Maintaining F-1 Status

Here are the guidelines to maintaining your F-1 visa status.

1. Full-Time Registration Every Semester

International Students are required to maintain full-time registration every fall and spring semester. To meet this requirement, 9 units per semester are necessary for graduate students and 12 units per semester for undergraduate students. Summer session enrollment is not required, though you may opt to take summer courses based on your preference and academic goals.

Online classes are limited to one per semester, (3 units or less) which count toward your full-time enrollment.

You may enroll in some of your required units at SJSU and some at various community colleges around the Bay Area - this is referred to as concurrent enrollment. Please speak to a college advisor to gain approval of those courses for your academic requirements prior to enrollment.

There are very limited reasons an international student could be approved to take less than a full-time course load during their approved time in the United States. Only International Student Advising (ISA) department advisors can give authorization to enroll in less than a full-time course schedule.

Read more on reduced course loads and concurrent enrollment

2. Maintain Valid Status of Immigration Documents

  • Passport: Your passport should remain valid for your entire stay and it should be current for, at least, six months advance of your entry date to the United States.
  • I-94: If you have questions about your I-94, see a typo on it, or cannot locate your I-94 record, contact International Student Advising (ISA).
  • I-20: Your I-20 should be valid for your entire visit to the United States. Contact International Student Advising (ISA) if there are any mistakes or typos on this document.
  • F-1 Visa: The F-1 visa you are issued should be valid for when you plan to travel into the United States, though your visa may expire while you are here.

See more about your immigration documents

3. Current Contact Address

You must always have a local and a foreign address present in your student records and are required to update your address within 10 days when moving to a new residence. Updating your address is required in two places: in your MySJSU account (under “Personal Information” in the Student Center) AND once with the change of address form.

4. Comply with Employment Regulations

Off-campus employment is complex to obtain and not available until after you have completed two full semesters at SJSU. Students are required to attend an F-1 Employment Workshop prior to applying for work authorization. These workshops are hosted weekly on Wednesdays from 3-4pm and Thursdays from 10:30-11:30am in Clark Hall 543.

Working illegally will jeopardize your F-1 status. Full-time students with F-1 status may accept on-campus employment up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session, or full-time (greater than 20 hours per week) during summer and winter break. Once you have an on-campus job offer letter from the potential employer, come to International Student Advising (ISA) for advisement. Please note that you must NOT be on academic or disciplinary probation to be eligible for employment.

For more information see Employment

5. Contact International Student Advising (ISA) with Questions

The International Student Advising (ISA) department is here to help you navigate your F-1 status and other needs that arise for you as an international student at SJSU.

Student Union - CIES
Phone: 408.924.5920 

The new schedule listed below will begin as of September 4th, with the exception of the office hours which are currently in effect. Please check our office calendar to find out what the advising schedule will be for August.

Office Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

  • Answers to general inquiries
  • Submit service requests
  • Document drop-off/pick-up

Advising Hours:         Monday - 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
                                   Tuesday - 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
                                   Wednesday - 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
                                   Thursday - 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. & 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
                                   Friday  - 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

  • One-on-one advising on complex matters
  • No appointment necessary
  • First come, first serve

Weekly Workshops

  • No registration necessary
  • Individual guidance provided as time permits

F-1 Employment:

Every Friday 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Change of Status to F-1:

First and third Friday of the month 9:30 - 10:30 a.m.

Additional Resources

6. Purchase Health Insurance Every Semester

All international students attending San Jose State University on an F1 or J1 visa are required to purchase health insurance through the university’s provider: Wells Fargo. You may purchase the plan online before you arrive in the United States or once you are already on campus. Dependents of F-1 students are also recommended to have health insurance while they are in the United States.

In order to purchase insurance for the Fall 2016 Semester, please follow these steps:

1)       Go to Wells Fargo Insurance Services

2)       Type:  “Search for San Jose State University”

3)       Select 2016-2017 San Jose State Univ - International plan 

4)       Select either fall 2016 or annual plan


7.  Maintain Academic and Disciplinary Standing

All international students attending San Jose State University on an F1 or J1 visa are required to make "normal" progress towards the completion of their degree. Being placed on either academic or disciplinary probation or being disqualified from the university will impact a student's immigration status and may result in the termination his or her SEVIS record. 

Student Code of Conduct
San José State University is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy living and learning environment for students, faculty, and staff. Each member of the campus community is expected to be aware of, and to adhere to, the community standards that contribute towards this end.

Student Conduct and Ethical Development Brochure

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