Maintaining Your Visa

Students on F-1 visas need to be aware of how to maintain their non-immigrant status.  You are responsible for following the regulations governing your visa.  Please speak with ISS if you ever have a question.  Remember not to make a significant decision around work, travel, or academics before first speaking with us.

Here are the 7 golden rules for student visas:

1. Study full-time – 12+ credits for CELE or undergraduate students.  6-8+ credits for graduate students depending on your program.  If you need to go below this amount, please speak to ISS first!  During a vacation semester, you may be able to study part-time, but please speak with your advisor and ISS first.  If you still need to reduce your course load, please look at the Reduced Course Load page.

2. Go to class and maintain good grades – You need to maintain a passing GPA.  This is usually a 2.0 GPA for CELE/undergraduate students.  For graduate students, it is dependent on your program.  If you go below this, you will be placed on probation by your program.  If you do not improve your grades, you will be removed from NU.  If you do not regularly attend class, you are out of status and can be terminated!

3. Do not work illegally – If you want to work, please speak with ISS.  You can look at the CPT, OPT, and On-Campus Jobs pages to gain more information.

4. Keep your address up to date with ISS – By law, you must notify us within 10 days after your move.

5. You are required to have health insurance – You must use NU international student health insurance unless you or your spouse have employer-sponsored insurance.  Please see the Health Insurance page for more information.

6. Don’t let your I-20 expire – Know your program end date on page 1 of your I-20.  You should complete your program by that date.  If you need more time, please speak with ISS.  Extensions are not usually given though.

7. Check with ISS before leaving the United States – There are a lot of details about traveling while on a student visa.  Please see the traveling page for more information.