Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Maintaining Your F-1 Status

  • Keep your passport valid at least six months into the future.
  • Pursue a full course of study each spring and fall semester. At F&M this is minimum of three one-credit courses. You may not audit courses, as part of your three credits.
  • Never accept off-campus employment without consulting with International Programs.  Before you accept off-campus employment in the US (either paid or unpaid) you are required to first obtain employment authorization from International Programs and/or the Department of Homeland Security.
  • You may also work on campus up to ten hours per week. Full-time campus employment (up to 40 hours per week) is permitted only during winter, spring, and summer breaks.
  • Obtain a Program Extension to remain in the US longer than the time listed under section 5 on your I-20 prior to its expiration. If you fail to do this, you will be out of status. If you will complete your studies early, please email Dean Haring at to have your program shortened in SEVIS.
  • Keep your I-20 current. Changes in legal name or major should be reported to Jessica Haile within ten days of the change:
  • If you take a Leave of Absence, either voluntarily or involuntarily, leave the country within ten days. Failure to do so could end your academic career in the US.
  • Report changes in your local and home country addresses within ten days of the change to, including when you are on authorized Optional Practical Training (OPT).  This include on-campus moves from one College House or apartment to another mid-semester.  (We will receive housing lists at the beginning of each semester.  So, you only have to report mid-semester moves.)  PLEASE keep your campus address visible on My Diplomat.
  • Complete the School Transfer Process to change authorized schools either during your studies or following graduation. You must report to the new school either in person or by phone or email within 15 days of your new Program Start Date.
  • Depart the US within 60 days of completion of studies or authorized practical training after graduation. The exceptions to this rule include students who are transferring to a new school or have applied for a Change of Status to acquire a new non-immigrant status.
  • Report your employment to the Office of International Programs when you are on authorized OPT. This includes the name and address of your employer, your title, business phone number, as well as your business email address. You are allowed no more than 90 days of unemployment during your 12 months of OPT. Students that receive a STEM extension for OPT (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics majors only - ask Dean Haring about specific qualifying majors) are eligible for 30 additional days of unemployment.