Maintaining Your Immigration Status

Maintaining your immigration status can be easy if you know the proper steps to take and keep track of deadlines. Review the information below. If you have any questions, please contact your ISSS advisor.

F-1 students

  1. Report to your school. Your first immigration responsibility is to report to the school that you will attend. At Emory, you'll do this by logging into ISSS Link and completing the orientation checklist.

  2. Attend the school you are authorized to attend. Although you might have been admitted to several schools, you must attend the school that issued the form I-20 you used when you traveled to the US. If you change your mind about which school you want to attend, follow the transfer process after you report to Emory.

  3. Pursue a full course of study. Enrollment requirements >>

  4. Make normal progress toward completing your program of study. If you won't be able to finish your program by the end date on your I-20 for unexpected reasons, request an extension before that date.

  5. Get a new I-20 if you make any change to your academic program, including major, academic program, degree level, or funding. Learn more >>

  6. Maintain a valid passport. Your passport should always be valid 6 months into the future. Request a new passport from your home country about 8 months before your current one expires.

  7. If your address or contact information changes, update it within 10 days. Learn more >>

  8. Get authorization before starting employment. You can work on campus up to 20 hours per week during the academic year, and full time during breaks, but you will need to apply for a social security number first. You can't work off campus unless you get authorization beforehand. Learn more >>
  9. Follow grace period rules. After you finish your program, you have a 60-day grace period to leave the US or to:

    1. Apply for a change of visa status.

    2. Apply for Optional Practical Training.

    3. Start a new program of study, either at Emory or another institution. You'll need a new I-20 showing your new program start date before the end of the 60-day grace period. If you're starting a program at another institution, you might be able to transfer your SEVIS record. Transferring from Emory >>

  10. Leave the US at the right time. Leave the US by the end of the 60-day grace period after your program, unless you already have a new I-20 or have applied to change your status. If your SEVIS record is terminated early, there is no grace period, and you'll have to leave the US immediately.

J-1 students

  1. Report to your school. Your first immigration responsibility is to report to the school that you will attend. At Emory, you'll do this by logging into ISSS Link and completing the orientation checklist.

  2. Attend the school you are authorized to attend. Although you might have been admitted to several schools, you must attend the school that issued the form DS-2019 you used when you traveled to the US. If you change your mind about which school you want to attend, follow the transfer process after you report to Emory.

  3. Enroll in a full course of studyEnrollment requirements >>

  4. Get health insurance for yourself and your family. All Emory students are required to carry health insurance, which exceeds the federal requirements for J-1 students. More about the student health insurance requirement >>
  5. Make normal progress toward completing your exchange program. If you won't be able to finish your program by the end date on your DS-2019 for unexpected reasons, request an extension before that date.

  6. Get a new DS-2019 if you make any change to your academic program, including major, academic program, degree level, or funding. Learn more >>

  7. Maintain a valid passport. Your passport should always be valid 6 months into the future. Request a new passport from your home country about 8 months before your current one expires.

  8. If your address or contact information changes, update it within 10 calendar daysLearn more >>

  9. Get authorization before starting employment. You can work on campus up to 20 hours per week during the academic year, and full time during breaks, but first you will need to apply for a social security number and get written on-campus work authorization from ISSS before your start date. You can't work off campus unless you get authorization beforehand. Learn more >>
  10. Follow grace period rules. After you finish your program, you have a 30-day grace period to leave the US or to:

    1. Apply for a change of visa status.

    2. Apply for Academic Training.

  11. Leave the US at the right time. Leave the US by the end of the 30-day grace period after you finish your program or Academic Training, unless have applied to change your status. If your SEVIS record is terminated early, there is no grace period, and you'll have to leave the US immediately. If you have a J-2 dependent who decides to leave the US early, report their departure using the new Dependent Departure/Removal e-form in ISSS Link within 10 calendar days.
  12. Notify ISSS (isss@emory.edu) within 24 hours of any serious problem or controversy. This includes anything that could be expected to bring the Department of State, yourself, or Emory’s exchange visitor program into notoriety or disrepute, including conviction of a crime, potential litigation related to a Emory’s J-1 program in which you may be a named party, serious accident or injury, or sexual abuse allegations.

State Department contacts >>