Regulations for F-1 International Students
Compliance with the Federal Regulations for international students' SEVIS F-1 Status is critical. Calvin College requires international students with F-1 student status to attend an Immigration Workshop in their first year to learn these regulations. Please read below for a broad overview.
- Change of address for F-1 students
Federal Regulations require that when students change their residence, they must to submit their new address to Calvin College Registrar’s Office within 10 days of moving.
- Undergraduate students are required to carry no fewer than 12 credit hours each semester.
- Graduate students are required to carry no fewer than 9 credit hours each semester.
- Students may be pre-authorized by the International Student Advisor to be less than full-time under certain circumstances.
- Dropping below full-time makes a student out of status.
- Employment for F-1 students
There are employment benefits for F-1 students.
Students may not work more than 20 hours per week. This is self-monitored as it is part of maintaining one's F-1 Student Status. You may not feel any immediate consequences, they may catch up to you when you are applying for a different status like H1B or a green card.
Students must have their F-1 Student Status for 9 months, one complete school year, to be eligible for off-campus employment. All off-campus employment must be in a student's field of study.
- Optons for off-campus employment
CPT - Curricular Practical Training
- MUST ALWAYS be preauthorized–must have an I-20 with authorization on it before one works
- Internship or a work study done during the school or summer
- Authorized by the DSO, the school official
- Short process when paperwork is submitted
- Employer and date specific
- Some paperwork required:
CPT Instructions For Student Packet
Academic Recommendation Form (also available as: .doc | .docx)
CPT Employers Offer Letter Template (also available as: .doc | .docx)
CPT Co-op Form
- Job description:
CPT - Extension (also available as: .doc | .docx)
OPT - Optional Practical Training
- Workshops available each semester
- One year of employment in student's field of study (usually done after graduation)
- Recommended by the DSO, the school official, and application made to the USCIS
- 3 months application time
- Date specific
- Must meet CPT regulations
- Some paperwork required:
OPT Application Procedure
I-765 Application Form
Graduation Verification Form
Unauthorized off-campus employmentNO unauthorized employment. No unauthorized employment means that a student does not work off campus unless they have an I-20 with authorization for off campus employment on page 3. Any employer besides Calvin College qualifies as an off-campus employer. Unauthorized employment subjects one's SEVIS record to termination.
- Extensions of I-20 for F-1 students
Extensions may be granted to students who meet the following criteria:
- Additional time is needed to meet the requirements for graduation
- The extension was requested and approved BEFORE the end date on the student's I-20
- Travel for F-1 Students
Students wishing to leave the country to travel for any reason must:
- Have page 2 of their I-20 endorsed (signed) by the DSO once a year
- Allow at least 2 days for the signature
- Personally assume the responsibility to make sure that the I-20 has a current signature (a current signature is necessary for re-entry into the U.S. but not for leaving it).
- Passport for F-1 Students
- Passports must be kept current.
- An F-1 Visa in a passport does NOT need to be current as long as you do not travel.
- If you leave the United States and your visa has expired, then you will need to renew your visa to re-enter the U.S.
- Having a current visa in your passport is not required to maintain your F-1 student status.