Maintaining Your Status

F/J Visa Information

Students must be aware of and comply fully with the following:

  1. Obey all U.S. laws.
  2. Check your UMass email daily. You can forward your UMass emails to another email address.
  3. Maintain a valid passport at all times, unless exempt from passport requirements.
  4. Maintain a valid I-20 or DS-2019 at all times. This includes correct level and major, current funding and correct personal data. Use this E-Form to request an updated I-20.
  5. Check that you are in possession of a valid visa, passport, and I-20/DS-2019 form with up-to-date travel signature IPO if you plan to travel outside the U.S. In the case of sponsored students, obtain your travel signature from your sponsor (IIE, LASPAU, Fulbright, etc.).
  6. Update your U.S. mailing address in SPIRE when you move. Your address must be a street or residence hall address, and cannot be a Post Office Box. Any updates to your U.S. mailing address will be sent to SEVIS.
  7. Report changes to your home country address to IPO.
  8. Report changes of visa status and/or personal information with appropriate documentation to IPO.
  9. Complete the Dependent Request process if you wish to add dependents to your I-20/DS-2019.
  10. Request a change to your graduation date prior to your current end date on your I-20/DS-2019. Use this E-Form to request an updated I-20.
  11. On campus employment.
    • F-1 students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week when school is in session and more than 20 hours per week during breaks. Employment at any of the Five Colleges is considered "On-Campus Employment" by regulation and does not require authorization.
    • J-1 students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week when school is in session and more than 20 hours per week during breaks with authorization from their J-1 visa sponsor. 
  12. Obtain appropriate work authorization prior to working off-campus.
  13. The grace period to remain in the U.S. following degree/program completion is 60 days for F-1 students and 30 days for J-1 students.
  14. Complete the Transfer Out process if you plan to enroll at another U.S. educational institution.
  15. Enroll and attend classes during your course of study.
  16. Enroll and maintain a full course of study during academic terms (fall & spring) per immigration regulations as a full time student by the end of Add/Drop period of each academic term. Please see Maintaining Your Status and Exceptions for more information. 
  17. Consult IPO first if you are planning to withdraw or change to audit credits as this may put you below full time.  Repeat course credits do not count towards your full time status.
  18. ONLY one (1) online course per term is allowed toward your full time student status.
  19. Report to IPO if your student status has been discontinued for any reason.