Maintaining Your Visa Status

Pursuant to the immigration and Nationality Act defined in 101(a)(15)(F), it is the responsibility of the international student to remain in compliance with his/her non-immigrant status. The Office of International Programs and Services (IPS) will keep you informed about the requirements to maintain your status, but the student is ultimately responsible for keeping your student visa and status valid throughout your academic career at Indiana State University. If you closely follow the checklist here, you will remain in good standing with immigration rules in the United States.

1. Maintain full-time enrollment during fall and spring semesters

Undergraduate students 12 credit hours per semester

Graduate students 9 credit hours per semester

2. Keep your address current with the University and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

USCIS requires that you report your physical address to the University.

Keep in mind the following information:

  • You must report your physical address as your mailing address on the change of address form in the IPS office. If for some reason you cannot receive mail where you live, then you must provide IPS with the address where you physically reside so that we can report it to the USCIS.
  • If you are subject to Special Registration, you must both update your address at IPS and notify USCIS within 10 days each time that you move using the form available at: application-pdf.png
  • If you have F-2 or J-2 dependents who reside separately from you, you must provide their separate addresses to IPS within 10 days of their relocation.
    • All address updates must be made within 10 days of moving, or the USCIS can consider you to be in violation of your status and terminate your student visa status.

3. Keep your passport, I-94, and I-20/DS-2019 valid at all times - don’t let them expire!

  • Six months before your passport expires, contact your home country embassy or consulate to begin the renewal process
  • You and your dependents should have “D/S” (Duration of Status) instead of an expiration date on your I-94. If you are ever issued an I-94 with an expiration date, contact IPS immediately.
    • If you will need additional time to complete your program of study, follow IPS extension of I-20 procedure at least one month before your I-20 or DS-2019 expires. Extensions cannot be granted or processed in SEVIS after the end date of your I-20/DS-2019.

4. Always notify IPS before you travel outside the U.S. You may need to obtain a travel signature.

5. Never accept employment without first obtaining proper authorization.

You must be maintaining your status to qualify for any type of employment, including on-campus work.

Please remember the following guidelines:

  • You must limit on-campus employment to 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semester.
  • You can work more than 20 hours during breaks or during summer vacation.
  • For other types of work permission, you must obtain advance written authorization before accepting employment.

File an annual tax return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The IRS requires you to file an annual tax statement every year whether your income is from the U.S. or from another country. The filing deadline is April 15 of each year. The Controller’s Office provides the necessary forms and instructions through seminars. IPS will notify international students the dates of the seminars.