F & J Regulations
Students should be aware of the federal regulations governing their immigration status during and after completion of their study program. Violation of any of these regulations may result in the loss of visa status. If you "fall out of status" for any reason, you will no longer be eligible for work permission or other benefits afforded by your status. In some cases, you may be required to return to your home country.
Listed below are guidelines that international students should follow to make sure their visa status remains valid. Although other situations not mentioned here may lead to the loss of status, following these guidelines will help you to avoid many unnecessary problems. If you have questions regarding these guidelines then please visit the International Student and Scholar Services office.
Under U.S. law, you are fully responsible for abiding by the rules governing your F-1 status. International Student and Scholar Services will do its best to help you understand these rules, but it is your responsibility to abide by and maintain your status.
Maintain full-time enrollment.
You must be full-time for both the fall and spring semester. For immigration purposes, undergraduate students must complete a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester and graduate students must complete a minimum of 9 credit hours per semester.
Report a withdrawal or a drop below full-time status
If for some reason you must withdrawal from your program or drop below full-time, you are required to inform the ISSS office before doing so. Please stop by the ISSS office during normal office hours or send an email to one of the International Student Coordinators.
Attend the school noted on your I-20/DS-2019.
You must have a current, valid I-20 from the school you are attending.
Keep your I-20/DS-2019 valid at all times.
Have your adviser send an email to one of the International Coordinators if you need a Extension. This is when the completion date on your I-20/DS2019 will expire before you complete your program of study. For F-1 students, you must also request a new I-20 if you change your major or your degree level, e.g. Master's to Ph.D.
Get a travel signature
Before your departure from the U.S., request a signature for re-entry from an International Coordinator. The coordinator will sign the I-20/DS-2019 for this purpose. The signature is valid for one year from the time it was signed.
Get proper employment permission:
- On-campus employment - Employment is limited to 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters. Employment on-campus may be full-time in the summer and vacation periods. No special work permit is required.
- Off-campus employment - Do not work off-campus without permission. must be approved through the ISSS office.
- Academic Training for J1 Students- “Academic Training,” is the name used by the Department of State for certain types of study-related employment for students in J status. It describes the conditions that have to be met in order to qualify for “Academic Training,” and how to apply. You should not begin working until you have received a new DS-2019 with your work authorization posted.
Report intent to transfer to another school
You are currently authorized to study or conduct research at the University of Louisville. if you decide to study at another school in the U.S., you must notify the ISSS office of your intent to transfer. You will need to fill out the Transfer-Out form and return it to the ISSS office