Maintaining Student Status

Full time enrollment

*For COVID-19 related exceptions to maintaining F-1 student status, please visit

F-1 students must enroll for a full-time course load each quarter. Students in the Intensive English Program must enroll for at least 18 credit hours to maintain full-time status at South. Students enrolled in the College Bridge Program or in a College Level program must enroll for at least 12 credit hours.

If you are planning to withdraw from a course you will need to get approval from an international student 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. Students enrolled in the Intensive English Program and College Bridge Program are not eligible to take online classes.

Academic progress

International students must follow the college’s Academic Student Progress Policy. Students who are placed on Academic Suspension from the college are eligible for termination for failure to make normal progress.


F-1 students that are maintaining 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 unauthorized employment.

You can find more information regarding employment here: On Campus Employment and Off Campus Employment.

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 International Programs Office within 10 days of the change. Students will need to complete a Change of Address Form that is available in the International Programs Office.

Failure to maintain status

If a student fails to maintain status their I-20 (immigration record) will be terminated in the SEVIS system 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.

Please note that due to a recent changes in U.S. immigration policy, as of August 9, 2018, you will begin to accumulate days of unlawful presence beginning the day after a status violation occurs. F visa holders with status violations may be subject to 3 - 10 year bars to re-enter the United States.

If you are currently out of status please schedule an appointment to meet with an international student advisor in the International Programs Office.