Maintaining Student Status

The following is a list of things you must do to remain in legal student status:

1. Pay the I-901 SEVIS fee. New F-1 students who were issued an I-20 after September 1, 2004 are required to pay a $100 fee to SEVIS prior to the Visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Information on how to pay the fee can be found on the website at You may not have to pay a fee if you are a spouse or a dependent of an F-1 student, an F-1 student who fell out of status but are applying for reinstatement within 5 months of the violation, or were issued an F-1 prior to September 1, 2004. For additional information, contact ACTCM Student Services at 415-282-7600 x16.

2. Maintain full-time student status. Students in F-1 student status must register for and complete a minimum of 12 units each quarter at ACTCM. Your enrollment is automatically monitored on SEVIS so it is very important that you register and stay enrolled full-time throughout the quarter.

3. Do not work without authorization. An F-1 student may accept employment on campus. Employment is limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session. For any other type of employment, you must get special authorization from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Working off-campus without authorization from Immigration is a serious violation of your student Visa status and could put you at risk for deportation.

4. Keep your passport valid. The U.S. government requires that you keep your passport valid at all times. Your passport must be extended or renewed by your home government. If your passport is going to expire in less than 6 months, contact your home country’s local embassy or consulate to find out how to renew. For a list of addresses and phone numbers of foreign consular offices in the United States, go to

5. Keep your I-20 valid at all times. Check the “Completion of Studies Date” on your I-20. If your I-20 expires soon, contact ACTCM’s Student Services Office. If you plan to continue your studies past the expiration date, we may issue another I-20 with a later completion date. Failure to extend your I-20 before it expires will cause you to fall out of status with DHS.

6. Plan ahead for overseas travel. If you plan to travel outside the U.S., we require that you contact ACTCM’s Student Services Office at least 2 weeks prior to your departure date to get your I-20 and other travel documents checked and signed by a designated school official to authorize the travel. You will need a valid passport, a valid I-20 and a valid F-1 Visa in your passport in order to travel.

7. Maintain adequate health care insurance. ACTCM requires that all F-1 students maintain adequate health care insurance. This is to protect you from the unexpected costs of an accident or illness. Insurance information can be found in the ACTCM Student Services Office.

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