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The International Students Office (ISO) provides advisement to all currently enrolled international students, regarding immigration regulatory matters and academic support services. Students can contact our office to receive information and assistance in the following areas:

  • Requesting school enrollment verification letters
  • Filing an extension of stay or reinstatement
  • Applying for permission to work
  • Changing immigration status
  • Participating in student events and cultural programs.

For more information or to learn about other services and documents that are available through the ISO, click on any of the links below.

How to Maintain Your Legal Student Status in the U.S.

Currently enrolled F-1 and J-1 students must become familiar with U.S. Immigration regulations on maintaining their legal status in the U.S. If you were admitted to the U.S. as an exchange student, please visit J-1 Information for information about maintenance of status and the immigration benefits that come with this visa category. As a general rule, F-1 and J-1 students must observe the following U.S. Immigration regulations in order to maintain their legal status:

Enroll in a Full Course of Study

F-1 and J-1 undergraduate students must register for a minimum of 12 credits during the fall and spring semesters9 enrollment in the winter and summer sessionsare optional, not required) in order to remain in legal status in the U.S. Graduate students are permitted to enroll for a total 9 credits per semester.

 U.S. Immigration regulations will allow F-1/J-1 students to register for less than a full course load under special circumstances. However, they must request permission through the Hunter College ISO and receive a Full-Time Certification Form signed by the International Student Advisor.

Keep your SEVIS I-20 or DS 2019 (for J-1s) and passport valid

All F-1 and J-1 students must keep their SEVIS I-20 or form DS 2019 current at all times. Look at the program end date of your form to learn when it expires. You must request an extension before the expiration date in order to remain in legal F-1 or J-1 status in the U.S. F-1 and J-1 students must keep their passport expiration date valid at least 6 months into the future. Contact the ISO if you need information about extending your passport.

Request work authorization before accepting employment in the U.S.

F-1 and J-1 students must receive permission from the Hunter College ISO or Immigration Services before they can engage in any type of employment in the U.S. Visit Employment Information to learn more about the working options available to F-1 and J-1 students in the U.S.

Request a signature on SEVIS I-20 or form DS2019 before traveling overseas

Current F-1 and J-1 students who wish to travel while in the U.S. must first request a signature on their SEVIS form I-20 or DS2019 from the International Student Adviser. To request a signature, students must bring their original SEVIS I-20 or DS2019 and complete a Travel Request Form.

Report a change of address

F-1 and J-1 students are required to report any address changes to the ISO and U.S. Immigration Services. Please note that reporting address changes only to the Hunter One Stop Office in room 217 Hunter North, does not satisfy this requirement. To complete a downloadable Change of Address Form and send it to U.S. Immigration Services, click here.





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