F-1 Students

Maintaining Status: An Overview

It is the responsibility of each student to be familiar with the immigration requirements related to your status. Following the guidelines below will help you maintain valid F-1 immigration status. If you have specific questions about your status,  you can schedule an appointment to meet with an international student advisor at the International Center.

  • Keep your passport valid for at least 6 months into the future.
    Contact your home country's embassy in the U.S. for information about renewing your passport validity.
  • Keep your local address updated.
    Keep your local residential address current by completing the Address Update Form.
  • Maintain full-time enrollment.
    You must be enrolled in 12 units each quarter. 
  • Get International Center approval before a withdrawal from UCI.
    If for some reason you must withdraw from your program or drop below full-time, you are required to have approval from the International Center.
  • Attend the school noted on your I-20.
    You must have a current, valid I-20 from UCI. If you previously attended another U.S. school before coming  to UCI, the SEVIS transfer process must be completed at an International Center Check-In Sessions.  If you were not able to attende a International Center Check-In Session, contact the International Center immediately to schedule an appointment with an advisor.
  • Keep your I-20 valid at all times.
    Submit the I-20/DS-2019 Request Form if the completion date on your I-20 will expire within the next 60 days and you need more time to complete your program of study. The completion date can be found in Section 5 on the I-20 form. You must also request a new I-20 if you change your major, your degree level [i.e. Ph.D. to Master's], or if your financial information changes.
  • Get a travel signature. 
    Before your departure from the U.S., request a signature for re-entry from an advisor at the International Center. The signature is valid for one year.
  • Request Authorization for Employment:
    • On-campus employment -- Limit employment to 20 hours per week during the academic year. Employment on-campus may be full-time in the summer and vacation periods.
    • Off-campus employment -- Do not work off-campus without permission. Work permission for F-1 students must be requested approved by the International Center and the USCIS.


New Travel Signature

Request Process


Tuesday, Wednesday,Thursday
9 - 11 a.m.
International Center

Coffee Hour

Every Friday 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Counseling Center, Student Services I


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