F-1 Students

Maintaining Status: An Overview

It is the responsibility of each student to be familiar with the immigration requirements related to your status. Following the guidelines below will help you maintain valid F-1 immigration status. If you have specific questions about your status, you can schedule an appointment to meet with an international student advisor at the International Center.

  • Keep your passport valid for at least 6 months into the future.
    Contact your home country's embassy in the U.S. for information about renewing your passport validity.
  • Keep your local address updated.
    Keep your local residential address current by completing the Address Update Form.
  • Maintain full-time enrollment.
    You must be enrolled in 12 units each quarter. 
  • Get International Center approval before a withdrawal from UCI.
    If for some reason you must withdraw from your program or drop below full-time, you are required to have approval from the International Center.
  • Attend the school noted on your I-20.
    You must have a current, valid I-20 from UCI. If you previously attended another U.S. school before coming to UCI, the SEVIS transfer process must be completed through the International Center's online visa check-in, also known as iNavigate.
  • Keep your I-20 valid at all times.
    Submit the I-20/DS-2019 Request Form if the completion date on your I-20 will expire within the next 60 days and you need more time to complete your program of study. The completion date can be found under the "Program of Study" section on your I-20. You must also request a new I-20 if you change your major, your degree level [i.e. Ph.D. to Master's], or if your financial information changes.
  • Get a travel signature. 
    Before your departure from the U.S., request a signature for re-entry from an advisor at the International Center. The signature is valid for one year.
  • Request Authorization for Employment:
    • On-campus employment -- Limit employment to 20 hours per week during the academic year. Employment on-campus may be full-time (40 hours pers week) during the summer and vacation periods.
    • Off-campus employment -- Do not work off-campus without permission. Work permission for F-1 students must be requested and approved by the International Center and USCIS.


Travel Signature

Request Process


Tuesday, Wednesday,Thursday
9 - 11 a.m.
International Center

Coffee Hour

Every Friday 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Counseling Center, Student Services I


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