Keeping Your Stay Legal:
As an F-1 Student you have been admitted to the United States for a period of time known as duration of status (D/S). This means that you are allowed to continue your full-time studies as long as you maintain your status and follow the rules & regulations established by the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) (formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service). If you fail to maintain your status, you will need to apply for reinstatement, or you may be required to leave the U.S.
There are a few very important documents that you must keep valid and in your possession while in the United States as an F-1 Student. The first is the SEVIS Form I-20. The Albert Einstein College of Medicine has issued you a SEVIS Form I-20. This form is the Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status. This form must remain valid during your stay in Student Status. The other important form is the I-94 Departure Record, which is your proof of legal status as a student.
Your status while in the U.S. is regulated by the USCIS. There are a number of regulations which you need to follow in order to keep your status legal. If you have questions about any of these regulations, feel free to contact the OIS. While this office cannot provide legal advice, we will assist you as best we can.
To maintain your legal status you must:
Pursue a full course of study at Einstein. This means that each semester you will need to follow the procedure for registration according to the school's policy.
Make normal progress towards completion of your course of study by completing your studies before the expiration date listed in Section 5 of your Form I-20. If you are not able to complete the program by this date, you will need to follow the procedure for an extension of stay. To apply for an extension of stay, you will need to contact the OIS up to 60 days in advance to prepare the papers for extension. If you do not follow these procedures, you will be out of status and will need to submit an application for reinstatement with the USCIS.
Maintain a passport valid at least 6 months into the future. (Unless you are exempt from passport requirements). For information on renewing your passport, please contact your country's embassy.
Make sure that your I-94 card is marked F-1, "D/S".
Make sure that your I-20 is not expired and is either stamped by an Immigration Inspector, or signed by the OIS.
Report a change of address to the USCIS on Form AR-11 within 10 days of your move. Report this change to the OIS at the same time.
Depart the U.S. within the 60 day period after completing your full course of study, unless you have followed the procedures for applying for employment, moved to a different educational level, or plan to transfer to another school.
Contact the OIS if: You need to apply for any extension of stay, if you are changing from one program to another or from one major to another.
- You change your name, or citizenship.
- You intend to transfer to another University.
- You need to discuss employment. Do not engage in any unauthorized employment.
- You are planning to travel outside of the U.S., you need to have your Form I-20 properly endorsed and ensure that your visa is valid for re-entry.
Maintaining your status while on Optional Practical Training:
All students on post-completion optional practical training have reporting obligations.
You will need to report any change of address within 10 days, any legal name change and interruptions of employment. Report your employment to the OIS, which includes the name of the employer, start date of employment, mailing address for the employer. The OIS will provide you with a form which you will complete and return to the OIS within 10 business days of the change.