International Student Services

Maintaining F-1 Status

F1 students are responsible for ensuring they are “in status”. It is your responsibility to read the regulations on the second page of the I-20. It is also the student’s responsibility to report any changes to their I-20 to their Designated School Official (DSO). Please reach out to the International Programs Office to make an appointment with any further questions. We are here to help!

To maintain F-1 status:

  • You must enroll in, and complete, 12 or more (Graduate students 9 or more) credits each regular semester. Only one class per semester may be an online course, all other courses must be on-ground
  • You need your DSO’s permission before you stop attending, withdraw, or drop below full-time. This is called a reduced course load. Please make an appointment during office hours with the IPO for more information on completing the Reduced Course Load form and the steps to take for when this can occur on your F-1 visa.
  • You can only work on campus, and under 20 hours per week during the semester with approval from the IPO. Only certain jobs are available for international students. Please make an appointment with the IPO to learn more.
  • You need your DSO’s authorization before starting an internship. In some cases this can qualify as CPT when required and documented by your academic department.
  • You must report any change to your local address, phone number, or email address within 10 days.
  • Inform your DSO of changes to the information on your Form I-20.
  • Before you travel, be sure to obtain a travel endorsement (signature) every 6 months, and discuss your travel plans with your DSO.
  • Complete your studies no later than the program end date on your Form I-20.
  • You have a 60-day grace period after your completion of study, in which you need to either leave the country, apply for OPT, or find a new program
  • You need to obtain a SEVIS transfer before transferring to another school in the United States. Please complete the Transfer Out form and have the transferring IN school complete this form.
  • Ensure your passport is always valid.
  • You must have appropriate health insurance for the entire length of your program. This is required by Goodwin College. You can find more information on PSI Health Insurance here.
  • ou have to file a federal income tax form every year you are in the United States, even if you did not work.

Grace Periods for F-1 Students

Grace periods are periods of time that are given to you in order to take care of certain events, such as transferring between schools, changing your status, starting a new program after work authorization (Academic Training or OPT) or departing the U.S. Students cannot travel internationally (including cruises) and re-enter in F-1 or J-1 status during their grace period.

Completion of Program/Study

If you are an F-1 student and have completed your program of study, you have 60 days to leave the United States, apply for change of status, or transfer to another school. Note that this does NOT apply if you do not complete your program; if you leave without graduating, you do not receive a grace period.

Withdrawal from Classes (EAW, etc.)

If you are an F-1 student and have withdrawn from classes after receiving authorization from the IPO, you have 15 days to leave the U.S.

If you have withdrawn from classes without previous authorization from the IPO, you have no grace period and must leave the U.S. immediately.

After Work Completion

After your F-1 OPT expires, you have 60 days to leave the United States, apply for a change of status, or transfer to another school.

Transfer Students

If you are transferring to another school after OPT, or after you complete your program of study, you need to request that your SEVIS record be transferred to your new school. This transfer must happen within 60 days after the program completion date (end of your last semester) or after your OPT expires. Please note that you are not required to start your new program within that 60-day-grace period, but you must start it within 5 months from the end of the semester or the date your record was transferred, whichever is earlier.

If you request your transfer in the middle of the semester, you have no grace period and you need to start studying at your new school immediately.

Reason Length of Grace Period Actions
Completion of Program/Study 60 Days Leave the U.S., apply for OPT, transfer to another school
Authorized Withdrawal from Classes 15 Days If no authorization, exit must be immediate
Completion of OPT 60 Days Leave the U.S., apply for Change of Status, Transfer to another school
Transfer Students at End of Program 60 Days Transfer within 60 days of program end date—up to 5 months of grace period to start at new school
Transfer During Semester 0 Days No grace period when a transfer is mid-semester