International Center

Enrollment Requirements

Maintaining your status as either an F-1 or J-1 student is your responsibility. It is important for you to understand the immigration regulations. The United States Department of Homeland Security (F-1) and the U.S. Department of State (J-1) do not consider ignorance of the law a legitimate reason for failing to obey it. This information is designed to assist you with your awareness of and compliance with the rules that regulate those in F-1/J-1 and F-2/J-2 (dependents) status. The International Center (IC) is here to assist you in maintaining status. Please see the About Us page for details on how to meet with an adviser and for center office hours, locations, and contact information.

  1. Keep your passport valid at all times, in most cases for at least six months into the future.
  2. Ensure that your I-94 and entry stamp is always marked as F-1/J-1, D/S when you re-enter the U.S.
  3. Complete your course registration by the published registration deadline as published on the Academic calendar.
  4. Update your local address (where you live in the U.S.) and permanent address (outside the U.S.) through MyIIT portal within 10 days of the change. This address cannot be a P.O. Box or a departmental address.
  5. Pursue a full-course of study each fall and spring semester.
    • 12 credits/semester = undergraduate students/Chicago-Kent College of Law students
    • 9 credits/semester = graduate students
    • 6 credits/semester = graduate students with teaching assistantship or an research assistantship
    • 1 credit/semester, minimum = graduate students enrolled in research (course number 591/691).
    **Only one online course counts toward full-time enrollment
  6. The Department of Homeland Security has temporarily lifted restrictions for current F-1 students for the fall 2020 semester, allowing all students present in the U.S. to be registered for more than one online course, as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  7. You MUST obtain permission from an IC adviser and your academic department if you need to have a Reduced Course Load.
  8. You MUST obtain permission from an IC adviser before taking a leave of absence or withdrawing from all of your courses, using the Withdrawal Form.
  9. Make normal progress toward completing a course of study, which includes graduating when you are eligible to graduate and not delaying graduation for non-academic reasons.
  10. Do not let your I-20/DS-2019 expire. You must remember the expiration date on your I-20/DS-2019 and process your program extension prior to the expiration date listed on your current I-20/DS-2019 if you are not able to complete your studies by that time.
  11. Restrict your on-campus work to a weekly total of 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters. You may work full-time during your winter and summer vacations.
  12. Refrain from beginning off-campus work until you have obtained the necessary authorization in advance from either the IC or the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  13. If you are traveling outside the U.S., ensure that you have a valid visa (except citizens of Canada and Bermuda) and a recent travel signature on your I-20.
  14. Do not work after completing your program of study unless you have been authorized for Optional Practical Training.