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F-1 international students have requirements to keep your immigration status valid. It is critical to be aware of the requirements, because failure to comply is a violation of your F-1 status. 

OIA Designated School Officials (DSO) are here to help international students understand legal status requirements and answer questions you have about how your life situation may interact with your F-1 status. 

However, if a student does not follow the F-1 rules and regulations, as DSO, we are required to report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with termination of the F-1 SEVIS record. Our goal is to avoid this as much as possible, but it involves your individual compliance and attention.


1) Attend OIA’s F-1 Immigration Information Session, which we offer you an interactive look at the key things you need to know during your studies. We offer this session multiple times on Zoom before your first semester starts.

2) Complete OIA Arrival Check-in, after your arrival to F-1 status and before your first semester begins.

3) Be full-time enrolled every Fall and Spring semester. If you have a valid reason to be less than full-time enrolled, apply to OIA for Exception to Full-time before the semester begins.

4) Maintain good academic standing, which includes Academic Integrity and a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0 for Undergraduate and 3.0 for Graduate students.

5) Educate yourself about F-1 status employment options. Do not engage in unauthorized employment. 

6) Update your current U.S. residential address and permanent address abroad as needed in Pratt’s system. An OIA DSO must report address changes in your SEVIS record and you are required to update your information within ten days of any change.

7) Keep your passport valid six months into the future at all times. If you need to renew your passport during the time you are in the U.S., you should contact your home country’s local embassy or consulate here in the U.S.

8) Understand international travel requirements. Request an I-20 travel signature as needed from OIA and renew your F-1 entry visa or passport as needed for entry to the U.S. 

9) Note that your F-1 entry visa is not a requirement for maintaining valid F-1 status. It can expire while you are inside the U.S. and you do not need to renew it until you decide to travel. The  important documents for status maintenance are your SEVIS I-20 record, I-94 record, and passport.

10) Know your I-20 expiration date (program end date on page 1). If your academic progress will be delayed beyond this date, you should extend your I-20 in a timely manner. 

11) Make sure to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) in the final term of class registration before you graduate, if you are interested.

12) Abide by local, state and federal laws, including but not limited to alcohol, marijuana, graffiti, sexual assault, and domestic violence laws. In the U.S. legal system, ignorance of the law is not a valid defense. If you are arrested or charged with a crime, do not be afraid to reach out to OIA’s Director.