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.

  • Enrollment

    • 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.

    On-campus employment

    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.

    Off-campus Employment

    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

    OPT - Optional Practical Training

    Unauthorized off-campus employment
    NO 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

    Paperwork required:

  • 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.
Detailed regulations are available at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website.