International Students Services

Immigration and Visa Status

Although your priority is accomplishing your educational goals, it is also important that you understand crucial information about your visa and immigration status. This section will address how to meet these legal requirements.

Maintaining Legal Status

In order to maintain your legal F-1 status, you must fulfill the following requirements:

Full-Time Enrollment

You must be enrolled as a full-time student during any Wentworth semester that your curriculum expects you to be taking classes or engaged in Co-Op. F-1 students must be registered for 12 credits or more in each of these semesters or registered for Co-Op I or Co-Op II. You cannot drop below full time without the prior approval of the International Student Services office. There are very few circumstances in which you are permitted to drop below full time and failing a pre-requisite course is not a valid reason.

Acceptable reasons for a reduced course load include academic difficulty (limited to improper course placement, initial difficulty with English and unfamiliarity with U.S. teaching methods), medical reasons, and completing your final semester. Reasons that are not acceptable include financial difficulties, suspension from your academic program, or working on incomplete grades.

If you anticipate having to register for or experience a reduction in your course load below 12 credits, you must speak with the ISS office before the last day to drop or add courses. You should also consult your Academic Advisor before making decisions about your curriculum strategy.

I-20 Completion Date and Extension of Program

Your I-20 form contains a date of expected completion in item 5. F-1 students unable to complete their studies by this date must apply for a program extension. To successfully extend your completion date, submit the Academic Advisor's Recommendation Form to the SSC.

Change of Address

f you change your address of residence – the location where you actually live – you are required by the Department of Homeland Security to notify Wentworth within 10 days of the change. To submit your new address, complete the International Change of Address Form and submit this to the Student Service Center staff. Once your form is received, the ISS will automatically notify your SEVIS record. Other changes of address, including permanent address and billing address, can also be changed on this form.

Program Withdrawal

If you elect to withdraw from your program of study during the semester, you should consult with the ISS advisor before canceling classes. Regulations require that F-1 students obtain approval from the ISS before withdrawing. This also allows the ISS to terminate your SEVIS record for the appropriate reason and insures your legal presence in the U.S. for 15 days after the withdrawal.

Transfer In to Wentworth or Transfer Out to a New School

Those students in F-1 immigration status who have been admitted as full-time students to Wentworth and are currently enrolled at another U.S. college or university OR are in a period of optional practical training must complete and submit a Transfer Release Form. The student completes Part I of this form and Part II is completed by the Designated School Official for SEVIS.

For those intending to transfer out of Wentworth to a new school, your SEVIS record must be electronically transferred to a new school before they can create an I-20 form for a new program of study. To transfer, you must be admitted to the new school and be eligible based upon maintaining your F-1 status at Wentworth. Consult with the ISS office to determine a transfer release date of your SEVIS record.

Legal Employment

You must receive prior authorization from ISS or - in most cases – from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, before you can begin employment. For a complete summary of F-1 employment options, go to the Employment section on this site.

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