F-1 Student Visa Responsibilities
- Passport: The expiration date should always be valid at least 6 months into the future (for example, if your passport expires in July, it should be extended in January). To extend your passport, please contact your country’s consulate/embassy in the U.S. or come visit the International Student Office for the latest contact information.
- Visa: Must be valid at the time of entry in to U.S.A.
- I-94: Form I-94 is the DHS Arrival/Departure Record issued to aliens who are admitted to the U.S., who are adjusting status while in the U.S. or extending their stay among other things. You can now print I-94 at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/
- I-20: To get an F visa, you will need a Form I-20 issued in your name by the school or schools to which you have applied and been accepted. These schools must be SEVP-certified schools.
The schools(s) to which you have applied and been accepted should send you a Form I-20 with the original signature of your school’s DSO. The Form I-20, along with your visa (if you must have one), are necessary for CBP to consider you for admission to the United States. You must have them with you when you arrive in the United States.
SEVIS stores Form I-20 information electronically. F students receive a printed version from the DSO and should keep it in a safe place and be able to access it when needed. The form contains your SEVIS ID number, the beginning and the end dates of your program of study and current term, requests for benefits and corrections, employment information, current status, and more.
F-1 visa students are required by U.S. immigration regulations to maintain full-time status while studying in the United States. At Ventura College, full-time attendance means the student must ENROLL AND COMPLETE a minimum of 12 UNITS of coursework each Fall and Spring semester. You are not required to take any classes during summer vacation or winter and spring breaks. If, for any reason, you are forced to withdraw from classes (either by the instructor or yourself) or if you take less than 12 units, you must FIRST speak to a counselor and get the final approval from the international student specialist at ISO prior to drop and/or withdraw from classes.
ONLINE / DISTANCE LEARNING COURSE - YOU ARE LIMITED TO THREE CREDITS PER SESSION TOWARDS A FULL COURSE OF STUDY IN EACH ACADEMIC TERM . YOU NEED TO TAKE AT LEAST 9 UNITS OF TRADITIONAL COURSES EACH TERM TO MAINTAIN YOUR STATUS.
You can find out more about how to maintain your status via https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/
Exceptions to the Full-Time Enrollment Requirement
Taking less than 12 units each quarter is only permissible for the following reasons upon approval by the International Student Office:
- English language difficulties.
- Unfamiliarity with American teaching methods for reading requirements.
- Improper course level placement.
- Valid health/medical reason.
- Last semester of study at Ventura College and you need less than 12 units to complete your degree.
You are expected to remain a student in good academic standing (2.0 G.P.A. or higher) while you attend Ventura College. If you are placed on academic probation or disqualified for inadequate academic performance, please contact ISP immediately for a counseling appointment.
Extension of Program of Study
F-1 visa students are admitted to the U.S. for Duration of Status (D/S), which is defined as:
- The time during which are pursuing a full-course of study and making normal progress toward completing your requirements; plus
- The time you may be working in authorized practical training after you complete your studies (if you qualify and are so authorized); plus
- 60 days to depart the U.S. after you complete your program.
The “completion of studies date” in Item #5 on the I-20 Form issued to you by Ventura College ISO is the date by which the ICE expects you to complete all requirements for your current program. If you are unable to complete your program of study by that date, you will need to consult with the International Student Specialist at ISO at least 45 days before reaching the I-20 completion date. If you are eligible for an extension of your time limit, the specialist will assist you with the extension application process.
Travel Abroad and Re-Entry
Whenever you plan to leave the U.S. temporarily and return to continue your studies at Ventura College, you must check with the ISO regarding documents needed to re-enter the U.S. If you plan to travel outside the U.S., you must obtain the following document:
A valid passport with more than six months left before expiration;
- A valid F-1 visa in order to re-enter the U.S.;
- A travel I-20 Form endorsed (signed) by the DSO;
- A tourist visa for the county that you are planning to visit (if required) other than your home country;
If you need to renew your expired F-1 visa when overseas, you will then need additional documents:
- Financial verification/documentation;
- Ventura College transcript.
***Please come to the International Student Office 4 WEEKS BEFORE your intended departure date to request an I-20 endorsement for travel.***