Maintaining Your F-1 Status
The responsibility for maintaining your immigration status lies with you. You must follow several
requirements to maintain F-1 status:
Requirement to Keep Your Passport Valid
Your passport must be valid at all times. Renewal applications must be made with the Embassy or Consulate of the country issuing the passport. You will need a certification of student status (Form I-20) from Union Institute & University (UI&U) and a F-1 student visa stamp. Addresses of U.S. embassies and consulates are available from the U.S. Department of State Web site.
Requirement to Report Address Changes to Union Institute & University
You are required to report any address change to UI&U within 10 days of the address change. This requirement includes address changes for any of your dependents as well.
Requirement to Obtain Prior Authorization from UI&U to Drop Below a Full Course of Study
You are required to pursue a full course of study during residency semesters. Full time at UI&U is 12 credit hours. You are allowed to deviate from this full course of study only with PRIOR authorization from UI&U, and only under limited circumstances. You will need to complete an F-1 Reduced Course Load Certification Form to make this request for academic reasons.
Requirement to Report Departure Date and Reason to Union Institute & University
You must report to UI&U the date that you plan to leave the U.S. after each residency. Report your departure date by completing and submitting the SEVIS Update Form to your DSO.
Requirement to Abide by Employment Regulations
The F-1 student visa classification allows students to take campus employment opportunities on the campus they attend as well as off campus to complement their education. However, the unique nature of our degree programs will prohibit you from working while in the U.S. and attending Union Institute & University.
Requirement to Attend Another School
You are currently authorized to attend Union Institute & University. If you decide to attend another school in the U.S., you must notify UI&U of your intent to transfer and identify the school that you plan to transfer to. UI&U will then enter a "Release" date in SEVIS (usually the day the current term ends). After this date is reached, the new school can issue you an I-20. You will then have to report to the Designated School Official/ Responsible Officer at the new school within 15 days of the program start date.
Requirement for Changing Your Academic Program or Degree Level
Students must obtain a new Form I-20 before changing their academic program from one degree level to another (e.g., from Bachelor’s to Master’s level) or one major/field of study to another (e.g., from Counseling to Education). You must receive a new I-20 for your new program prior to coming to the U.S. to engage in your next required residency. All forms are available on the Forms page.
Requirement to Provide Documentation of Dependents
UI&U is required to report information to the DHS and/or the Department of State (DOS) regarding your dependents—spouse and children. Family members, such as spouse and children, must have F-2 visas to enter the U.S. You must notify UI&U of any accompanying dependents in F-2 status and provide biographical information (e.g., full name, address, country of birth, etc.) and immigration information (e.g., passport information, visa information, etc.) regarding those dependents using the UI&U Request for F-2 Dependents Form.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This information is not exhaustive and is subject to change without notice. International students should contact the Designated School Official (DSO) at the UI&U academic center where they are enrolled with questions on any information presented above.