Maintaining F-1 Student Status

The following guidelines will help you to maintain your F-1 student status while at Wartburg. 

  1. Check your passport expiration date regularly so you can contact your country’s embassy 6 months before it expires.  Check program expiration date (Item 5 on your I-20) to make sure it does not occur prior to when you expect to graduate.  Students must request an I-20 extension months before it expires.
  2. Maintain full-time student status.  During fall and winter terms, this means enrolling in at least 3 course credits, and enrolling in at least 1 course in May term.  Seniors needing less than 3 credits to graduate in their final semester are the only students authorized to drop below a full course load.
  3. Inform the International Student Programs Office, as well as the Registrar, of any changes in your academic major.  Check your I-20 to make sure your major is listed correctly.
  4. You can legally work up to 20 hours per week on campus while classes are in session.  Possibilities for off campus authorization are rare and highly regulated.  Do not seek employment off campus without making sure you have completed all requirements for CPT or OPT.
  5. It is the responsibility of all F1 international students to file a U.S. federal tax return and an Iowa state tax return, even if you do not receive any income.
  6. Keep the International Student Programs Office informed of any international travel plans so that I-20 signatures can be arranged and travel documents can be reviewed.  Requests for I-20 signatures require an appointment at least one week in advance.  Students should not visit the International Student Programs Office right before they leave, expecting a travel signature on a walk-in basis.
  7. Notify the International Student Programs Office immediately if you are unable to maintain a full course load or cannot register full-time for an upcoming semester.
  8. Keep in touch!  Immigration policies frequently change, and this list is not all-encompassing.  Please contact the International Student Programs Office with any questions regarding how to maintain your status.

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