F-1 VISA STATUS: STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES
You are responsible for maintaining your F-1 visa status by adhering to these regulations. Failure to abide
by the F-1 visa regulations, you may lose your legal visa status and be required to depart the U.S. Read the
F-1 visa regulations and college requirements below. Contact your SBCC Advisor if you have any questions.
ARRIVAL: When arriving to the United States you must:
• Enter the United States no more than 30 days before your program of study begins.
• Check in at the SBCC International Office by the program start date listed on your I-20.
DOCUMENTS: While studying in the United States you must:
• Maintain a valid passport and I-20 (do not let these expire; request an extension before they expire)
• Present a valid F-1 visa each time you enter the United States to study. It’s okay if it expires while you are in the
U.S.; renew next time you are out of the U.S.
• Complete your I-20 transfer within 15 days of the start of the semester if transferring from another U.S. school.
• Update Pipeline within 10 days of changing your address, phone number, or email address.
EDUCATION: While studying in the United States, you must:
• Attend your classes and maintain a 2.00 GPA. If a class is too difficult, speak with your Advisor immediately.
• Take a full course of study each term (12 units); if you cannot study full-time, contact your Advisor.
o Academic Program: You can take one online class (3 units max) as part of your 12 units. Extra units
above 12 can also be taken online.
o ESL Program: You may not take online classes as part of your 12 units. Units above 12 can be taken online.
• Obtain permission from an Advisor if you want to take a class at another school while attending SBCC.
TALK WITH YOUR ADVISOR FIRST: Your Advisor should be the first person you contact if you have questions about
the legal requirements of your stay in the United States. Contact your Advisor if you are planning to do any of the following:
Change your major, program, or education level
Take a break from school or end your studies at SBCC
Request permission for employment or internship
Request a program extension
Decide to drop a class below 12 units
Take a class at another school
Transfer to a new school. You must attend classes until the
date your I-20 is released to your new school
Travel outside the United States (request a travel
signature from your Advisor)
EMPLOYMENT: You may only work when authorized by an Advisor (including on-campus jobs, off-campus jobs and
internships, even if unpaid). If you choose to work without authorization, you may be in violation of your F-1 visa and may
not be able to re-enter the United States in the future.
PROGRAM COMPLETION: After you complete your studies at SBCC, you have the following options:
• If you complete the ESL Program or the Associate Degree Program listed on your I-20, you have a 60-day grace
period to transfer to another school, change your program and/or program level (e.g. ESL to Academic), or to
leave the U.S. You may not travel out of the U.S. and re-enter with your F-1 visa during this grace period.
• If you do not complete the ESL program or an Associate degree, you have 15 days to leave the U.S. or transfer.
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