Santa Clara University


Maintaining F-1/J-1 Status

As an F-1/J-1 student, you are admitted to the United States in F-1/J-1 status for a period known as "duration of status" (D/S). It is extremely important for a nonimmigrant to maintain his or her status while in the United States. Failure to maintain the terms and conditions of nonimmigrant status is a ground for deportation under I.N.A.§237(a)(1)(C)(i).


  1. Maintain a valid passport and I-20/DS-2019 document
  2. Enroll at the school you are authorized to attend
  3. Remain in the United States for no longer than 60 days (for F-1 students) and 30 days (for J-1 students) after completing the full course of study, unless prior to that time the student has followed procedures for applying for practical training/academic training, moving educational levels, or school transfer
  4. Report a change of address by updating Ecampus and filling out the change of address form at the ISS Website. Click here to fill the form. 
  5. Report a change in your legal name or dependent's legal name to International Students & Scholars within 10 days of this action occurring
  6. Limit on-campus employment to 20 hours a week while school is in session
  7. Do Not work off-campus without authorization. (Please go to Employment in the U.S. for more information)
  8. Pursue a full course of study and make normal progress towards the completion of the course of study before the expiration of the program completion date on the SCU issued visa document. Full-course of study and full-time study, except during the summer school breaks, are defined by Santa Clara University as follows:
  • Undergraduates               12 units per quarter
  • Certificate in Advanced Accounting Proficiency (CAAP) 12 units per quarter
  • Law                                 8 units per semester
  • L.L.M.                             8 units per semester 
  • CP&E                              8 units per quarter
  • MBA                               8 units per quarter
  • MSIS                               8 units per quarter
  • MS in Finance                 8 units per quarter
  • MS in Entrepreneurship  8 units per quarter
  • Pastoral Ministries          8 units per quarter
  • Graduate Engineering     8 units per quarter

Very Important:  Please note that a student who drops below a full course of study without the prior approval of the Designated School Official (DSO) or (Alternate) Responsible Officer ((A)RO) will be considered out of status.  The importance of notifying the DSO/(A)RO and obtaining permission for withdrawal from classes cannot be overemphasized. All F-1/J-1 students contemplating a reduced course load MUST see an advisor in International Students & Scholars BEFORE doing so. Federal immigration regulations severely limit a student's ability to be less than full time and may only be possible under specific circumstances. If a student has any special circumstances, always seek the advice of one of the International Students & Scholars Counselors on the maintenance of F-1/J-1 status immediately.