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Maintain Your Status

These are the steps every F-1 and J-1 student must follow in order to maintain legal status while in the U.S. Failure to comply with these requirements may have severe consequences for your ability to study, seek employment, or remain in the U.S. legally.

1. Make sure your immigration documents are valid and unexpired:

  •     A passport valid at least six months into the future
  •     I-94 record
  •     An unexpired I-20 (for F-1 students) or DS-2019 (for J-1 students) with a current travel signature
  •     A valid F-1 or J-1 visa if you plan to travel into the U.S. Your visa may be expired while remaining in the U.S.

2. Register for full time study every fall and spring semester:

If you need to register on a part-time basis, obtain OGS approval BEFORE your registration is finalized. Learn more about getting part-time enrollment approval and how to apply. Please note, F-1 regulations stipulate that only one online class may count towards full time status in any fall or spring semester. Failure to comply with this regulation may have extremely severe consequences including removal from the United States.

3. Do not begin off-campus employment without written authorization from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the OGS.

    Full-time students in F-1 or J-1 status may accept on-campus employment of no more than 20 hours per week during the school year, or full-time (20+ hours) during vacation periods. View information on employment for more information on eligiblity and application procedures.

4. Update your address in your NYU record within 10 days of a move.

To learn how to update your address, view these instructions.

5. Contact the OGS immediately if there are any changes in your personal or academic situation or items that need to be updated on your I-20 or DS-2019, such as:

  •     change of name or citizenship
  •     change of school, major, or degree level
  •     withdrawal or termination due to academic, medical, or personal reasons
  •     departure for research or study abroad
  •     transfer to another institution in the U.S.
  •     extension needed for time to complete degree
  •     changes in registration, such as wanting to take an online class or enroll at another university


What happens if I fail to maintain my status?

Learn more about the consequences and how to regain your legal status.

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