Maintaining F-1/J-1 Status

It is very important for international students to stay in lawful immigration status at all times. Falling out of status means that you will no longer be eligible for any F-1 benefits, including OPT and employment authorization. In some cases, being out of status may result in you being put in removal procedures (deportation). Immigration rules change frequently; it is your responsibility as an F-1 and J-1 student to read all emails from the Office of International Programs to stay informed about immigration regulations. 

  1. Maintaining Full-Time Enrollment​
    1. The exception to the full-time enrollment requirement is when you are in your final semester of degree study at LSUA. In such a case you must officially file for graduation prior to enrolling part-time and the student’s graduation date is posted in the LSUA system. ​
    2. F-1 students may not drop below a full course of study without prior advising from an academic advisor and International Student Coordinator.​


  2. Maintaining a Valid I-20 Form​
    1. Your I-20 has an expiration date. If your I-20 is going to expire before you complete your program of studies, you must apply for an extension at least two weeks prior to the expiration date. ​
    2. An F-1 student who is unable to meet the program completion date on the I-20 may be granted an extension only if the student has continually maintained status and the delays were caused by medical reasons or compelling academic, such as changes of major.​
    3. Delays caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable for program extensions. ​
    4. If a student does not apply for an extension of his or her I-20 until after the program end date noted on the I-20, the student is out of status and must apply for reinstatement.