Maintaining F-1 Status

Foothill College is proud of its international student community. We want to do all we can to ensure your success as Foothill students. It is your responsibility to know and follow the legal requirements that keep you "in status."
What is F-1 Status?
Your "status" is the immigration category in which you entered the U.S. This status is noted at the U.S. Port of Entry on the Form I-94. Most international students are in F-1 status. If you fail to stay in status, you could jeopardize your ability to complete your academic goals in the U.S. and risk having to leave the country.
SEVIS Responsibilities to Maintain Valid F-1 Status
SEVIS, the "Student and Exchange Visitor Information System," imposes a number of regulations for international students in F-1 status. SEVIS requires students to report to the International Student Office any changes and updates in personal and academic events. In addition, you must also ask permission BEFORE taking action on certain events.
All international students in F-1 status must . . . (CLICK HERE)
You must report the following changes to ISO within 10 days: (CLICK HERE)
You must see an advisor for any of the following actions: (CLICK HERE)
Duration of Status (Length of Stay)
How long may you stay in the U.S.? You may legally remain in the U.S. as long as you maintain your F-1 status and are engaged in a full course of academic study (plus any authorized periods of practical training).
When you have completed your studies, you must take one of the following actions within 60 days after completing your program requirements:
  • Apply for post completion optional practical training — OPT (note that you must file your OPT application with the USCIS before the official completion date of your program)
  • Change to another immigration status
  • Enroll in another program of study
  • Transfer to another university
  • Return to your home country
Overstay: Please note that your lawful F-1 status expires 60 days after you complete your program requirements. If you remain in the United States beyond your authorized stay and fail to take any actions described above, it may be considered a serious violation.
Violation of Status
If you do not follow the rules described above, you will "fall out" of valid F-1 status. If you fall out of status for some reason (for example, taking fewer than 12 units in one quarter), please meet with your international student advisor immediately. Simply registering full-time in the next quarter or stopping your unauthorized work does not put you back in status. There are steps you can take to recover your status, but the sooner you begin, the better your chances for approval. Recovering your status after having fallen out of status is not guaranteed.
Falling out of status has very serious consequences. You could be prevented from re-entering the U.S. depending on your status violation.
Statement about 120-day suspension of refugee programs and a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. (PDF)
140 FHDA international students accepted to UCLA, 94 to UC Berkeley, 344 to UC San Diego, 385 to UC Davis for Fall 2015; 72 to USC for Fall 2014! Our students were also accepted to MIT, Stanford, Columbia, Yale, Purdue, NYU, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and more!

International student featured in International Educator magazine article on 2+2 transfer success

Received Export Achievement Award from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce in 2012

Find out more about our Transfer Agreements(pdf).

Foothill is now an
iTEP Test Center.
Instead of TOEFL/IELTS,
Take iTEP for admission.