International Students Maintaining Your Visa Status
Maintaining Visa Status
It is the responsibility of the international student to remain in compliance with his/her non-immigrant status. The Office of International Student Affairs will do its best to keep you informed about the requirements to maintain your status, but as an international student , it is ultimately your responsibility for keeping your student visa and status valid throughout your academic career. If you closely follow the checklist here, you will remain in good standing with immigration rules in the United States.
- Report to VU and the Office of International Student Affairs for the start date indicated on Form I-20. Provide your passport, Form I-20, and I-94 card to the Office of International Affairs upon arrival (currently report to Tony Mahan in the Admissions Office, Governor's Hall).
- ALWAYS Maintain full-time enrollment Full-time enrollment for F-1 students at VU is a minimum of 12 credit hours each semester. You may take online courses, but at least 9 credit hours must be on-campus courses. Get permission BEFORE dropping below required minimum hours. (Reduce Load Form can be obtained at VU International office and must be approved by Director of International Affairs before reducing course load).
- Update your local address within 10 days of moving. Keep your address current with the University and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services by notifying the Office of International Student Affairs of any changes. You are required to use a physical residential address and not a PO Box.
- Keep your immigration documents valid and current. Six months before your passport expires, contact your home country embassy or consulate to begin the renewal process. You (and your dependents) should have “D/S” (Duration of Status) instead of an expiration date on your I-94. If you are ever issued an I-94 with an expiration date, contact the Office of International Student Affairs.
- Passport Renewal. Six months before your passport expires, contact your home country embassy or consulate to begin the renewal process.
- Program Extensions. If you will need additional time to complete your program of study, fill out the I-20 Extension Form (Program Extension Request) at least one month before your I-20. Extensions cannot be granted or processed in SEVIS after the end date of your I-20/DS-2019.
- Discuss transfer plans with the Office of International Student Affairs. If you plan to transfer to another school, the Office of International Student Affairs will need to complete the immigration transfer procedure.
- Notify the Office of International Student Affairs of a new degree program no later than 60 days after graduating. If you plan to go on to another program of study after graduating from VU, either at VU or at another school, you MUST contact the Office of International Student Affairs and complete the appropriate immigration procedures NO LATER THAN 60 DAYS after graduating from the first degree.
- Never Work Off-campus Without Prior Authorization. Employment opportunities for international students in the U.S. are restricted by law. Enrolled F-1 students are permitted to work on campus a maximum of 20 hours per week during the academic year and 40 hours per week during summer and winter breaks. A work permit is required BEFORE any off-campus work is allowed.
- Notify the Office of International Student Affairs when you leave the U.S. or change visa status. Your I-20 must be signed by a PDSO or DSO prior to your departure so that you may re-enter the U.S. Please contact the Office of International Student Affairs at least two weeks prior to departure. While studying at Vincennes University, if you are leave the U.S. for any reason. you will need to request a Travel Signature to return to the U.S. Travel Signatures are valid for one year. If you are traveling, please read and follow the directions on the Travel Signature Request Form and allow 10 business days processing time.
- When you finish your program and leave the U.S. permanently or you change to another visa status email us to notify us of your plans.
- File an annual tax return with the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS requires you to file an annual tax statement every year whether your income is from the U.S. or from another country. The filing deadline is April 15 of each year. The Office of International Student Affairs will notify international students the dates of seminars to assist with this procedure.