Understanding your F-1 Visa Status

published by Katheryn van Laar

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Understanding your F-1 visa
Welcome to INTERLINK and the U.S.A! We're happy you're here. It is extremely important that you understand all of the regulations for your visa and maintaining your full-time student status. This infographic will help explain the rules for your F-1 Visa and I-20.
After 9 months (4 INTERLINK terms), you can take a term off from your studies and stay in the U.S. 
If you plan to travel and leave the U.S. while studying at INTERLINK, the Director must sign your I-20. Without a signature, you will not be able to re-enter the United States. Show the director your returning plane ticket in order to get a signature.
 20 hours a week at INTERLINK is full-time studying. On an F-1 visa, students are required to be full-time students.
 If you feel that you cannot study full-time for any reason, see the INTERLINK Center Director immediately to discuss your situation.
 If you are not making progress in your classes, you may lose your student status and be asked to transfer to another school or leave the country immediately.  If you repeat a class 2 times, you will be dismissed from INTERLINK
International students are required by the United States Government to report any changes in address to their school within ten days of moving.  

This includes moving from one dormitory room to another or from one apartment to another in the same complex.

INTERLINK students are not allowed to work anywhere. Do not accept employment while you are an INTERLINK student.
If you have F-2 or J-2 dependents who live separately from you, you must provide their separate addresses to INTERLINK within ten days of their relocation.
Before your passport expires, contact your home country Embassy or Consulate to begin the renewal process.
Or more before your I-20 expires, contact the INTERLINK office to extend your I-20. 
You can allow your visa to expire only if you are planning not to travel outside the United States. If you leave the country with an expired visa, you must go to a United States Embassy to apply for a new visa. 
 You will not be granted re-entry to the United States with an expired visa or expired I-20. 
If you have been studying less than 9 months, but you want to take a break, you can. You would have to leave the U.S. for your break. 
Students are required to carry identification with them. Have copies of your passport, I -94 print-out, and I-20 with you at all times, especially when traveling.
Graduating from INTERLINK
days to tell INTERLINK your plans to transfer or leave the U.S. 
days to transfer to a new school or to leave the U.S.
Withdrawing from INTERLINK
 days to transfer to a new school or leave the U.S. 
Dismissed from INTERLINK 
Immediately transfer to a new school or leave the U.S. 
Taking a Break
Important Documents
If you are not a full-time student, you will be out of status and need to leave the United States immediately. This also applies to students who have been dismissed from a class due to lack of attendance. 
For more information
Visit the Study in the States Website or contact the Director at your INTERLINK center.