Most international students at Concordia have I-20 forms and F-1 student status, and the information here can help you understand and maintain your student status.

F-1 status is granted to students entering the U.S. to attend colleges, universities, and other academic schools. Rather than have a specific end date, it is usually granted for the period D/S (this should be written on your entry stamp in your passport and on your I-94 Arrival/Departure Record). D/S means Duration of Status, which means as long as you follow the student regulations and maintain your student status you may remain in the U.S. If you fail to maintain status, you lose your legal authority to be in the country and are required to leave. Concordia can assist you by providing information and keeping the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a government database of international students, updated with your changes to help you properly maintain your F-1 status.

Here are the most common steps related to the maintenance of F-1 status:

You should be registered for a full load of classes (at least 12 Concordia semester hour credits each semester). In certain circumstances, such as academic difficulty when you first arrive, a medical condition or in your last semester permission can be granted for a student to have a reduced course load (usually at least 6 registered semester hour credits). Before dropping below 12 semester hour credits, you should discuss your situation with Jesse and obtain permission.

Reduced courseload form

You should report your U.S. physical address when you first arrive, and please notify Jesse of any change in address within 10 days. Even if you change rooms within the same residence hall, you should report this change of address. In addition, you must keep us notified of your address in your home country and any changes to it.

Change of address form

If you change your major or minor, or add a major or minor, you should notify Jesse of this change.

You are allowed to work on campus, up to 20 hours per week, while school is in session. There is no DHS limitation on the number of hours per week you can work on campus during breaks, but be mindful that Concordia College allows all students to work a maximum of 998 hours each year (May 1–April 30). 

Please let us know if you wish to transfer to another school.

Transfer form

If it will take you longer than the time indicated on your I-20 to graduate, this change must be noted in SEVIS before the end date listed on your I-20. You are responsible to monitor your program completion date and graduation date.

Extended graduation form

You should keep a valid passport at all times, unless exempt from the passport requirement. If you lose your passport or your passport will expire, please apply to your embassy for a replacement.

Always ensure that you have a current signature on Page 3 of your I-20 before traveling out of the U.S. if you will return to Concordia for your studies. The travel signature is valid for one year. This signature indicates you are maintaining valid F-1 status. If you prefer to update your travel signature every six months, please request it via email or in person at the Global Learning Office.

If you wish to leave and re-enter the United States, you should have these documents at the time you re-enter:

  • Valid passport.
  • Valid F-1 visa. If your current visa is expired you will need to obtain a new visa while outside the U.S. Most visa renewals for students are going quite well these days, but please remember it can be a lengthy and difficult process, and the outcome is never certain. In most cases, you will need to obtain your visa in your home country.
  • Properly endorsed I-20 form with a signature on Page 3 within the past six months.

You should abide by rules prohibiting criminal activities and requiring disclosure of criminal convictions. Please do not engage in any criminal activities, and please contact us if you have been convicted of a crime.