Maintain Your Visa

While studying in the United States, it is very important to maintain your F-1 visa status. Your status pertains to the fact that you have chosen to study in the United States on a non-immigrant visa.

Department of Homeland Security


As an international student, you are required by law to adhere to the following criteria:

  • You must have a valid (unexpired) passport. 
  • You may only attend the school that you are authorized to attend, which is listed on your I-20.
  • Maintain a full semester load with a minimum of 12 semester credit hours in the fall and spring semesters.
  • Dropping, withdrawing, or auditing a class is not permitted if it puts you below 12 credit hours.
  • You can only enroll in one online course each semester.
  • Be aware of your program completion date on your I-20. An extension to your I-20 will be permitted once, only if you are progressing satisfactorily towards your degree.
  • Students are limited to 20 hours per week of on-campus employment when school is in session. 
  • AVOID UNAUTHORIZED EMPLOYMENT. The Department of Homeland Security restricts international students from working off-campus.
  • Notify the IS office if you intend to transfer to another school.
  • If you change your address, name, or phone number, you must notify the IS office and update TCC Passport within 10 days of the change
  • Within 60 days of completing the course of study, you must transfer to another school or leave the United States.
  • You must not leave the United States, even for a short time, without making sure that all travel documents are valid, in your possession, and that the International Student Advisor signs their I-20. 
  • Please be advised that failure to comply with USCIS regulations will result in loss of F-1 status and will require reinstatement by USCIS.