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F-1 Visa Regulations - Detail

This page contains more detailed information on maintaining your F-1 visa status than is found in the Summary of Requirements.  Click here to view more detailed instructions regarding your I-20 and maintaining F-1 status. (Page 3 of I-20)

UMass Dartmouth is authorized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to admit students for study in the F-1 student visa category. 

The Process

  • students are admitted to UMass Dartmouth either through the undergraduate or graduate admissions office  
  • students must submit the required personal, academic, and financial information to the UMass Dartmouth admissions office
  • the UMass Dartmouth admissions office asks the ISSC to create an initial I-20 form and then sends it to the student
  • students apply for an F-1 student visa at a U.S. consulate abroad (usually in the student’s home country)

After Entry to the United States in F-1 status

  • to keep your F-1 status in good standing, you must
    • make normal progress toward completing your degree requirements 
    • comply with reporting requirements of the Student and Exchange visitor Information System (SEVIS) throughout the period of study
    • have a passport that is kept valid at all times, unless exempt from the passport requirement
    • attend the school that issued the I-20 used to obtain the visa
    • continue to carry a full course of study as defined by the program: usually, no fewer than 12 credits at the undergraduate level or in the law school, and no fewer than 9 credits at the graduate level
      • A special note about online courses:  U.S. Immigration regulations require that only ONE online three-credit class per semester can be used to count toward the minimum number of credits needed for full-time enrollment.  If you need only one course to complete your program of studies, that course CANNOT be online or distance learning.
    • follow certain procedures to extend the period of study if necessary for completion of a degree program
    • follow certain procedures to continue from one educational level to another (for example from the bachelor's to the master's level) at the same school
    • follow certain procedures to transfer out of UMass Dartmouth to another school
    • limit on-campus employment to a total of 20 hours per week while school is in session
    • refrain from off-campus employment without authorization

 Click here for an explanation of SEVIS and here for an explanation of the SEVIS fee. Avoiding Immigration Scams

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