Staying in Status

To Stay In Legal Student Status:

Your immigration form (I-20 or DS-2019) must always be valid. You must always be enrolled full-time (full-time for undergraduates is a minimum of 12 credit hours in the fall and spring semesters; full-time for graduate students at Drury is a minimum of 6 credit hours in the fall and spring semesters). You can only work with proper authorization. Your passport must always be valid. You must report any address change within 10 days.

Why Is It Important To Stay In Status?
It is very important for F-1 and J-1 international students to stay in status at all times. Your ability to receive employment authorization and other immigration benefits depends on your maintaining legal status. If you do not stay in status, you risk possible problems withDepartment of Homeland Security (DHS).

How Do I Stay In Status?

Have a valid I-20 or DS-2019: I-20s have an expiration date found in item 5; the DS-2019 expiration date is found in item 3. If your immigration form is going to expire before you finish your program, consult International Support Services at least a month before the expiration date. To apply for an extension, please complete the program extension form and submit to the ISS office before your I-20 or DS-2019 expires.

Be a full-time student: In order to maintain status, F-1 students must be enrolled full-time during the fall and spring semesters. Enrollment in summer sessions is not required. 

  • J-1 students must be enrolled full-time for the duration of their DS-2019.

  • Undergraduates: Full-time enrollment is at least 12 credit hours per semester.

  • Graduate Students: Full-time enrollment is 6 credit hours per semester.

Enrollment must be in seated classes on campus. Only one distance education class (web/remote? will count towards your minimum full-time enrollment requirement. 

Please note, CIS views dropping a course the same as never having enrolled in the course. Always meet with both your academic adviser and the director of International Support Services before dropping any class.

Work only with authorization: All international students must have permission from either International Support Services or CIS before they begin working. F-2 visa holders may not work. J-2 visa holders may work with USCIS permission.

Have a valid passport: Your passport should always be valid for at least six months into the future.  The ISS can assist you in contacting your Embassy to renew your passport.

Report any address change within 10 days: Report your change of address to Drury by emailing it to Change of address is reported to the CIS on Form AR-11.

Please contact International Support Services if you have any questions or would like more information on maintaining your F-1 or J-1 student status.