Maintaining F-1 Status

Maintaining F-1 Status

Failure to comply with immigration and academic regulations will lead to violation of your F-1  status, resulting in severe consequences.  For clarification on any of the regulations, please visit the International Student Program (ISP).


  • Inform ISP within 10 days of any changes in address, email, or legal name.
  • Make sure I-20 is always valid. Notify ISP two months prior to expiration date. You will need to submit official bank verifications to cover the costs of educational program extension. Apply for extension of program if degree will not be completed by program end date as indicated on I-20.
  • Notify ISP of any changes that may impact your F-1 student status (i.e. course load, change of status, major, marriage, etc.)
  • Obtain authorization from ISP for on-campus employment: after completion of one semester at San Jose City College, you will be eligible to work on campus
  • Obtain authorization for off-campus employment: You are not authorized to work off campus without prior approval from the International Student Program office and USCIS
  • When traveling outside the United States, request & obtain a signature on valid I-20 from ISP. Make sure F-1 visa and passport are valid for re-entry. You may also need to show official transcripts and current schedule for verification as an F-1 student at San Jose City College.


You have to be a full-time student,  you have to maintain full-time registration.

Visa Renewal

Your F-1 visa is the document issued when you were approved by the United States Embassy or Consulate to
study in the United States. Check to make sure you have a multiple entry visa. It will be indicated with an
“M” for multiple entries. We often have students concerned about their visa expiration date. Even if your visa
expires, you are still in F-1 status and can still study in the United States as long as your I-20, passport, and
I-94 are valid. You only have to renew an expired visa if you leave and reenter the United States.

Completion of Studies at San Jose City College

Your program timeline at San Jose City College is generally about 3 years. Please check for your program end
date on your I-20. When your program end date is approaching within 2 months and you have not completed
your studies, you may request to extend your I-20 by providing ISP with a certified bank statement and an
updated educational plan at least 2 weeks prior to program end date.
If you have completed your program at San Jose City College, you have 3 options:
1) Transfer to another school
2) Leave the United States and return home or
3) Apply for change of status to another visa.
You must do one of these 3 options before your 60-day grace period ends or you will fall out of status.

Transferring Schools

Once you have completed your studies at San Jose City College, you are eligible to transfer to another school.
You should apply for transfer admissions and submit applications to the colleges/institutions by the application
deadline. Many colleges may have you apply at least one year before the term of enrollment. Notify our
office of your intent to transfer and provide a transfer release form and acceptance letter from the transfer
college to authorize the release of your I-20. This must be done no later than 60 days aft er your program end
date. The program end date is generally the last day of your last semester at San Jose City College.

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