Please see our COVID-19 Updates for International Students.
Normal (non-COVID-19) Enrollment Requirements
To maintain valid Immigration Status in the United States, F-1 students must be registered full-time (12 credits) each regular semester (fall and spring). To discuss deviations from this regulation students must make an appointment with the ISO to understand the implications of such decision before they submit any official request. Deviations may include:
- Dropping below full course of study (12 credits)
- Leave of Absence
- Extension of Program
- Program Withdrawal
- Summer enrollment is optional. Hence, international students may choose how many credits they want to pursue, if any.
- International students can enroll in no more than one class (3.0 credits) of online or distance-learning courses per semester – as long as that is not their last class in the program.
- Your CUNYfirst account will show a positive Service Indicator (in the shape of a star) to identify you as an international student in F-1 status. This does not impact any function within the system. It will also show a negative Service Indicator (in the shape of a stop sign) to notify that you are enrolled full-time (or have special dispensation) for that semester. This will prevent you from dropping below the required number of credits. It is a safety mechanism that will ensure that you remain in status. There is nothing wrong with your account and no action is need of you. If you must drop or swap a class, you will need to speak with a DSO first.
- change of U.S. contact information (i.e. U.S. address, telephone, email).
- change in academic program (i.e. degree, concentration, level).
- change in academic status (i.e. probation, dismissal).
- change of financial support, including its sources.
- change of legal name (as it is in the passport). A copy of the new passport must be sent to the DSO for SEVIS update, and original presented upon retrieval of new I-20.
International Students are also required to inform us immediately of any upcoming changes, such as:
- If they are applying for change of status, including for any dependents.
- If they have received notice of approval for change of status, including for any dependents.
- If they intend to transfer-out to another program or institution.
- Students must submit this information to the ISO through the SEVIS Data Verification Form even if such change was already reported to the school via other channels (CUNYfirst, Blackboard, Registrar, Bursar, HR, etc.). Our internal systems are not connected with SEVIS (the government’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System), and changes must be reported separately to us.
International students may not engage in any work activity or practicum training (paid or unpaid) without proper authorization from our Office and/or the USCIS. Violation of this requirement will incur in termination of students’ SEVIS record and make them out-of-status. As a consequence, students will be prevented from attending classes and will have to leave the United States immediately. Hence, be sure to meet with us before you accept any offer and begin work. Please visit our Employment Page for more information.