Maintaining Legal F-1 Status
Effective immediately, UMUC will no longer be issuing the form I-20 A-B Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 Student Status.
- Obtaining an I-20
- Class Registration
- Reduced Courseload/Leave of Absence
- Last Semester of Study
- Address Changes
- Academic Program Changes, Extensions, and New I-20's
- Contact Information
We are glad that you have chosen to study at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC). Effective immediately, UMUC will no longer be issuing the form I-20 A-B Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 Student Status. Students that have been issued this document for study for the Spring 2010 term and have obtained a visa to study in the United States will be able to complete their program with UMUC. Students that have applied and are requiring this document are welcome to study with the University in an online format. For questions regarding Undergraduate study please contact email@example.com or for further information regarding Graduate study please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep it valid at all times. Contact your embassy for information about extension procedures at least six months before the expiration of your passport.
You must be registered for a full course load each semester of your academic program. For undergraduate students, this means you must be registered for 12 credit hours. Graduate students must be registered for 9 credit hours (except for the MBA program which has a 3 credit course the first semester and 6 credit courses for subsequent semesters). Of these credit hours only 3 per semester can be online (except MBA students which must enroll in the combination courses). In other words you may register for only one online course per semester. I strongly encourage you to register EARLY each semester so that you will have the required classes to meet the face-to-face requirement. If you do not meet the requirement you will be out of status, in violation of the F-1 regulations, and will be reported.
If it becomes necessary for you to take less than a full course load in any semester due to academic difficulties, illness or other medical reason, or if you are requesting a leave of absence, you must speak with your academic advisor and then obtain permission from International Student Services prior to dropping below the full course load. Course load reduction due to academic difficulties will only be authorized once during your course of studies. Reduction of course load due to illness or medical condition will be authorized for only one semester at a time and cannot exceed 12 months during your program of study.
If you are in your final semester of study and need fewer than the full course load to complete your degree requirements, you must obtain permission from International Student Services.
If you move to another address you must notify International Student Admissions and Advising within 10 days of the move. The change will be effected in SEVIS.
Be sure before you leave the U.S. that the F-1 visa in your passport is valid (not expired). If your visa has expired, you will have to apply for a new one overseas before you will be able to re-enter the U.S. (See Department of State Visa Services.) Also be sure to have your I-20 endorsed for travel (signed) by International Student Admissions and Advising before you leave.
Optical Practical Training (OPT)
- Must have one full year of academic study
- Must not have already graduated
- Need EAD card to begin employment
- Eligible for 12 months of OPT with each level of study
- Must begin with the 60 day grace period after program end date
- Complete form I-765
- Only available for undergraduate students at UMUC. Please contact our Cooperative Education Center
- Less than 20 hours per week, if full-time it accrues off of OPT
- You are permitted to work on campus part-time (no more than 20 hours a week) during the semester and full-time during vacation periods
- Students in F-1 status are not permitted to work off-campus except in specific circumstances and with prior authorization of the Department of Homeland Security. Students found working off-campus without the proper authorization are in violation of their F-1 status. This is a serious and deportable offense.
You must contact International Student Admissions and Advising to apply for a new I-20 if you change your major or degree program or if you need to extend the length of time required to complete your degree. If you do not apply for an extension before your I-20 expires, you will be in violation of your F-1 status.
Reinstatement is a process by which a student who falls out of status due to violations of the regulations governing their F-1 status may apply to the USCIS to regain that status. The application for reinstatement must be filed with the USCIS within 5 months of the status violation. Please contact International Student Admissions and Advising for instructions.
International Student Admissions and Advising
3501 University Blvd East
Adelphi, MD 20873
1616 McCormick Drive, 3447
Largo, MD 20774
Web Site: www.uscis.gov