Student Life

Maintaining Your F-1 Status

In order to maintain your F-1 visa status it is important that you are aware of the following responsibilities:

1. Students new to MU must physically meet with the International Student Advisor, who is the Designated School Official (DSO), prior to registering for classes.

2. Maintain a full course load each term, 12 credits for undergraduate students and 9 credits for graduate. Unless authorized for a reduced course load by the DSO. Acceptable reasons for reduced credit load include:
  • Students who experience academic difficulties (for example, unfamiliarity with American teaching methods) may take a reduced credit load, but only in the first semester of their studies in the United States.
  • Graduate students who have completed required coursework may register for thesis or dissertation credit only. This requires prior approval from an International Student Advisor using a reduced course load form signed by your academic advisor.
  • Students in their final term of study. Such students need only to register for the credit hours required to complete the degree. If this means that a student will be registered part-time, a reduced course load form needs to be signed by the student’s academic advisor and brought to the International Student Advisor.
  • Students who have a medical problem. This requires medical documentation signed by the student’s physician recommending that a reduction in course load and what specifically that reduction should be. Prior authorization is required for this situation as well.
3. Complete an official immigration transfer whenever changing educational institutions. This must be done within 15 days of the start date on the I-20 form.

4. Maintain a valid passport at all times. The passport should be valid for six months into the future.

5. Maintain an up-to-date I-20 that reflects the level of study, course of study, and financial support. If you change your course of study, please get the Academic Certification Form signed.

6. Apply in advance for a program extension if you are not able to complete your degree requirement before the end date on your I-20 form.
7. Do not work off campus without prior authorization.
8. Report any changes of address within 10 days of the move by notifying your international student advisor and the Registrar's Office using the online change of address notification

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement is in the process of developing an updated F/M/and J visa tracking system called SEVIS II. Marymount University will provide students with information about this as it becomes available.