As an international student with an F1 visa, you are required by U.S. law to know and abide by immigration regulations throughout your stay in the U.S. You are now at Castleton University for the sole purpose of being a full-time student. Participation in any other activity, from employment to vacation, is considered a privilege and is only allowed in accordance with the strict Department of Homeland Security rules. When you entered the U.S. with an I-20, you agreed to abide by the conditions and obligations of your non-immigrant status. As long as you continually meet these obligations, you will be considered “in status” or “maintaining your visa status.” The International Student Office provides international students with information and services to maintain your status. However, it is YOUR responsibility to abide by these regulations and maintain legal student status.
To remain “in status”, you must ALWAYS:
- Maintain a valid and unexpired passport throughout your stay in the U.S.
- Attend the school whose name appears on your I-20.
- Be registered as a full-time student: 12 credits for undergraduate students or 9 credits for graduate students. You cannot drop below this number without advance approval by a Castleton Designated School Official (DSO). (See the list of DSOs below.)
- Keep your I-20 valid at all times and apply for program extensions before expiration.
- Notify the ISO within 10 days after you make any changes to your: living address, major, educational level, program extension, finances, dependents, and others.
- Request a signature on your I-20 by a DSO before leaving the U.S.
- Follow SEVIS immigration transfer procedures when changing from one school to another in the U.S.
- Upon completion of your program of study, an F-1 student has 60 days to do one of the following: a) leave the U.S., b) begin student work authorization (OPT for F1), c) obtain a new I-20 from a new school or new program in the following semester, d) change to another immigration status.
- Read your Castleton email and keep in regular contact with the ISO.
To remain “in status”, you must NEVER
- Work off-campus unless you have the necessary authorization from a Castleton DSO on your I-20.
- Work on campus more than 20 hours a week while school is in session. You may work full time on campus during break periods or while school is not in session.
- Take a leave of absence, drop below a full-time course load, or start a curricular practical training (CPT) or optional practical training (OPT) without receiving approval from a Castleton DSO.
Once you have completed or terminated your program, or if you have failed to maintain legal student status, you can no longer legally enter the U.S. with your Castleton I-20.
I have read and understand my responsibilities as outlined above for staying in status.
Castleton's Designated School Officials:
Patrick Liu - (802) 468-1371
Maurice Ouimet - (802) 468-1491
Lori Arner - (802) 468-1211