You are responsible for complying with the federal regulations, which are related to your F-1 student status. It is important to familiarize yourself with the regulations to avoid violating your immigration status.
An F-1 student may be admitted no more than 30 days from the program start date indicated on the I-20.
Students must have a current, valid I-20 from the school you are attending. If you transfer from another school to Eastfield College, the transfer process must be completed before the semester begins.
You must enroll in and complete 12 credits every semester.
International students can concurrently enroll at another institution while being enrolled at Eastfield College. Your combined enrollment must be equivalent to a full-time course of study (12 credits). You will be required to enroll in at least nine credit hours at Eastfield College.
If necessary, request an extension of your I-20 at least 30 days before the expiration date.
Request a new I-20 if you change your degree level, program, source of funding, or number of F-2 dependents.
Request a travel signature from International Student Services prior to traveling outside the U.S. Travel signatures are valid for one year. Request travel signatures at least three weeks before your departure. F-2 dependents also require travel signatures.
If you decide to study elsewhere in the U.S., request a transfer of your SEVIS record before beginning studies at your new school.
Note: It is your responsibility to keep all of your I-20s from each of the schools you attend in the U.S. Do not throw any of your I-20s away. When you travel, bring all I-20s with you.
Your passport should be valid at least six months into the future. If your passport will expire soon, contact your embassy. Once you have updated your passport, submit a copy of your new passport page to International Student Services.
We are required to have this information on file at all times. Update your address within 10 days of any move.
Obtain approval from International Student Services before withdrawing from Eastfield College. If for some reason you cannot study, you must notify your DSO before withdrawing from your classes and leaving the U.S.
There are only two employment categories for F-1 students:
F-1 students are automatically eligible to work on campus for up to 20 hours per week total while school is in session. During vacation periods (spring, summer, and winter breaks), you may work full-time on campus.
To work off-campus, you must apply for and receive authorization before beginning work. See the sections on Optional Practical Training, Curricular Practical Training, and Economic Hardship for more information.
F-2 dependents may not work.
Note: Eastfield College allows students to work up to 19.5 hours per week.
Be aware of the grace periods associated with your status.
You have a 60-day grace period following the completion of your degree program and following the completion of Optional Practical Training (if applicable).
If you receive authorization from International Student Services to withdraw from all classes, you have a 15-day grace period, beginning on the date of the withdrawal, during which you must depart the U.S.
If you withdraw from all classes without first receiving authorization from International Student Services, you have no grace period and must depart the U.S. immediately.
If you are suspended or dismissed from the college, please speak with your DSO immediately.
F-1 students must abide by strict enrollment requirements in order to maintain their student status. The following section describes the specific enrollment requirements of F-1 students.
In your initial semester of study and every semester thereafter, except for vacations, you must be enrolled full-time (12 credit hours). There are some exceptions to this rule.
You must be enrolled full-time by the first day of classes to avoid possible termination of your SEVIS record.
Immigration regulations permit exceptions to the full-time enrollment requirement with prior approval from your international student advisor. This is known as a Reduced Course Load Authorization.
Students must complete their studies by the program end date listed on the I-20. If additional time is needed to complete the program, an extension must be requested at least 30 days prior to the program end date. Extensions are granted only under limited circumstances. Once the program end date passes, extensions are not possible.
In order to qualify for an extension, students must show that they have continually maintained status and that the extension is needed for compelling academic or medical reasons.
Students are eligible for an extension if:
The following are not valid reasons for extension:
Any changes to a student's academic degree must be reflected on the I-20. If you change your program or academic level (from Language Training to Associate Degree), you will receive an updated I-20.
If you wish to take a semester off from studying, you must meet with your international student advisor to request a Leave of Absence.
Before taking a leave of absence:
1. Meet with an international student advisor to discuss your plans.
2. Submit the Leave of Absence form and flight itinerary.
3. You will be notified by e-mail when this process is complete.
Traveling outside of the U.S. as an F-1 student is permitted as long as it does not disrupt your studies. Before traveling, you will need the following documents:
Note: At Eastfield, we require that you be registered for at least 12 credits hours in the following semester before obtaining travel signature.
International students on Probation 1 or 2 must report to ELLA with their program of study and a list of classes they wish to register for in order to get approval by an international student advisor.
International students on suspension cannot attend Eastfield College for one semester. Students will have to either find a transfer school or return to their home country.
International students who are on academic dismissal cannot attend Eastfield College for 12 months.
Please see your International advisor for further information as it relates to your academic and immigration status.
Additional information related to suspensions and dismissals.
International students are eligible to work on campus immediately after they have reported and registered for classes.
Students may work up to 19.5 hours on the Eastfield College campus.
An F-1 student may be authorized to have 12 months of Optional Practical Training and become eligible for another 12 months of practical training when he/she changes to a higher educational level (bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees).
Curricular Practical Training is defined as an alternative work/study, internship, or cooperative education that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school. Curricular Practical Training is available only prior to the completion of your degree program and you must have a job offer at the time of request. Curricular Practical Training may not delay completion of the academic program.
An F1 student may be authorized to participate in a curricular practical training program that is an integral part of an established curriculum.
The Curricular Practical Training must be directly related to the student's major area of study.
Note: Do not begin work until you are approved for Curricular Practical Training.
If other employment opportunities are not available, an eligible F-1 student may request off-campus employment work authorization based upon severe economic hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control.
To maintain the safety of our students, International Student Services has the following requirements: