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Maintaining Student Status

During the F-1 Check-In Process, all students on initial I-20's learn about their responsibilities as F-1 international students at NSU.  Each student completes an F-1 Student Responsibilities Agreement before their SEVIS record is registered.  Here is the full list of responsibilities that all F-1 students agree to and must remember:


  • I must be enrolled and complete a full course of study every Fall and Winter term.
    • *Undergraduate = 12 credits minimum (9 credits in person mandated and 3 credits or more on-line)
      • Exception: Nursing = 9 credits minimum (6 credits in person and 3 credits on-line)
    • *Graduate/Professional = Per program requirements – I understand it is my responsibility to obtain this information directly from my program.
      • Huizenga College of Business & Entrepreneurship Masters Programs = 9 Credits minimum (6 credits in person and 3 credits on-line)
      • All other Master Programs = 6 Credits (3 credits in person and 3 or more on-line)
      • Doctoral Programs =  Per program mandated 1 minimum course in person
  • I may not include more than one course / three credits of online coursework to count toward meeting full course of study requirements, as described above.
  • I must complete the Student Enrollment Agreement (SEA) before I register for every term. If I do not complete the SEA I may be dropped from all coursework which will result in a status violation and possible termination. 
  • I will not drop below full-time enrollment without first applying for and receiving approval from OIA.
  • I must update NSU within 10 days of changing my name, address, current program (major), level of education (undergraduate, graduate), financial support and/or changes to my F-2 dependents. My I-20 must always be current and reflect these changes.
  • My I-20 must NOT expire while I am in the U.S. I will contact OIA at least 30 days before the expiration of my document.
  • My Passport MUST be valid throughout my stay in the U.S.
  • I may not work on campus more than 20 hours per week while classes are in session during the fall and winter semesters.
  • I will not engage in off campus employment (including internships, externships, practicum, clinical rotations, etc.) without the appropriate employment authorization from USCIS and/or OIA.
  • I will notify OIA prior to traveling outside of the U.S. so that my form I-20 can be endorsed for travel. I understand that re-entry into the U.S. is never guaranteed but that to be eligible for re-entry I must have a valid passport, valid visa, and a valid NSU I-20 with a travel signature less than six months old.
  • Updates to my immigration documents and record, including I-20 reprints, travel signatures, program extensions, employment authorizations, and Reduced Course Loads require advanced application and will not be immediately issued/authorized by OIA. I am expected to follow current processing times, as listed on the OIA website.
  • At the completion of my program, I will have 60 days after my program end date (late date of my last term of study in my program) to use as a grace period.  During this grace period I may travel within the U.S., transfer my record to a new program at NSU or new institution, file for a change of status or apply for OPT.  I may not work or study during the grace period and if I leave the country during my grace period my grace period and current F-1 status ends.  
  • Health insurance is mandatory for ALL STUDENTS. NSU will automatically charge the university insurance to my account.  If I already have insurance and wish to waive NSU’s coverage it is my responsibility to show proof of insurance and file a waiver within the stated deadlines.
  • As an F-1 student I must file a U.S. tax return every year, even if I did not have any income. OIA will provide free software and information sessions February-April each year to help F-1 students and their F-2 dependents file their taxes but are unable to provide any tax assistance or advice. 
  • If I am receiving an NSU scholarship for non-qualified expenses I may be subject to Non-Resident Alien (NRA) withholding tax. All colleges and universities in the U.S. are required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to withhold 14% of all scholarships for non-qualified expenses.  Qualified expenses are tuition, fees, and books.  This withholding may appear as a charge on my student account and this charge is subject to late fees and account holds. Students from countries with an Income Tax Treaty may be eligible to remove this withholding if the appropriate paperwork is filed.
  • I must check my NSU student e-mail account daily to check for important reminders and regulatory changes and updates from OIA and that I am responsible for all information sent to my NSU student e-mail address.

The staff at the Office of International Affairs is here to assist you; however, it is your responsibility to maintain your immigration status. When you sign your I-20 and use this document to enter the United States in F-1 status, you certify that you understand the terms and conditions concerning your admission to stay in the United States.

Violation of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations will result in the loss of your student status and may result in further action by USCIS. 

NOTE:  This information is not exhaustive and is subject to change.  F-1 international students should contact the Office of International Affairs to discuss any questions or concerns related to maintaining legal status within the U.S.

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