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Immigration Rules and Regulations Affecting International Students. International Student Office Minnesota State University Mankato. Important Concepts to Understand:. Passport Visa I-20(or IAP 66) I-94 Card. IS YOUR I-94 Marked F-1(J-1) and D/S IF not see the ISO . Passport.

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Immigration Rules and Regulations Affecting International Students

International Student Office

Minnesota State University


Important Concepts to Understand:



I-20(or IAP 66)

I-94 Card

  • IS YOUR I-94 Marked F-1(J-1) and D/S

  • IF not see the ISO


You can renew it if you go to your home country to visit or within the U.S by contacting your country’s embassy.

The ISO can provide you with contact information for your country’s embassy in the U.S.


Your Visa can expire while you are here and remain in legal status.

A visa cannot be renewed within the U.S.

The safest, most guaranteed way to renew your visa is in your home country.


So, if your visa is expired and you wish to leave the country, you must get it renewed before you will be allowed to re-enter the U.S.


It is very difficult to renew it by going to a third country where you are not a citizen (Ex. Canada.or Mexico)


Undergraduates are given 5 years to complete their degree

Graduate students are given 3 years


If your I-20 expires before your expected graduation date you will need to request an extension. You must be in status and making satisfactory progress to get an extension.

See an advisor in the ISO at least 30 days before it expires


Remember: you cannot take credits beyond the number required for your degree program.

I-20 – You need a New one When…

  • You lose your I-20

  • You change majors

  • You change from Bachelor’s to Master

  • It is expiring

OTHER Important names

  • INS = No longer exists

  • New Agency Department of Homeland Security.

  • INS divided into 3 departments

  • 1) CBP = Custom and Border Protection (the people at the airport)

  • 2) CIS = Citizenship and Immigration Service (They process benefits like OPT/green cards etc.

  • 3 ICE = Imm. and Customs Enforcement (Investigative and arresting agents)


  • You must give the ISO a final transcript from your previous school so we know you maintained status at your previous school. (We don’t have to print a new I-20)

  • You have 21 days to do this or you will be out of status.

Once you graduate, you have 60 days to do one of the following:

Receive admission and a new I-20 to pursue another degree

Leave the U.S. or Change status

Begin OPT that was applied for before graduating

How to Maintain your status on an F-1 Visa:

Do Not allow your passport to expire

Do Not allow your I-20 to expire

Maintaining Status

Make sure you are a student in good standing.

-Undergraduates must complete at least 12 credits and earn a minimum 2.0 GPA each semester

Maintaining Status

Graduate students must complete at least 6 credits and earn a minimum 3.0 GPA each semester.

You are not required to take summer classes to maintain your F-1 status.

Maintaining status

Never work off-campus for pay without first obtaining permission (written on your I-20) from the ISO and Immigration

Maintaining Status

Do not apply for or accept any kind of public assistance such as food stamps or subsidized housing

Maintaining Status

Do not transfer schools or change your degree level (such as from Bachelor’s to Master’s) without consulting with an ISO advisor and following the proper procedure

Work-On Campus

  • Work permission is granted based on your maintaining status as a student in good standing

  • Not granted during first semester except to Graduate students with assistantships and U.S. transfer students above 2.75 GPA

  • F.T. Summer, 20 hrs or fewer in semester

  • If you do not have a SSN you will need to show the ISO a Job offer note.


Must have page 3 of I-20 Signed in the last 12 months. To be safe if its more than 7 months get new signature.

Without the signature you will not be allowed to re-enter


Also, you will not be able to re-enter with an expired Visa

If your Visa is expired you will need to renew it when you go home.

Travel to Canada and Mexico: You need to find out if you require an entry visa. Check Canadian/Mexican immigration web sites

Overseas Travel

It would also be a good idea to carry a transcript with you and proof of your ability to pay for your expenses upon returning to the U.S.

Common Questions


Can I let my Passport Expire?


Take note of the expiration date on your passport and begin the process of renewing it 6 months before it expires

Can I let my I-20 Expire?


Take note of the expiration date on your I-20

Can I let my Visa expire?


As long as you stay in the U.S.

Can I work (for Pay)?On-Campus


<<An on-campus work permit must be obtained from the ISO and we need 4/5 days to process requests.

Can I work (for Pay) ?Off Campus


and only under special circumstances

Work-Off Campus

  • <<Only with written authorization on your I-20 and in most cases, application to the CIS.

  • Optional Practical training – Must apply before graduation (12 months total approved by CIS and currently takes 3 months & $180 fee

  • Curricular Practical training(must have required internship in major) Approved by academic dept and ISO, no cost

  • Economic hardship CIS approved (also costs $180)

  • Must have been an F-1 student for 9 months before applying for any of these.

What if I graduate before my I-20 expires?Can I stay in the U.S. until the I-20 expires?

  • NO

What procedures should I follow if I want to travel to my home country or another country outside the U.S.?

You will need to get the back of your I-20 signed by an ISO advisor before leaving. Don’t do it at the last moment !!g


Student and Exchange Visitor

Information System


What is SEVIS?

A internet-based system through which schools will report information to the U.S. Government on:

  • F-1 academic students

  • M-1 technical/vocational students

  • J-1 exchange visitor students & scholars

  • Dependents of these individuals

Categories of Data to Be Reported

  • Personal (biographical)

  • Financial

  • Academic

  • Visa and Immigration

  • Employment

  • Dependent

Data to Be Reported (continued)

  • Student Events (19)

    • Academic admission

    • Deferral of Admission

    • Personal Information

    • Financial Information

    • Academic Program Information update

    • Registration Each term

    • Disciplinary Action

    • Program Extension

    • Drop Below Full Course of Study

    • Resumption of Full Course of Study

    • OPT Employment

    • CPT Employment

    • Off-Campus Employment

    • Premature Termination of Studies

    • Completion of Study Program

    • Bring Dependent(s) to US

    • Update Dependent(s) Information

    • Departure of Dependent(s)

    • Reentry of Dependent(s)

Exception to full-time study

  • 1. Academic Difficulties:

    must have prior approval before dropping. Cannot drop below 6cr for UG,

    3 for Graduate.

    Allowed only once during program:

    a) Initial difficulty with English or reading requirement

    b) Unfamiliar with U.S. teaching

    c) Improper course placement

  • 2. Medical Reasons

    can drop all credits for a maximum of 12 month. Medical documentation req.

    3 Completing studies/graduating this semester Must authorize in advance of last semesters start.

Reduced Course Load

Edit 39 turned on by Registrar- prevents drops below 12 or 6

Immigration accepts F’s(if you attend class) but not “W” (Withdrawl)

Student Leaves School

  • 15 days to depart US if ISO was informed prior to dropping.

  • 60 days to depart after graduating, if no OPT applied for.

  • If you transfer, you must request the ISO to transfer your SEVIS I-20 record to your new school.


  • Don’t let anything expire! Passport, I-20 (Immigration will know immediately via electronic data transmission)

  • take full-time credits

    12 UG or 6 UG


    For drops below full-time

    and practical training permission.

    Keep Mankato Address up to date at (this will be sent to SEVIS) along with your Foreign address. NO P.O BOXES ONLY

What Does This Mean

  • You must pay attention to dates on all forms and not let them expire. Immigration will know and consider you out of status immediately via the electronic data transfer. They may very well come to look for you QUICKLY!

  • Get all permissions: to drop below full-time, work, and do internships prior to beginning.

  • Add classes before dropping, so you don’t drop below 12 or 6 for even a day.


  • Began Sept. 1 2004. $100

  • If you began studying before Sept 1,2004 you do not have to pay.

  • If You lose your F-1 status or return home for 5 months you will need to pay again.

  • Web site:

Special Registration

  • If you were registered at the Airport or have a hand written FIN #_ _ _ _ _ on your I-20

  • Keep sending AR-11 SR

  • You must remember to check out with immigration upon each departure from the U.S. by land or air.


  • Call 389-1281 or stop in CSU 219 to make an appointments (no same day appts)

  • There is an hour or two of walk-ins each day for a quick 5-10 minute question. No Appt needed.

  • Many forms are on-line and others available at the front desk.

  • Allow 3-4 days to process forms. (more at semester’s end and during orientation)


Here to Serve You !!

  • International Student Office (ISO)

  • CSU 219

  • 389-1281



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