So you can remain in the USA, complete your degree and receive immigration benefits.

You are responsible for maintaining your immigration status. 

The following list is a review of the basic requirements:

  • You must be a full-time student, that is be enrolled in 3.25 units per semester or obtain permission to take less than a full- time academic load before moving below full-time status.
  • You must have a valid, current passport that does not expire less than six months in the future.
  • You must report a change of address within 10 days of moving—even if you are just changing rooms on the same floor of a residence hall.
  • You must report a change or addition of an academic major or minor and any other change in your academic program within 10 days.
  • You must report your departure. If you intend to leave the University (by withdrawal or transfer or dis-enrollment), you must report this fact to IOCP well in advance of the effective date.
  • You must abide by all employment regulations. Do not work unless you have permission to do so.(Most on-campus employment is OK, but students must not work more than a total of 20 hours per week during the academic year for all positions held. Full-time on-campus employment is permitted during breaks. Students must be in-status to be engaged in any employment.) Do not accept any kind of employment without permission. CPT and OPT work must not begin until permission is received. You must complete one academic year before you are eligible for CPT or OPT.
  • You must get your I-20 form endorsed for travel by the IOCP, if you intend to leave and re-enter the USA.
  • You must be making progress toward your degree. You cannot take more than four years to complete your BA, BM, BFA. You must take summer classes, if you need to get caught-up.
  • You must apply for an extension of program before the program completion date on your I-20, if you will not complete your program on time. You must have a legitimate academic reason for doing so, such as the addition of an academic major.
  • You must apply for a transfer of record, if you wish to transfer to another school, well in advance of the intended date of transfer. You must be enrolled at the transfer institution for the next subsequent academic term which must start no more than 5 months in the future.
  • You must pay taxes and submit required tax forms.
  • You must obey all laws. The IOCP Office is obligated in certain circumstances to report to the Department of Homeland Security students who are convicted of crimes. Conviction of crimes, even certain misdemeanors, may result in your removal from or inability to return to the USA.
  • If you are outside of the USA for more than 5 months after you have begun your degree program, then you must apply for a new visa and re-enter the USA with the new visa and an initial attendance I-20 no more than 30 days before the commencement of the next semester of enrollment. Eligibility for certain immigration benefits, including CPT, will be lost until one full academic year has been completed. This rule does not apply to those in approved off-campus programs outside of the USA.Those enrolled full-time in study abroad programs are treated as if they are enrolled on-campus.
  • After completion of your program of studies, or the end of your post-completion OPT, you must depart from the USA within 60 days or transfer to another approved academic institution within the USA.

Please contact IOCP if you have questions. The above information is not exhaustive and is subject tochange without notice.

For more information please see