Below is a summary of the immigration regulations that apply to F-1 visa students.  Should you have any further questions about these requirements, please contact an immigration advisor in the International Student Program Office: or


All F-1 visa students must fully comply with the following regulations in order to maintain legal nonimmigrant status. Details can be found in section 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations 214.2(f) and in the December 11, 2002 Federal Register pp. 76256-76280. While we have attempted to provide you with accurate and timely information on the immigration regulations, these may change at any time. It is the student’s responsibility to remain in contact with the International Student Office to keep abreast of current regulations.

  1. PASSPORT – You must maintain a valid passport at all times. Your passport must be valid at least 6 MONTHS into the future. To extend or replace a lost passport, immediately contact your home country’s embassy or the nearest consulate.

  2. I-20 VALIDITY – You must attend the college/university that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has authorized you to attend. Your I-20 must be valid at all times while you study at Glendale Community College. If you cannot complete your studies by the end date on item #5 of your I-20, you must apply for an extension of stay PRIOR to its expiration. Meet with an academic counselor for the I-20 extension approval and submit the request to an immigration advisor in the International Student Office for processing at least 45 days prior to the I-20 expiration date. Failure to apply for an extension before the I-20 expiration date will cause you to fall “out of status.”

  3. FULL COURSE OF STUDY – You must REGISTER IN and COMPLETE a minimum of 12 UNITS of classes each Fall and Spring semester, and make normal progress toward completing the course of study by maintaining a G.P.A. (grade point average) of 2.0. A “W” (Withdrawal) notation on your transcripts does not count toward the units required to maintain full-time status. Registration in the Winter or Summer session is required if you have been initially admitted and issued an I-20 for these sessions. In such case, you must REGISTER IN and COMPLETE at least one course of 4 UNITS during the Winter or Summer session to maintain status. New students for Winter must complete the Spring semester; and new students for Summer must complete the Fall semester to satisfy the requirement of completing a full term.

  4. ONLINE/DISTANCE EDUCATION COURSES – Only one on-line or distance education course (or 3 units) per semester may count toward the units required to maintain full-time status.

  5. VARIABLE-UNIT OR SELF-PACED COURSES – F-1 visa students should not enroll in variable-unit or self-paced courses (such as PE 101, Math 219, or Math 220) without first consulting with an academic counselor. The grading policy of these courses can cause a student to fall below full-time status. For example, a student who enrolls in 2 units of PE 101, but only completes enough hours to earn 1 unit will only end up with 1 unit of credit on his/her transcripts.

  6. REDUCED COURSE LOAD – You must obtain written approval from an academic counselor IN ADVANCE if you plan to register on a part-time basis OR drop below a full course of study (less than 12 units). A student who drops below 12 units without prior authorization will be considered “out of status.” A student may qualify for a reduced course load only for limited reasons. An approved reduced course load based on “academic difficulty” must consist of at least 6 UNITS each semester, except for medical reasons and final semester.

  7. HEALTH INSURANCE – Glendale Community College requires that F-1 students have health insurance coverage for the duration of their enrollment and while on Optional Practical Training. Upon registration, you will be automatically charged for the health insurance. This charge is NONREFUNDABLE if you do not request a waiver from the International Student Office EACH SEMESTER by the SEMESTER START DATE. To qualify for a waiver, you must submit written proof that your plan is effective for the duration of the semester and that it covers at least $100,000 USD per injury, $100,000 USD per illness, and hospitalization.

  8. ADDRESS CHANGES – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires that you notify the International Student Office of a change of address within 10 days of the change. Please come to the International Student Office to complete a Change of Address Form. You must provide a current address where you physically reside, not a P.O. Box.

  9. OTHER PERSONAL DATA CHANGES – Changes in the following must also be reported to the International Student Office: name, major/field of study, dependent information, financial support, home country address, program completion date, and/or immigration status.

  10. TRAVELLING – You must get your I-20 signed by an immigration advisor in the International Student Office in order to reenter the U.S. after traveling overseas. The travel signature should be requested at least 5 BUSINESS DAYS before travel. Make sure you secure all other documents required for reentry, including but not limited to a: 1) valid passport and 2) valid F-1 visa stamp. If your F-1 visa will expire on the day of your return to the U.S., you need to renew it at a U.S. Consulate overseas.

  11. EMPLOYMENT – All employment must be pre-authorized. Unauthorized employment is a violation of your F-1 student visa status. Hours of employment, whether on or off-campus, cannot exceed a total of 20 HOURS PER WEEK while school is in session (Spring and Fall semester). Full-time employment is only allowed during official summer and winter break. For more information on different employment categories, see an immigration advisor in the International Student Office.

  12. OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING (OPT) – OPT is authorization to work in your field of study for 12 months after the completion of an Associate degree or Certificate at Glendale Community College. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security must receive your OPT application WITHIN 60 DAYS of your last semester or the application will be denied. You should apply as early as 90 DAYS prior to the end date of your final semester to ensure timely processing by Immigration. See an immigration advisor in the International Student Office for application instructions.

  13. COMPLETION OF PROGRAM – After graduating from Glendale Community College or at the conclusion of your OPT period, you are allowed a grace period of 60 DAYS to prepare for departure from the U.S., transfer to another school, or file for a change in your immigration status. An F-1 student authorized for an early withdrawal by the International Student Office may remain in the U.S. for up to 15 DAYS following the withdrawal. However, if you discontinue your studies without prior approval from the International Student Office or otherwise fail to maintain status, you are not eligible for any grace period 0 DAYS and would be considered “out of status.”

  14. TRANSFERRING – You must inform the International Student Office WITHIN 60 DAYS of the end date of your last semester at Glendale Community College if you plan to transfer to another school. The request to transfer your SEVIS record/I-20 should be made 10 BUSINESS DAYS prior to this deadline. Prior to transferring out, you must pay all monies owed to Glendale Community College. Failure to request a timely transfer will cause you to fall “out of status.”

  15. GLENDALE COMMUNITY COLLEGE EMAILStudents are responsible for activating and regularly checking the email account issued by Glendale Community College as all correspondence from the International Student Office will be sent to this account.

  16. LOSS OF STUDENT VISA STATUS – If you fail to comply with the immigration regulations, you lose your student status and are thus not eligible for benefits normally granted to F-1 visa students. Additionally, failure to maintain the terms and conditions of nonimmigrant status is a ground for removal from the U.S. (deportation) under Immigration and Nationality Act § 237(a)(1)(C)(i).



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Last updated: 6/14/2011 1:58:13 PM