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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

​​​Maintaining your F-1 Status

  1. Change of Address - It is your legal responsibility to notify the international student advisor of a change of address as Saint Paul College must update your SEVIS (Student Exchange Visitor Information System) record within 10 days of any change of address. You must log into your eServices, and update your address and telephone number through Account Management. Under Account Management, click on Address Info. Click “Edit” to change your address.
  2. Full Course of Study - as part of your F-1 status, you must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours every fall and spring semester. There is no requirement for enrollment for summer. Of the credits for fall and spring, 9 credits must be either in-person or hybrid credits. International students are expected to complete all of their classes in the semester in which they enroll. Incompletes to not count towards full course of study other than the semester in which you registered for that class. Saint Paul College does allow concurrent enrollment – this is when you take a class at another college or university at the same time you take classes at Saint Paul College and we do count those credits taken at another college or university towards your 12 credit requirement. Speak with the international student advisor about this.
    1. W grade - If you withdraw from a class and are issued a W on your transcript, this does not count towards your required 12 credit hours.
    2. Reduced Course Load - students may request a reduced course load if they meet certain criteria outlined in immigration regulations and if approved by the Designated School Official (DSO).
      1. Academic difficulty due to:
        1. Improper course level placement
        2. Initial difficulty with the English language (only the first semester and only for Associate degree-seeking F-1 students)
        3. Initial difficulty with reading requirements (only the first semester and only for Associate degree-seeking F-1 students)
        4. Unfamiliarity with US teaching methods (only the first semester and only for Associate degree-seeking F-1 students)
        5. Academic difficulty can only be used one time and for one semester for the entire Associate degree program. Students must still maintain at least 6 credit hours of enrollment even if authorized for reduced course load due to academic difficulty. Speak with the international student advisor.

      2. Medical - limited to 12 months for the Associate degree program. This requires supporting medical document from a licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy or licensed clinical psychologist. Speak with the international student advisor and ask for the medical reduced course load form that your doctor can sign.
      3. Final semester - if you need less than 12 credit to graduate, you may apply for a reduced course load your final semester. At least one class must be an in-person or hybrid class in your final semester.
    3. Non-payment of tuition – You must pay your tuition bill in full every semester in order to register for the next semester. Because registration in at least 12 credit hours is a requirement for your F-1 visa status, if you do not pay your tuition bill, and do not register for classes, you would fall out of status and have to depart the US.
  3. Program Extension - if you are unable to graduate with your Associate degree in the time frame listed on your I-20, you may be eligible for a program extension. You must speak with the international student advisor well in advance. Delays caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for a program extension. An example of an acceptable reason for a program extension is a medical reason with documentation and a previously approved reduced course load.
  4. Transferring your SEVIS Record to another institution - if you have applied to another college or university and have been accepted, speak with the international student advisor about transferring your SEVIS record to this college or university. The transfer release date must be on or after the last day of classes in the current semester of enrollment. Your new college or university can only print your new I-20 after the transfer release date. Please also inform the international student advisor of any international travel in the time in between attending Saint Paul College and the new college or university. You want to be sure you are going to attend this new college or university before requesting to transfer your SEVIS record. Once your SEVIS record has been transferred, your new college or university must make any changes at that point and not Saint Paul College.
  5. Grace Period - you have a 60-day grace period after you complete your program of study. This 60-day grace period starts on the day you do complete your program. If you do not complete your program and graduate with your Associate degree, you do not have a 60-day grace period. If you have applied for Optional Practical Training (OPT) and have received OPT maintaining your employment requirements while on OPT, you have a 60-day grace period at the end of your OPT. You must depart the US within this 60 days or apply to another college or university, be accepted and request that your SEVIS record be transferred to another institution.

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