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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).
  • Follow the official immigration transfer process whenever you change educational institutions. F-1 students must notify the ESL coordinator at Austin Peay State University of his/her intent to transfer. It is the student’s responsibility to complete the process with enough time for the process to be completed before starting at the new institution. 
  • 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.
  • Show progress in classes to maintain student status. Excessive absences, lack of participation and missing assignments may result in termination of the Form I-20. At the ESL Institute at APSU, a student may not miss more than 15% of classes and should have a minimum GPA of 2.00 in order to maintain student status.
  • Request an extension If the student cannot complete the program by the end date. Requests should be submitted to ESL coordinator 30 days before the end date on the Form I-20. 
  • Not 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 USCIS. Violation will cause immediate termination of student status.
  • Report any change of address or residence and/or any change of name directly to the ESL Institute within 10 days of the change. The ESL Institute  will electronically notify ICE of the change, via SEVIS, within 21 days, as required by the regulations.
  • Notify ESL coordinator prior to traveling outside the U.S. so that the Form I- 20 can be signed for travel. 
  • Notify ESL coordinator of any accompanying dependents in F-2 status and provide biographical information. The ESL Institute  is required to report information to ICE, via SEVIS, regarding your dependents.
  • Submit a certificate 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 before starting classes at the ESL Institute. 


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