Maintaining F-1 status

U.S. Immigration and Customs enforcement requirements

Although you are not likely to have much direct contact with the various immigration services, you should be fully aware of the primary conditions imposed by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement for you to retain your F-1 status.

Violation of any of these conditions could lead to serious trouble in the form of investigations, hearings, or even deportation:

  1. You are not permitted to accept employment off campus without prior authorization. Please review our Employment page or speak with a DSO in the International Student Office. 

  2. You must be a full-time student. USCIS regulations require you to pursue a "full course of study" at Diablo Valley College. A full course of study is defined as at least 12 academic units per term and of those 12, a minimum of 9-units must be in-person/partially online. You are required to see a DSO at the ISO office before dropping below 12 units regardless of your reasons. You must check with a DSO to see if you have a valid reason and qualify for a reduced course load. If you do not see a DSO before dropping below 12 units you will be considered immediately out of status. 

  3. If you are transferring from another school or changing level, you must complete the transfer-in or change of level procedures. 

  4. You must maintain an updated address with the college at all times. A post office box is unacceptable. You must update your address within 10-days of moving. 

    Please complete the following steps: 
    1. Update your address in InSite. You can find this function by clicking the "Settings" tile.
    2. Submit ISO's Change of Address form so we may update your address in SEVIS. 

  5. You must inform the DSO at DVC when you are leaving DVC permanently.  If you are leaving to transfer to another school please see steps below.  If you are leaving the U.S. and do not plan on returning to DVC you must also let us know.  

    Transfer Out Procedures 
    The International Student Office is happy to assist you with your transfer. The process will vary based on your individual situation. You can request your SEVIS I20 transfer through this form . Please also attach a copy of your acceptance notice from the university/school in PDF format (no .jpegs or other file types please). Please note that your new program must start within 5 months of your last attendance at DVC or from your OPT end date.

    F-1 Students who are staying in the US at the end of term
    We will transfer/release your SEVIS I-20 record on the last day of the term. Your new school will be in contact with you regarding your new I-20. After we receive your email request to transfer, we will reply to you with confirmation that the process is complete.

    Note: If you are planning to leave the U.S. before starting a new session or program at the transfer school you must use the new school's I-20 to re-enter the U.S.

    F-1 Students Departing the US at the end of term
    We will transfer/release your SEVIS I-20 record on the last day of the term.

    Your new school will be in contact with you regarding sending you either a copy or original new I-20.

    When you return to the US, you will need the following documents:

    -I-20 from the new school (copy or original)
    -Admission notice from your new school
    -Valid passport
    -Valid visa (it is acceptable if it says DVC or another school but it must not be expired)

    After we receive your request to transfer, we will email you confirmation that the process is complete.

  6. Your passport must be valid at all times during your stay in the U.S. For passport renewal, contact your consulate. Do not wait until your passport expires! 

  7. Travel outside the U.S.
    You do not need any documents other than your passport to exit the U.S., but you do need the following documents with you when entering the U.S.:

    -Valid passport and valid F-1 visa
    -Active I-20 with travel authorization signature (Dated within the last year)
    -Proof of enrollment (class schedule or transcript)

     Please submit a request for a travel signature using this form. Once your request is received, we will review your records and send you a digitally endorsed copy of your I-20, which is officially permitted by U.S. Immigration at this time. Please allow 3-5 business days for processing. 

    Thank you for your patience and we wish you safe travels!