F-1 Frequent Asked Questions

How many credit hours must I complete to maintain my full-time status?

Undergraduate

  • 12 credits (Fall/Spring)
  • If Summer is your first semester at the University of Florida you must maintain a minimum of 12 credit hours.

Graduate

  • 9 credits (Fall/Spring) (Department may require up to 12 credit hours)
  • If Summer is your first semester at the University of Florida you must maintain a minimum of 6 credit hours.

What must I do if I am unable to maintain full-time status?

If there is a legitimate reason (i.e. academic or medical problem), you should contact a Student Advisor at the International center for advisement.

How do I transfer to another school as an F-1?

  • Be admitted to the school where you want to transfer.
  • Contact your international student adviser and ask them what you need in order to transfer your SEVIS record to the new school. Please check the Transfer Out form.
  • Once we have transferred your record out, go to the immigration specialist at the new school to finalize the transfer.

 Can an F-1 student apply for work permission?

As an F-1 student, you are eligible to work on campus up to 20 hours per week without approval from UFIC. An F-1 student may not work off campus. Permission to work off campus may be granted by the Citizen & Immigration Services (USCIS) when there is economic necessity due to unforeseen changes in financial circumstances. One cannot submit a request to USCIS for work off campus until they have completed 9 months of study.

Can the spouse or child on an F-2 visa work?

An F-2 cannot work on or off campus under any condition.

What is the expiration date of my I-94?

Almost every I-94 has an expiration date of D/S. This stands for Duration of Status - period during which the student is pursuing a full-time course of study in any education program. If there is a specific date indicated you must come to 170 Hub before that date.

I did not turn in my I-94 when I left the U.S., what should I do?

Please click I forgot to turn in my I-94 when I left the U.S., what should I do? for more information.

When may I take a vacation or holiday from my academic study?

Breaks between terms and Spring break are good times to travel for short periods of time.
If you maintain full-time status for Spring term and will have full-time status in the Fall term, then you can take the entire Summer off.

How do I visit Canada or Mexico?

You should first determine if a visa is required for citizens of your country to enter Canada or Mexico. If you need a visa, contact the nearest Canada/Mexico consulate office well in advance of your planned trip. In some cases, one month is needed to process a visa application.

For a trip less than 30 days in duration you will need to take these documents:

  • Valid I-94
  • Passport (valid for at least 6 months)
  • Endorsed signature page or a new I-20 or a DS-2019 form with endorsement on front.
  • A U.S. visa stamp (does not need to be valid unless it is marked with 212 (d)(3)(28) and is exempt from automatic re-validation).

How can I have my family join me in America if I have an F-1 visa?

Your spouse and/or children may be permitted to enter the U.S. on an F-2 visa, which may be obtained with a new I-20. Proof of sufficient financial support for your dependent is required before the request can be approved. Please see I-20 Request.