International students are responsible for maintaining their status while pursuing an education at a U.S. institution. Read about what F-1 students need to do in order to maintain their status. Also note that visiting your international student advisor anytime you have questions or a concern is the best way to stay in status. Do not listen to your friends as they are not immigration advisors and don’t know the rules or regulations that pertain to international students.
View the information below to view information related to maintaining status:
Undergraduate students must enroll for 12 credits each fall and spring semester. Graduate students must be enrolled for 9 credits each fall and spring semester. Summer is considered an optional session, and continuing students can be enrolled part-time or not enroll at all during summer. However, students completing graduation requirements in a summer term must maintain fulltime enrollment (and also follow the online course restrictions below) in the summer they graduate, or apply for a reduced course load through ISSS.
Failing to enroll for the required number of credits will result in the loss of your F-1 immigration status, and can result in serious problems with immigration.
Immigration allows a few specific exceptions to the fulltime enrollment rule. If you wish to drop below fulltime, you must submit the Reduced Course Load Form to your international student advisor and receive approval before dropping below fulltime.
Online classes are usually not in-person unless there is a significant in-person component of the course. Some online classes are only considered in-person only if the class requires all students to meet in a classroom or with a professor periodically throughout the semester.
Check with your international student advisor if you have any doubts whether a class will be counted as in-person before you finalize your course schedule.
You should apply for a program extension at least 30 days before the expiration date indicated on your form I-20 by filling out a Program Extension Form. Drop it off to ISSS at least three to four weeks before your current program end date.
Proof of financial support must be submitted with the Program Extension form in order for ISSS to successfully process your request. *It is impossible to extend your program of study after your I-20 expiration date.
In order to transfer out of Northern Kentucky University, please complete the following steps:
A. Apply to the other school and contact them for details on their admissions process.
B. Complete the Transfer Out Form: Once you have been admitted, fill out the Transfer Out Form and drop it off at ISSS. Your SEVIS record will be transferred electronically to the other school and an international student advisor at NKU will use the SEVIS release date you provided on the form to transfer your record. The release date you provide on the form should come after your last semester of attendance at NKU, not before as it may impact some benefits you may receive at NKU, including on campus employment.
To withdraw from NKU, complete the Withdrawal Form. If you have decided to withdraw from your program at Northern Kentucky University, you will have 15 days to leave the United States. No employment is permitted during this 15 day grace period.
If ISSS did not authorize your withdrawal, you have no grace period to leave the United States and you are immediately out of status.
You and your dependents may be surprised to learn that federal law requires that you carry your immigration documents with you at all times. These documents include:
We recommend you carry photocopies of your immigration documents with you when you are in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area and also keep copies of your documents in a safe location in case you lose your originals. This still applies to you even if you hold a driver’s license or state ID.
Be sure your I-20 states your current and accurate information and that page 2 has a valid travel signature. Each travel signature is valid for one year while you are a student at Northern Kentucky University.
If you need a travel signature, bring your I-20 to ISSS at least two weeks before you depart Highland Heights/Cincinnati and your international student advisor will e-mail you when it is ready to pick up. In addition to a valid I-20, you will need a valid visa and passport for reentry to the United States. It is also highly recommended that you bring:
Keep in mind that you may need a visa to enter a country other than your own. Please contact the consulate/embassy of the country you will be visiting for visa requirements.
A federal judge's order will temporarily prevent the Trump administration from enforcing the provisions of the Presidential Proclamation issued on September 24, 2017. As background, below are the specifics of each travel ban / proclamation that has been issued. We will continue to monitor events and keep this page up-to-date as details become available. For now, the provisions of the September 24, 2017 Presidential Proclamation will not be enforced.
On September 24, 2017, a Presidential Proclamation - “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats” - was issued. This new proclamation affects nationals from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Venezuela, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. Sudan was removed and Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela were added. The new Proclamation represents a complete ban for all nationals, immigrant and nonimmigrant, from North Korea and Syria. Nationals from the other six countries will face varying degrees of additional security checks when applying for certain visas.
The government has determined that nationals of these countries will have restrictions and/or heightened security processes to complete before travel is possible. How each country is affected is detailed below:
These restrictions do not apply to anyone inside the U.S. as of the applicable effective date or those with a currently valid green card, visa or travel document. However, unlike the earlier ban, which temporarily limited travel for 90 days, the new restrictions are indefinite and condition-based, not time-based.
In addition, on October 8, 2017, the U.S. Department of State announced that it had suspended non-immigrant visa services at all U.S. diplomatic facilities in Turkey. The suspension only impacts Turkish nationals and applies to all non-immigrant visas, including F-1 student, J-1 exchange visitor, and H-1B specialty worker. Normal travel to the U.S. can continue for Turkish nationals with existing U.S. visas and for other nationalities traveling via Turkey. More details will be provided when known.