F1 VISA Guidelines

Maintaining Legal Status

The U.S. has laws that govern the foreign nationals that live within its borders.  It is vital for you to be responsible and learn about these laws and the changes they undergo.

If you have questions about immigration laws and regulations please contact the International Student Services Office.  Students who arrive in the U.S. are granted the nonimmigrant classification called “F-1”. This is referred to as your status.  A spouse or child who is allowed to come to the U.S. to be with the F-1 student must also maintain valid status.

In order to remain in the U.S. legally you must “maintain” your status.  In order to maintain your status you must follow the rules that apply to your Visa.

The most important rules for F-1 Students are as follows:

  1. You must attend the school that you were authorized to attend on your I-20.
  2. You must maintain a full course of study during the academic year. (Full-time attendance during summer is not required unless you were admitted to begin your studies during summer session).
  3. You may not drop below full time status without authorization from the International Student Services Office.
  4. You cannot be employed off campus without proper authorization. (See: Employment Guidelines under helpful links)
  5. You must have a clean criminal record such as DUI (driving under the influence), possession of illegal substance, MIP (minor in possession), buying/owning a firearm, assault will lead to the termination of your legal status. The International Student Services Office cannot assist you with criminal charges.
  6. You must follow the Department of Homeland Security rules regarding:
  • Extending your stay (apply for extensions before I-20 expires)
  • Changing from one degree program level to another (bachelor’s, master’s, Ph.D.)
  • Transferring to another school
  • Report any changes to your residential address by updating the current mailing address with the International Student Services Office
  • Staying in the United States past your grace period

In addition to DHS rules, you must stay in compliance with the guidelines and policies set forth by for students by Oklahoma Baptist University.

Helpful Links

Please review the information in the links below to help you have a stronger knowledge for successfully maintaining your F-1 VISA status.

Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)
Visa or Immigration Status
Important Immigration Documents
Full course of study requirement
Dependent Study: F-2 Status
Losing your legal status
Regaining your legal status
Employment Options

Questions? international.services@okbu.edu