Students in F-1 or J-1 status are responsible for learning, understanding, and complying with U.S. federal laws and regulations governing the F or J visa. Failure to do so will violate your legal status in the United States and will have serious consequences.
Your responsibilities include the following:
You must have a valid passport in your possession. For information on renewing your passport, visit the web site of your country’s embassy or consulate in the United States.
U.S. federal regulations require all F-1 and J-1 students to report a change of address directly to the ISSS within 10 days of the address change. The ISSS is required to provide this and other student data to the federal government electronically. No other university office is authorized by the federal government to process this data. You may update your address in BU Brain or update your address with the ISSS. The ISSS will update your BU student address in the University Record System.
U.S. federal regulations [8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)] require you to pursue a full course of study each Fall and Spring semester until graduation or transfer to a new school.
There are very limited exceptions to the full course of study rule. Those reasons include; academic difficulty, medical condition, or completion of study, and there are strict criteria for each. (See: http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/immigration/lesscourse.html) You must obtain PRIOR authorization from the ISSS. After obtaining this authorization, you may then drop the course(s).
F-1 and J-1 students may work no more than 20 hours per week on campus when classes are in session [8 CFR 214.2(f)(9)]. These 20 hours include the work you do for an assistantship if you have one. You cannot work off-campus (including credit-bearing internships off-campus) without PRIOR authorization from the ISSS and the U.S. federal government. Opportunities for off-campus work are limited. J-1 students must obtain work authorization in writing from their sponsoring agency before beginning any employment, on or off campus.
F-1 and J-1 students must have ISSS-approved health and accident insurance for themselves and any F-2 or J-2 dependents throughout their stay in the United States.
Students must notify the ISSS whenever there is a change in their academic program, program dates or level of study.
Students should bring their I-20 or DS-2019 form to the ISSS prior to traveling outside the United States to see if an updated ISSS signature is required. A new form may need to be issued to you. If you will be traveling AND applying for a new visa, you will also want to request a letter of certification from the ISSS, to verify that you are a full-time student.
The ISSS prepares visa documents for any dependents of F-1 and J-1 students who will enter the United States on F-2 or J-2 visas. The ISSS is required to report biographical data on F-2 and J-2 dependents to the U.S. federal government.
Periodically, students leave the university early or unexpectedly due to a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons include early graduation, leave of absence, withdrawal, or termination. U.S. federal regulations require F-1 and J-1 students to inform the Office of International student and Scholar Services if they plan to leave the university before the expiration date of their I-20 or DS-2019 form as well as the reason for doing so. Complete the ISSS departure form on our website: http://saffairs.binghamton.edu/isss/webforms/DepartureForm/
Students must apply for an extension BEFORE their I-20 or DS-2019 form expires if they intend to stay at Binghamton and cannot complete their program by the form expiration date. Requests for an extension may be submitted at any time up to thirty days prior to the expiration date on the form. You will need to obtain the “Academic Advisor’s Recommendation Form for Extension of Stay” and re-certify your finances.
Students who plan to transfer to another college or university in the United States must inform the ISSS of their final choice by completing a “SEVIS Release Form” so that the ISSS can perform the “transfer out” in SEVIS and designate the school to which you will transfer.
Students in F-1 status must depart the United States within 60 days of the I-20 ending date OR their program end date, whichever is earlier. The exceptions to this rule include those who have applied for optional practical training, are transferring to a new school, or have applied for a change of status with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Students in J-1 status must depart the United States within 30 days of the DS-2019 expiration date or program end date, whichever is earlier, unless they have applied for academic training or are transferring to a new J program.
Read the Weekly Issues of ISSS-BU News and Stay Informed About Changing Immigration Regulations
While it is the responsibility of the ISSS to keep BU international students informed about changing federal immigration regulations, it is the responsibility of BU international students to STAY INFORMED by reading the weekly issues of ISSS-BU News, sent to your binghamton.edu e-mail address each Monday or available on the ISSS web site.
[See: http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/isss-bu-news/index.html ]
This information is subject to change without notice. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your legal status in the United States, it is important for you to come to the ISSS and set up an appointment to meet with an advisor.
Last Updated: 2/12/13