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Immigration and Visa Status
Please be aware that immigration is a complex area of US law, and that the information presented here should be used only as a source of general information. For information related to your specific circumstances, please contactISS to arrange a consultation with an international student advisor.
Although you will be focused on accomplishing your educational goals during your time at Wentworth, it is also important that you understand crucial information about your visa status. This section will address how to meet the legal requirements of F-1 student status.
Maintaining Legal Status
In order to maintain your legal F-1 status, you must fulfill the following requirements:
You must be enrolled as a full-time student during any Wentworth semester that your curriculum expects you to be taking classes or engaged in Co-Op. F-1 students must be registered for 12 credits or more in each of these semesters or registered for Co-Op I or Co-Op II. You cannot drop below full time without the prior approval of the International Student Services office. There are very few circumstances in which you are permitted to drop below full time and failing a pre-requisite course is not a valid reason.
Acceptable reasons for a reduced course load include academic difficulty (limited to improper course placement, initial difficulty with English and unfamiliarity with U.S. teaching methods), medical reasons, and completing your final semester. Reasons that are not acceptable include financial difficulties, suspension from your academic program, or working on incomplete grades.
If you anticipate having to register for or experience a reduction in your course load below 12 credits, you must speak with the ISS office before the last day to drop or add courses. You should also consult your Academic Advisor before making decisions about your curriculum strategy.
I-20 Completion Date and Extension of Program
Your I-20 form contains a date of expected completion in the program of study section on page 1. F-1 students unable to complete their degree by this date must apply to ISS for a program extension before the expiration date on their Form I-20.
Please contact ISS at least 2 months before your I-20 will expire if you think you will need an extension. This will allow time to determine if you are eligible for an extension and for you to gather the required supporting documentation.
Change of Address
If you change your address of residence – the location where you actually live – or your address in your home country (permanent address), you are required by the Department of Homeland Security to notify Wentworth within 10 days of the change.
There are 2 ways to report your new address:
1. Update your address in l-connect
2. Obtain and International Student Information Update Form at the SSC, complete it and submit it at the Student Service Center.
F-1 students who decide to withdraw from Wentworth before completing their degree are required by law to notify ISS of their decision prior to withdrawing. Students considering withdrawal should meet with an international student advisor to get the information they need to make an informed decision. Students who follow proper withdrawal procedures are allowed 15 days from the date of withdrawal to depart the U.S.
Transfer In to Wentworth or Transfer Out to a New School
Those students in F-1 immigration status who have been admitted as full-time students to Wentworth and are currently enrolled at another U.S. college or university OR are in a period of optional practical training must complete and submit a Transfer Release Form. The student completes Part I of this form and Part II is completed by the Designated School Official at the current school.
For those intending to transfer out of Wentworth to a new school, your SEVIS record must be electronically transferred to a new school in order for that school to create an I-20 form for a new program of study. To transfer, you must be admitted to the new school and be eligible based upon maintaining your F-1 status at Wentworth. Consult with the ISS office to determine a transfer release date of your SEVIS record.
Off-campus employment without prior work authorization is a violation of F-1 student status. International students must receive off- campus work authorization prior to beginning any off-campus employment. This includes reporting to the employer’s place of business for training purposes. For a description of F-1 employment options, go to the Employment section on this site.