Skip Navigation


It is the responsibility of each student to be familiar with the immigration requirements related to their status. Following the guidelines below will help you to maintain your lawful F-1 Status while in the U.S.  Valid status is the foundation upon which all eligibility of benefits rests.  Below is a summary of basic guidelines, for more detailed information or for specific questions related to your status please contact an OIS advisor.

Basic Guidelines for Maintaining F-1 Status

Keep your passport valid 

Contact your country's embassy in the U.S. for information about renewing or extending your passport while in the U.S.

Keep your local address updated

Within 10 days of any move you must update your address with the OIS.

Maintain full-time enrollment

You must be a full-time registered student each term you are at Johns Hopkins.

Keep your I-20 valid at all times

You must maintain valid I-20 as it, along with your I-94 card, serves as evidence of your continued legal status. Your I-20 should accurately reflect your program of study, program start and end dates, and the source of your financial support at all times. Any changes to personal, academic, or funding information should be updated.

Submit an application for an extension if the completion date on your I-20 will expire within the next 30 days and you need more time to complete your program of study. The program end date can be found on page 1 of the I-20 form. You must also request a new I-20 if you change your major or your degree level, e.g. Ph.D. to Master's.

Attend the school noted on your I-20

You must have a current, valid I-20 from the school you are attending. If you transfer from another school to Johns Hopkins, the transfer process must be completed before your academic program begins.

Verify information on your I-94

Make sure your I-94 always says "F-1 D/S". If your I-94 has any other information than this, please see your OIS advisor during walk-in advising hours. You can retrieve your electronic I-94 here

Get OIS approval before you withdraw from Johns Hopkins

If for some reason you must withdraw from your program or you are unable to enroll full-time, you are required to have approval from the OIS before doing so.

Get a travel endorsement

Before your departure from the U.S., request a signature for re-entry (commonly referred to as a "travel signature") from an OIS Advisor. The Advisor will sign page 2 of the I-20 for this purpose. If you are a current student, the signature is valid for one year. If you are on OPT, the signature is valid for six months.

Get proper employment permission