Understanding F-1 Status

As an F-1 student, you are either "in status" or "out of status". These rules also apply to students on a J-1 issued by a partner sponsor such as IREX or CCID.

"In status" refers to following the rules required by USCIS (a branch of the U.S. government within the Department of Homeland Security). Students are "out of status" when they do not follow the F-1 regulations and are reported on their I-20 in SEVIS as such. If you are reported to SEVIS as "out of status" you will need to leave the United States immediately or file for reinstatement. Students are "in status" when they follow their F-1 student visa regulations.

The following are the 10 most important things to do in order to be "In Status" with immigration and your I-20 requirements:

  1. Attend the school that issued your I-20.
    •  Report to and attend Lane the first term you are in the USA.
    • Make sure to attend all your classes the first week.  Lane has a strict No Show Drop policy for all classes during the first week. Attendance is required or your SEVIS record will be at risk of being terminated for being under-enrolled.
    • ESL students should see ESL Program guidelines for detailed information.
  2. Maintain a full course of study each term.
    • For College Level Students, full-time means:
      • Enroll in at least 12 credits per term
      • Only 1 class of online or distance learning classes may count toward the total number of credits required. 22-23 SEVIS guidance still allows students to take more than 1 online class.
      • Audits grades do not count toward your required 12 credits.
      • Earn at least a 2.0 GPA and maintain 80% attendance in all of your classes.
    • For ESL Students, full-time means:
      • Register in at least 20 class hours per week (online classes are not allowed)
      • Show regular progress to higher levels
      • Maintain 80% attendance in all of your classes and pass all of your classes
  3. Attend school for three terms in a row to be eligible for an authorized vacation term. F‑1 students are eligible for a SEVIS-authorized vacation term once the student has attended full‑time for 3 consecutive terms and maintained their status. You must attend 3 terms in a row before and after your vacation term. If you must leave the U.S. and you are not eligible for a vacation term, a Leave of Absence is an option. Please contact internationaladvisor@lanecc.edu  
  4. Limit authorized on‑campus employment to 20 hours per week while school is in session.
  5. Do NOT participate in any off‑campus employment without proper authorization through USCIS and your DSO. Working off campus without proper authorization is considered a reason for termination.
  6. Apply for an extension of your I-20 before the expiration date on your I‑20. You must do this one term before your I-20 expires. Contact one of our advisors at internationaladvisor@lanecc.edu
  7. Keep your passport valid. You might be able to renew your passport at the Consulate or Embassy of your country while in the U.S. For a current list of consulate and embassy locations in the U.S. go to the USEmbassy web page.
  8. Do not get involved in any criminal activity. A felony conviction may lead to immediate termination or denial of visa renewal.
  9. Maintain authorized health insurance coverage. Failure to do so will result in Lane enrolling you automatically in the policy the college offers.  The health insurance fee will be added to your Lane account.
  10. Keep your address, phone number, and email address current in ExpressLane.

Above all,  ask your SEVIS advisor questions! If there is something you don't understand about F-1 visa status or immigration regulations, our International Programs staff is here to help you. Contact: internationaladvisor@lanecc.edu

If you receive mail from USCIS or any other immigration agency we encourage you to see us as soon as possible so that we may help you with any items requested by USCIS.

Contact information for USCIS:

Most documents and application forms you might need are available from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization services by calling them at (800) 870-3676 or online at www.uscis.gov.

The closest immigration office to Eugene is:

Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
511 NW Broadway in Portland
Call (800) 375-5283 for 24 hour automated system or visit their website at www.uscis.gov

Note: Most F-1 student processes are not handled in the Portland office and therefore we recommend that you see your International Advisor/DSO prior to going to the Portland office.