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Frequently Asked Questions

2. How do I maintain my visa status?

Maintaining your visa status allows you to be granted immigration benefits like Optional Practical Training (OPT). A visa with a specific expiration date is not an assurance that you will be able to stay in the U.S. Your right to stay in the U.S. may be forfeited at any time if you violate the regulations of your visa status.

In order to maintain your status, you must:

  • Maintain a passport that is valid at least 6 months into the future.
  • Receive written authorization to make changes to your I-20.
  • Complete a full course of study each fall and spring semester.
  • Obtain permission before accepting any employment in the U.S.
  • Complete your course of study on or before the completion date in section 5 of your I-20. In order to request permission to extend this date, you must come to the International Admissions and Immigration Office one month before the completion date.
  • Obtain a new signature on your I-20 before traveling out of the U.S.
  • Update your U.S. local address, phone number, and e-mail address in Web Advisor within ten days of the change. Changes in your foreign address must be reported to the International Admissions and Immigration Office within 10 days as well.
  • Maintain health insurance coverage for yourself and any dependents while in the U.S.
  • Obey all federal and state laws.
  • Leave the U.S. when your I-20 expires, when you graduate, or if you have ended or suspended your DBU program.
  • Meet with a DBU International Advisor for an exit interview one month before your final day of class.
  • If you are subject to Special Registration, you are responsible for maintaining all Special Registration records and reporting.
  • Complete the appropriate tax forms for the IRS every year.

The USCIS website provides more information about maintaining your status.

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