UMD: A Globally Connected University
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/distance education course can count towards full-time enrollment.
- Students may be authorized to drop below a full course of study but MUST receive permission for part-time enrollment from ISSS BEFORE the end of the drop/add period for that semester. Part-time status will be authorized for the following reasons only:
- Illness or medical condition (you must also submit the Part-Time Authorization Form for Medical Reasons)
- Initial difficulty with the English language (first semester only)
- Initial difficulty with reading requirements (first semester only)
- Unfamiliarity with American teaching methods (first semester only)
- Improper course level placement
- Completing your intended program in the current term (Note: For the Fall 2020 semester, a student's final course may be online or hybrid.)
To apply for Part-Time status log into iTerp>F-1 Student Services, and complete the Part-Time Authorization e-form. Your academic advisor will need to confirm the Part-Time information as well. Part-time Authorization e-forms must be submitted during the schedule adjustment period or 1st two weeks of class. Exceptions may be made for medical reasons. Last remaining course cannot be online.
- Concurrent Enrollment
- 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 Testudo. You 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.
ISSS uses ISSSNEWS to update students on changes to Immigration regulations and UMD policies.