F-1 Responsibilities and Maintaining Status


Full-time registration is required of all F-1 students.

You must register for and complete a full course of study each fall and winter semester. Full-time is defined as completing twelve (12) credit hours in a semester. 

  • F-1 students may register for 1 or more online classes in a semester, but at least 9 credits must be completed on campus that same semester.
  • Annual leave (vacation) is only available in the summer semester. Students beginning F-1 status with the summer semester must attend full-time summer, fall and winter before taking an annual leave.

Full Time Exceptions

If your reason for not registering for a full course of study falls under one of the following exceptions allowed by USICE, you must receive approval from your ISA BEFORE dropping the class. Failure to receive prior approval may result in the loss of legal immigration status.

  • Verified temporary medical condition
  • Initial difficulty with English or adjustment to the U.S. educational system
  • Improper course placement
  • Graduation in the current semester with fewer than normal hours needed to graduate in the semester

Local Address

OCC and USICE must have your current local address.
You must maintain a current local address with OCC. If you move you must update your address by using an OCC Student Update Information request form and submitting it in person to a campus Student Services offices or electronically through the Student Forms page. You may also report your new address to the International Student Advisor (ISA). The ISA will report your address change to immigration.


  • You cannot work off campus in any capacity without specific authorization from the ISA and USCIS.
  • You cannot work on campus without completing a JP-11.
  • You must not work off campus (including internships for OCC classes) without prior authorization from the ISA and USCIS. Any unauthorized employment will invalidate your legal status and you will be ineligible for any other benefits of your status.
  • F-1 students in valid status may apply to work for the college. Work for the college is limited to twenty hours per week. To determine work eligibility, you must complete Form JP-11 online.


Your passport must remain valid to maintain your legal status.
Your passport must remain valid at all times, and you must apply for renewal six months before it expires. Without a valid passport, you do not have valid immigration status. Contact your embassy regarding the process.

Form I-20

Your I-20 expires either on the end date listed on the document or completion of program date, whichever is earlier. If you have not completed your program by the listed end date, it may be possible for you to extend your stay but it must be done at least the 30 days prior to your I-20 expiring. Contact your International Student Advisor.