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Maintaining Immigration Status

It is very important that F-1 and J-1 students maintain their status with immigration. Failure to follow these instructions can cause a loss of legal status with immigration.

What do I have to do?

It is important for international students to maintain their student status. At International Orientation, you will learn about enrollment requirements, annual vacation, health insurance and employment authorization for F-1 students.

International students have five primary responsibilities in order to maintain legal status. These are:

1. Keep your contact information and address updated. For more information, go to Using the Contact and Privacy Info Wizard.

2. Inform your International Programs Adviser if there is any change in your financial support or period of study.

3. Stay enrolled in full-time classes.

4. Maintain the required insurance coverage. For more information, go to Maintaining Required Insurance in F-1 or J-1 Visa Status.

5. Only work with authorization from International Programs.

Full-Time Enrollment

International students are required by immigration regulations to maintain a full-time course of study. The exception to this rule is the summer semester when students can choose to take a break or fewer credit hours.



Full course of study for students at UWF
Degree LevelSemesterCredit Hours
Undergraduate Fall/Spring 12
Graduate Fall/Spring 6

Undergraduate students must have a minimum of 9 face-to-face credit hours.  Graduate students must have a minimum of 3 face-to-face credit hours.

Reduced Course Load

There are some exceptions to the full-time course load requirement. 

1. In your last semester, you are allowed to only take the classes you need to graduate. 

2. If you have a medical emergency, you can file for a reduced course load. For more information, go to Requesting a Reduced Course Load with Immigration.

I-20 Extensions

If you need more time to complete your program of study, we can extend your Form I-20. It is very important that your I-20 never expires while you are still studying. For more information on extending an I-20, please visit Requesting a Form I-20 Extension.