Regulations Overview

To maintain lawful F status, F-1 students are required to:
  • Be enrolled full-time (12+hrs) each semester unless a vacation semester has been earned or been approved for an authorized reduced course load by the ISSS. In order to maintain status, the student must be granted the authorized reduced course load prior to dropping below full-time. For more information on reduced course loads click here.

  • ​Keep a valid, unexpired I-20 and passport (passport must be valid at least 6 months into the future).

  • Be enrolled in a degree-seeking course of study and make normal progress towards that degree.

  • Notify ISSS of any change of major or degree level within 10 days of the change. I-20 updates are requested in iStart.

  • Notify ISSS of any change in US residential address or personal contact information within 10 days of the change, including during periods of Post-Completion OPT and STEM OPT Extension. Updates are reported via iStart.

  • Submit an I-20 extension request in iStart before the I-20 expires.

  • Work no more than 20 hours/week (on and/or off campus) while enrolled full- time.

  • Work off-campus only with OIE or USCIS authorization. Off-campus work without authorization is a serious violation of status.

  • Have a valid travel signature on your I-20 before leaving and re-entering the U.S.

  • Complete an Income Tax Return as per IRS regulation by April 15th of every year. Visit OIE's tax website for more information.

  • Notify ISSS of any change to or addition of F2 dependents.

  • Within 60 days of completing the degree program, do one of the following:
          1. Apply for post-completion OPT
          2. Be admitted to another GA Tech degree program and request a change of level in iStart
          3. Be admitted to a degree program at another U.S institution and request a Transfer in iStart
          4. Apply for a change of status by submitting a I-539 application to USCIS
          5. Depart the U.S.

  • During Post-Completion OPT and STEM OPT Extension, report changes to employment (including starting a new job or stopping a job) within 10 days of the change. Updates are reported via iStart.

  • Accrue no more than 90 days of unemployment during Post-Completion OPT.

  • Accrue no more than 150 days of unemployment  combined during Post-Completion OPT and STEM OPT extension.

  • Comply with STEM OPT extension employment reporting requirements as detailed here