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F-1 Students: Maintaining Good Immigration Status

New F-1 students will be required to sign a document which includes all of the following points at the time of registration with the ESL Institute. Information is provided here for students to review in advance of their arrival at APSU.


Under regulations of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that implements the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), it is very important that international students with an F-1 visa maintain their legal status in the United States. Students must be aware of and comply fully with the following:

  • Maintain a valid passport at all times, unless exempt from passport requirements.
  • Attend the college/university ICE has authorized you to attend (listed on I-20 form).
  • Complete an official immigration transfer whenever you change educational institutions. F-1 students must notify the ESL coordinator at Austin Peay State University of his/her intent to transfer, obtain a Form 1-20 from the new institution, and report to the Designated School Official at the new school within 15 days prior to the program start date listed on the Form I-20. It is the student’s responsibility to have the release form submitted in enough time to be completed by the ESL coordinator at APSU and submitted to the new institution. 
  •  F-1 students must complete a full course of study during normal enrollment periods. If the student will not be enrolled full-time (20 hours/week for ESL students), he/she must receive advance authorization/permission from the ESL coordinator at APSU.
  • F-1 students must show progress in classes to maintain student status. Excessive absences, lack of participation and missing assignments will result in termination of the Form I-20. At the ESL Institute at APSU, the student may not miss more than 15% of classes and should have a minimum GPA of 1.50 in order to maintain student status.
  • If the student cannot complete the program by the end date, he/she must submit a request for an extension 30 to 60 days prior to the end date on the Form I-20. 
  • F-1 students are NOT allowed to work in the United States without authorization. F-1 students are allowed to work on campus up to 20 hours per week when school is in session, but may not work off-campus unless previous permission is obtained from ICE. Violation will cause immediate termination of student status. The ESL Institute at APSU strongly encourages students to concentrate on their studies and not work.
  • Report any change of address or residence and/or any change of name directly to the ESL Institute at APSU within 10 days of the change. The ESL Institute at APSU will electronically notify ICE of the change, via SEVIS, within 21 days, as required by the regulations.
  • Notify APSU’s ESL coordinator prior to traveling outside the U.S. so that the Form I- 20 can be signed for travel. 
  • Notify APSU’s ESL coordinator of any accompanying dependents in F-2 status and provide biographical information (e.g., full name, address, country of birth, etc.) and immigration information (e.g., passport information, visa information, etc.) regarding those dependents. The ESL Institute at APSU is required to report information to ICE regarding your dependents.
  • All international non-immigrant students applying for the ESL Institute at APSU on an F-1 Visa must submit a certificate from a licensed physician or other qualified medical authority verifying freedom from tuberculosis, a proof of two MMR shots, a proof of two varicella shots, and a proof of adequate medical and hospitalization insurance. These documents are due prior to enrolling at APSU’s ESL Institute. Failure to submit these shall result in denial of admission or termination of student status.


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