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F-1 Student Visa Responsibilities

SEVIS Fee Requirement

arrow    Study in the States: Resources from the Department of Homeland Security

  Immigration Documents

  • Passport: The expiration date should always be valid at least 6 months into the future (for example, if your passport expires in July, it should be extended in January). To extend your passport, please contact your country's consulate/embassy in the U.S. or come visit the ISP office for the latest contact information.

  • Visa: The visa is either a stamp or sticker put in your passport by the U.S. Consulate in your home country. A visa is necessary only to ENTER the U.S. The date on the visa shows the latest date you can enter the U.S., NOT how long you can stay here. If it is expired or if you change your visa status while in the U.S., you must re-apply for a new visa in order to return to the U.S. It is not necessary to extend your visa if you are not planning a trip outside the U.S. Renewal of visa can only be done at a U.S. Consulate/Embassy in your home country or country of primary residence.

  • I-94: As known as the Arrival/Departure Record, is the small white paper stapled to the page next to your visa stamp in your passport. The date written on the lower right hand corner is the date you must leave the United States. D/S (Duration of Status) is the notation on F-1 visa holder's I-94 Card. The D/S notation is written on the I-94 card as well as in the upper right corner of the I-20 Form.

  • I-20: The Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status, often referred to as the I-20 Form, is an non-immigration document authorized by the ICE to be issued to you by International Student Programs when you were first admitted to De Anza College, three pages total. The I-20 should be kept with you at all times and NOT given up when you leave the U.S. as it will be needed to re-enter the U.S. after a trip or temporary absence. All records of school transfers, work permission, etc. will be recorded on the I-20.

Full-Time Attendance

F-1 visa students are required by U.S. immigration regulations to maintain full-time status while studying in the United States. At De Anza, full-time attendance means the student must ENROLL AND COMPLETE a minimum of 12 units of coursework each Fall, Winter and Spring Quarter. You are not required to take any classes during summer vacation or winter and spring breaks. If, for any reason, you are forced to withdraw from classes (either by the instructor or by yourself) or if you take less than 12 units, you must FIRST speak to a counselor and get the final approval from the international student advisor at ISP prior to drop and/or withdraw from classes.

  • Distance Learning (on-line) Courses

As part of an international student's full course of study requirement (minimum 12 units per quarter), a student can include distance learning or online courses as part of full course load. Note:A maximum of 3 units will be counted towards the full course load. For example, if you register for a 5-unit online course, only 3 of the 5 units will be counted towards the required 12-unit load. If you register for a minimum of 12 regular course load, then you can add as many online units as you want above the 12 units. This is a U.S. government immigration rule for F-1 students.

  • Exceptions to the Full-Time Enrollment Requirement

Taking less than 12 units each quarter is only permissible for the following reasons upon approval by the International Student Programs:

  • English language difficulties.
  • Unfamiliarity with American teaching methods or reading requirements.
  • Improper course level placement.
  • Valid health/medical reasons.

Academic Performance
You are expected to remain a student in good academic standing (2.0 G.P.A. or higher) while you attend De Anza College. If you are placed on academic probation or disqualified for inadequate academic performance, please contact ISP immediately for a counseling appointment.

Extension of Program of Study F-1 visa students are admitted to the U.S. for Duration of Status (D/S), which is defined as:

  • the time during which are pursuing a full-course of study and making normal progress toward completing your requirements; plus
  • the time you may be working in authorized practical training after you complete your studies (if you qualify and are so authorized); plus
  • 60 days to depart the U.S. after you complete your program.

The "completion of studies date" in Item #5 on the I-20 Form issued to you by De Anza's ISP is the date by which the ICE expects you to complete all requirements for your current program. If you are unable to complete your program of study by that date, you will need to consult with the International Student Advisor at ISP at least 45 days before reaching the I-20 completion date. If you are eligible for an extension of your time limit, the advisor will assist you with the extension application process.

Reporting Address Changes and Contact Information One of SEVIS' primary purposes is to maintain current and accurate information of all F-1 students. Many students move, change phone numbers, or change email address. You are required by SEVIS to update these information with the U.S. government within 10 days. In order for ISP to update your data with SEVIS in a timely manner, all students must fill out a SEVIS Address Change Form at ISP even if you change your address online through "MyPortal". Travel Abroad and Re-Entry

Whenever you plan to leave the U.S. temporarily and return to continue your studies at De Anza, you must check with the ISP regarding documents needed to re-enter the U.S. If you plan to travel outside the U.S., you must obtain the following document:

  • a valid passport with more than six month left before expiration;
  • a valid F-1 visa in order to re-enter the U.S.;
  • a travel I-20 Form endorsed (signed) by the International Student Programs;
  • a tourist visa for the country that you plan to visit (if required) other than your home country;

If you need to renew your expired F-1 visa when overseas, you will then need additional documents:

  • financial verification/documentation;
  • De Anza transcript;
  • enrollment verification letter from International Student Programs.
Please come to the International Student Programs office 2 TO 3 WEEKS BEFORE your intended departure date to request an I-20 endorsement for travel.


International Student ProgramsDe Anza College
21250 Stevens Creek BLVD
Cupertino, CA 95014
Tel. (408) 864-8826
Fax. (408) 864-5638
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Last Updated: 7/8/13