UMD: A Globally Connected University

Maintaining Status

Immigration Responsibilities as an International Student

Remember that it is your responsibility to comply with all existing U.S. Government rules and regulations as they apply to you. These regulations are continually amended and changed by the U.S. Government.  For additional details on these and other specific regulations, contact or visit ISSS.

Maintaining Student Status

  • Maintain a valid passport
  • Attend UMCP, the school you are authorized to attend
  • Pursue a full course of study and make normal progress towards the completion of the program of study.
    • UNDERGRADUATE students must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours each Fall and Spring semester.
    • GRADUATE students must be enrolled in at least 48 units each Fall and Spring semester.
      • 20-hour assistantships are equivalent to 24 units;
      • 10-hour assistantships are equivalent to 12 units
    • Courses taken for "audit" or "incomplete" do not generate credits/units and cannot be used in calculating full-time status
    • Only one online course/distance education can count towards full-time enrollment.
    • If you will be part-time in a semester due to illness, academic difficulties, or because you are in your final semester, you MUST receive permission for part-time enrollment from ISSS BEFORE the end of the drop/add period for that semester. You can do so by logging into iTerp, going to F-1 Student Services, and Part-Time Authorization.  Your academic advisor will need to confirm the Part-Time information as well. 
    • According to Immigration, a student has completed the degree when she/he has satisfied all academic program requirements. This means your I-20 must end on the final day of the semester you are enrolled in your last required courses, regardless of the semester of your graduation. You may not request to take additional courses in a new semester once your required coursework has been completed.
  • Keep your US Address and US phone number updated in TestudoYou should update any address change in the “local address” field.
  • Update I-20/DS-2019
    To legally remain in the U.S., you must also have a current I-20/DS-2019 which corresponds to your level, field and period of study. Be aware of the information on your I-20/DS-2019 and keep it current!
  • Extend I-20/DS-2019
    Follow procedures to extend your nonimmigrant status if you will not complete your studies by the program end date on your I-20/DS-2019.
  • Program Level Change
    Follow procedures to continue from one level of study to another (e.g. from Master's to Ph.D.)
  • Employment Authorization
    Refrain from working off-campus unless you have official authorization from ISSS or USCIS. Students may work on-campus up to 20 hours total per week during the school year, and full-time on-campus during summers and vacation periods.  F-1 students may work on-campus without authorization. J-1 students need authorization even for on-campus work.  For more information on employment, visit the F-1 Employment or J-1 Employment sections of our website.
  • Final Term
    Follow the appropriate procedures and regulations as you approach your final term.
  • J-1 Medical Insurance
    J-1 students are required to carry health insurance that meets Department of State minimum requirements. Please be sure to drop off an updated copy of your insurance when you renew your policy.

Failure to comply with these regulations will result in the loss of your nonimmigrant status. We refer to this as being "out of status." Please see an international student advisor if you think you are out of status.

Stay Informed

ISSS uses ISSSNEWS to update students on changes to Immigration regulations and UMD policies.