MAINTAINING YOUR STATUS
As an international student you are required to:
Register for and complete a full-time course load every semester.
Full-time enrollment at Baruch College is 12 credits per semester. You must have authorization from the ISSC before you can register for less than a full course load. Immigration regulations allow very few exceptions to the full-course requirement. To obtain this authorization, have your department complete an ISSC part-time enrollment form, which must be submitted to the ISSC. Failure to obtain ISSC authorization or to submit this form to the ISSC could affect your F-1 or J-1 status in the United States.
- Make sure your passport is always valid.
If your passport will be expiring while you are here in the United States you must contact your consulate in New York City or embassy in Washington D.C. for renewal procedures.
- Be sure to review your I-94 card. It must be stamped F-1 or J-1 and D/S.
Onboard the plane you will be asked to complete an I-94 form. The custom official at the airport will stamp the form F1 or J1 AND D/S. If your card is not marked D/S (duration of status) bring it to the ISSC immediately. The eleven-digit number on this card is very important; it serves as the key to your immigration records while you are in the U.S. as a student. Do not lose this card; it is required for all applications you submit to the ISSC or the USCIS.
- Make sure all information on your SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019 remains correct.
The SEVIS I-20/DS-2019 is a very important document. It serves as the record of your purpose in the U.S. [to study full-time at the school indicated]. If there are any changes to the information on the SEVIS I-20/DS-2019, you are required to notify the ISSC as soon as possible. Changes include name, citizenship, degree level, major, source and amount of funds. Once you notify the ISSC of a change, we will advise you how to apply for a new SEVIS I-20/DS-2019.
- Notify the ISSC if there is a change in your "completion date" on your SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019. Section #5 of the SEVIS I-20 or section #3 of the DS-2019 indicates the date you are expected to complete your program at Baruch College. If you are going to complete before the date listed, you need to notify the ISSC of this change, as it affects your legal stay in the U.S. If you will not complete your program by the date listed, you will need to apply for an extension of your F-1 or J-1 status. An application for extension must be made at least 30 days before the completion date indicated on the SEVIS I-20/DS-2019.
- Acquire written work authorization from the ISSC or the USCIS.
You can NOT work without authorization. Working in the U.S. is a benefit for which you must apply and obtain written authorization. There are regulations for on-campus and off-campus employment. Authorization from USCIS for certain off-campus employment can take up to 3 months. Please plan ahead.
- Contact the ISSC before you transfer to another institution or take a leave of absence.
- File a federal income tax form for every year you are in the U.S., even if you have no income. This requirement also applies to dependents with F-2 and J-2 status.
- Report any change of address to the registrar's office and your local U.S. Post Office.
Changes of address must be reported within 10 days of your move. Students are required to provide both a mailing address and a physical address.
- Consult the ISSC first for all immigration concerns and questions.
Students will often obtain information from friends, family, various web sites, and newspapers. While convenient, it is likely that the information you obtain this way may not be up to date or accurate. To avoid confusion and risks to your status, always consult the ISSC first.
- Never go to the USCIS unless instructed to by an ISSC advisor.
It is very rare that you will have to go directly to the USCIS to submit an application. Since most USCIS officers do not work with student regulations, it is likely that if you visit a USCIS office on your own, you will not be able to meet with an officer who the appropriate official. If you have a complex case that requires a trip to the USCIS or needs to be handled by an attorney, an ISSC advisor will instruct you accordingly.
- Always bring your passport, I-94, and SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019 when you make a request at the ISSC or meet with an advisor.
- It is your responsibility to maintain F-1 or J-1 student status.
Keep informed by taking advantage of the variety of ways the ISSC supplies regulatory information, including advising, handouts and workshops and the ISSC web site.
- Make and safeguard photocopies of your immigration-related documents.
The ISSC does not maintain photocopies of your documents or immigration-related applications.
- Students transferring from another school within US Transfer students must process their SEVIS I-20 or DS2019 within 15 days from the start of classes. You must contact the ISSC immediately so that we can begin to process your new SEVIS I-20 or DS2019.
- There are advisors on duty daily at the ISSC.
If you have questions, concerns, or an application to process, please stop by the ISSC. Be sure to bring your passport, I-94 card, SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019. The hours for the 2009-2010 academic year are Monday through Thursday from 9:15 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Friday from 9:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
- Plan ahead!
The ISSC serves one of the largest international student populations in the country. With so many students the wait time for processing of documents is normally 5 to 7 business days. Whenever possible documents are processed faster, but this can not be guaranteed for any student. Please keep this processing time in mind when looking at certain deadlines that may jeopardize your F-1 and J-1 status.
Division of Student Affairs, Baruch College, CUNY