Maintaining F-1 Status
Once you have completed your mandatory check-in and visa workshop requirements at TMU, it is your responsibility to review and understand the guidelines for maintaining F-1 status to ensure compliance with U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) F-1 regulations during your academic program.
Failure to comply with F-1 regulations may result in the termination of your F-1 status and loss of future eligibility to enter the U.S.
F-1 students must maintain full-time enrollment and make normal academic progress toward completion of their degree program.
- Full-time Enrollment: minimum of 12 units per academic semester. (students are not required to enroll full-time for Summer classes)
Failure to maintain full-time enrollment during your program will result in severe consequences for your F-1 status.
*F-1 students are not allowed to drop below full-time enrollment without receiving prior authorization for a Reduced Course Load (RCL) from ISO.
F-1 students are required to have a valid local mailing address and permanent foreign address at all times (P.O. box addresses not valid).
Local Address: Must be a valid, residential address in the Los Angeles area where you will be residing during your F-1 program at TMU. This address cannot be an address outside of the U.S., outside of California, or an academic department address (P.O. Box addresses not valid)
Permanent Address: Must be a valid, residential address outside of the United States (P.O. Box addresses not valid).
E-Mail: The masters.edu e-mail address will be the primary method of communication that the ISO will use to contact you.
**Please keep all of your addresses up-to-date. Changes in address (local and permanent) must be updated using the I-20 Request Form within 10 days of the change. Failure to maintain a valid local and permanent address will affect your visa status and eligibility for services at ISO.
All F-1 students must maintain a valid passport at all times. Your passport must always be valid for at least 6 months into the future.
F-1 students are eligible to work part-time (up to 20 hours per week) during the academic year and full-time (more than 21 hours per week) during winter and summer vacation. On-campus employment may include tutoring, lab work, reader appointments, or student positions at the campus library, bookstore, food/dining services, etc. F-1 students can work on-campus without obtaining employment authorization from ISO or the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
For jobs with TMU departments, please contact that specific department for job opportunities.
F-1 students may not engage in off-campus employment (including paid and unpaid internships) before receiving proper employment authorization from DCISS.
Types of Off-Campus Work Authorization:
Curricular Practical Training (CPT): Employment authorization approved by ISO for you to engage in an internship or employment opportunity directly related to your field of study and integral to your academic program.
Optional Practical Training (OPT): Up to 12-months of employment authorization approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for you to gain practical experience in your field of study upon completion of a degree program.
**You must have a Social Security Number (SSN) to receive wages from employment in the U.S.
Upon completion of your degree program, you have 60-days to:
Prepare for departure from the U.S.
Transfer to another school/degree program by requesting a SEVIS Transfer Out
Change your visa status
**Students may not exit and re-enter the U.S. in F-1 status during their 60-day grace period.