Maintaining F-1 Status

Review the following options for maintaining your F-1 Status

Studying
OPT
STEM OPT
Other Resources

StudyingSJSU Students

  • Pursue a full course of study (i.e., 12 units for UGRD and 9 units for GRAD).
  • Make progress towards degree completion. 
  • Maintain a valid I-20.
    • Know your expiration date.
      • Extend in a timely manner.
      • Shorten - if finishing degree program earlier than expected. 
    • Update if major changes.
  • Maintain a valid travel signature.
    • Validity of 12 months, when pursuing degree.
    • Validity of 6 months when on OPT/STEM OPT.
  • Report a change of address within 10 days of moving.
  • Do not engage in off-campus employment (paid or unpaid) without the proper employment authorization. (i.e., CPT).

OPT

  • Work within the dates of the authorized (EAD) Employment Authorization Document.
  • All employment (paid or unpaid) must be related to your major field of study.
  • Employment must be at least 20 hours per week, in order not to accrue unemployment days.
  • Do not exceed an aggregate of 90 days of unemployment.
  • Report employment via the SEVP portal or directly to ISSS within 10 days.
  • Report a change of address within 10 days of moving.
  • Maintain a valid travel signature.
    • Validity of 6 months, when on OPT.

STEM OPT

  • All employment must be for an e-verified employer related to your major field of study, paid, and at least 20 hours per week.
  • Report employment and changes in employment within 10 days of the change, via the Employment Update Report.
  • Reporting requirements at the following times: 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months.
  • Maintain a valid travel signature.
    • Validity of 6 months, when on STEM OPT.
  • Do not exceed 150 days of unemployment, applied to the entire period of standard Post-completion and STEM OPT.

Other Resources

Reduced Course Load

Concurrent Enrollment

Culminating Experience

Traveling

Leave of Absence

Transfering In, Out, and Changing Degree Level