valid Passport

  • You must have a valid passport at all times.
  • If your passport will expire while you are in the United States, you need to contact your embassy to find out how to renew it.

Abide by Grace Periods

  • You have a 60-day grace period following the completion of your program or Optional Practical Training (OPT). This is the period of time before you are required to leave the United States. You have several options during this period, but if you have not taken action by the time it is over, you must depart the United States.