General Information on F-1 Status
Please note that it is your responsibility, as an F-1 student, to be familiar with and follow the immigration regulations pertaining to your F-1 visa.
Maintaining Student Status
Full Time Enrollment: F-1 students must enroll for a full-time course load each quarter. Students in the Intensive English Program must enroll for at least 20 credit hours to maintain full time status at South. College Level students must enroll in at least 12 credit hours to maintain status. If you are planning to withdraw from a course you must first speak with an advisor in the IP Office.
Online Classes: Only one online class can count towards a student’s full-time course load per quarter. Student's in their final quarter of study must demonstrate on-campus presence and therefore may not enroll in online classes only.
Academic Progress: Students need to keep over a 2.0 GPA or higher to maintain legal status.
Please note: if a student makes under a cumulative 2.0 GPA for three consecutive quarters, has a grade of NC or 0.0 for three consecutive quarters, more than four NCs or 0.0s in any three quarter period, or NCs or 0.0s for all classes in one quarter their SEVIS Record will be terminated for failure to make normal progress and will be out of legal F-1 status.
Employment: F-1 students that maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA or higher and are in legal status are eligible for on-campus employment. Students must receive authorization prior to engaging in any off-campus employment. It is extremely important that F-1 students do not engage in any illegal or
Change of Address: F-1 students are required to report any changes to their address in the United States, phone number or email to the IP Office within 10 days of the change. Students will need to complete a Change of Address Form that is available in the IP Office.
Benefits of Maintaining Student Status
· Travel and Re-entry to the United States
· Eligibility for Vacation Quarter
· Change of Program
· I-20 Extension
· Concurrent Enrollment
· Change of Status
· School Transfer
· On-campus Employment
· Severe Economic Hardship Employment
Failure to Maintain Status: If a student fails to maintain status their I-20 (immigration record) will be terminated in SEVIS and they will be out-of status. Students that fail to maintain status are not eligible for an additional period for departure. Students will be considered out of status for the following reasons:
· Failure to register for a full-time course of study
· Unauthorized drop below a full course of study
· Unauthorized withdraw from classes
· Suspension or Expulsion
· Unauthorized Employment
· Failure to make normal progress towards your degree of study
· Failure to apply for an I-20 Extension prior to the end date listed on the I-20.
If you are currently out of status please schedule an appointment to meet with your advisor in the International Programs Office.
Completion of Academic Program and Grace Periods
Completion of Academic Program (Graduation) and Grace Periods
Upon completion of a student’s program of study they will have a 60 day grace period inside the United States. During a student’s 60 day grace period they have the following options:
· Apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT)
· Apply for a new program of study (Change of Education Level) at South
· Transfer out to another SEVP approved institution
· Prepare for departure from the United States
Student's must apply for graduation with their academic advisor in the International Programs Office.
Grace Period for Authorized Early Withdraw
If a student decides to return to their home country before completing their program of study they should schedule an appointment to speak with an advisor in the IP Office. Students may be eligible for a 15 day grace period in the United States if approved for Authorized Early Withdraw.
Out of Status Students
If a student fails to maintain their status they are not eligible for an additional period for departure and must depart the United States immediately.
Students that have applied and received acceptance from a SEVP-Approved college or university can apply to have their SEVIS record released to the new institution. Students that are currently in status and will begin school for the next available session or within 5 months, whichever is earlier, will be eligible for transfer. Students will need to complete the following transfer out procedures to have their SEVIS record released to the new institution:
1. Submit a completed SSCC Transfer Out Form to the IP Office.
2. Submit a copy of your acceptance letter to the SEVP-Approved institution
3. Complete the SSCC Exit Interview
Reminder: Students that have graduated from South will need to complete the transfer out process during their 60 day grace period.
Transfer during Optional Practical Training (OPT)
If a student transfers out from South Seattle College to another SEVP-Approved school during the one year of OPT authorization this will cancel the student’s remaining eligibility to participate in OPT. The student will need to be approved by the new school for any additional employment.
Lost or Stolen Documents
If your immigration documents are lost or stolen please notify the International Programs Office
If your I-20 is lost, stolen or damaged please talk with your immigration advisor in the International Programs Office. You can request a replacement I-20 by completing the Request for a New or Revised I-20 Form.
If your passport is lost or stolen you should immediately contact your country’s embassy or
consulate in the United States. You can find additional information on how to apply for a
replacement passport online at the embassy or consulate’s webpage.
For a complete list of foreign embassy websites please visit the following page:
If your visa is lost or stolen you should contact the US Embassy or Consulate that issued your visa to make sure your visa is not being used by another person. The next time you travel to your home country you will need to apply for another US Visa. For a complete list of foreign embassy websites please visit the following page: http://www.usembassy.gov/
To replace a lost or stolen I-94 card you will need to complete Form I-102 with USCIS. The form can be found at http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis and the application fee is currently $330.00. You will need to include a copy of a police report if the document was stolen and you should make an appointment with your immigration advisor to review application materials in the IP Office.
Social Security Card
You can replace your Social Security card for free if it is lost or stolen. However, you are limited to three replacement cards in a year and 10 during your lifetime. Legal name changes and other exceptions do not count toward these limits. For example, changes in immigration status that require card updates may not count toward these limits. Also, you may not be affected by these limits if you can prove you need the card to prevent a significant hardship.
To get a replacement card: Complete an Application For A Social Security Card (Form SS-5); and You will need to show proof of:
· Immigration status – I-20, Passport, Visa and I-94 Card
· Work eligibility – Letter from the International Programs Office or EAD Card
· Identity – Passport with I-94 Card. Take your completed application and original documents to your local Social Security office
EAD Card – OPT or Economic Necessity
To replace a lost or stolen Employment Authorization Document (EAD Card), students will need to complete Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, at http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis.
This application is a similar process to apply for the original OPT authorization, with the following exceptions:
1. At the top of the I-765 Form you should choose - Replacement (of lost employment authorization document)
2. You will need to send copies of all the supporting documents you sent for your initial authorization. For a complete list please contact the International Programs Office.