F-1 Immigration Regulations

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires international students of F-1 visas to abide by specific rules and regulations during their period of study in the United States. The following is a summary of the rules which you need to be familiar with.
  • Keep your passport valid at all times. Passports can be renewed at your country's consulate or embassy in the USA.
  • Inform the Intercultural Office within 10 days of any change in your name, address, major, or major financial changes.
  • Maintain full-time enrollment (a minimum of 12 credit hours) during the academic semester with academic progress towards graduation.
  • Do no accept off-campus employment without official permission from the USCIS. (See Employment).
  • Do not travel outside the United States without proper documents. Your I-20 needs to be endorsed by the Director of the Intercultural Office within 12 months of returning to the USA. This includes travel to Canada and Mexico.
  • File any necessary applications for extension of stay before your current I-20 expires. The date of anticipated graduation on your I-20 determines this date. If you cannot complete graduation requirements (for valid reasons) by the date noted on your I-20, you may apply for extension of stay.
  • The maximum period of stay in the United States for a student is the completion of one or more educational programs, plus one year post-completion practical training (also known as Optional Practical Training- OPT).
  • Obey the laws of the United States of America. This includes filing Federal Income Taxes (SeeForms) each year.
  • Inform the Intercultural Office of intention to transfer or withdraw.

The USCIS website can be found at this link: http://www.uscis.gov/


Green Card Lottery

Diversity Visa Program (Green Card Lottery)  


Each year, the U.S. State Department conducts a Diveristy Visa Lottery to distribute applications for 50,000 immigrant visas. Winners of the lottery have a chance to apply for an immigrant visa which can be used to enter the United States. Winners are selected randomly and there is NO fee to enter the lottery. If the winner files a successful application, he or she can enter the U.S. and exchange the immigrant visa for a green card, issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). If the winner is in the U.S. already, he or she can get a green card from USCIS without leaving the country.


Applications must be sumbitted within specific dates to be considered. Please refer to the online details for these dates as they may change from year to year.


This is an online application process. You will need a digital photograph. Refer to the online directions for details. If you need assistance getting a digital photo of yourself, you may contact our Creative Media Center at 5246, located in the basement of Zimmerman. There will be a small fee.

KNOW THE FACTS          
  • Entering the green card lottery is straightforward and costs nothing. You can enter on your own by following the instructions available from the State Department or your local consumer affairs office. You can visit the Diversity Visa Lotterywebsite for detailed information on how to apply. There is no entry form or fee.
  •   Do not submit more than one entry. If you do, you will be disqualified automatically.
  •   No special techniques or loopholes are available to increase your chances of winning the green card lottery. Selection of entries in the lottery is random.
Some websites use misrepresentations and unfair practices to trick people into thinking that they can push your application through the process faster and guarantee that you will win the green card lottery. These scam artists are very clever in disguising themselves. They will say they are affiliated with the U.S. Government.They will tell you that it takes a special expertise or a special application form to apply for the lottery. They may say that their company has never had a lottery entry rejected. These fraudulent companies can actually jeopardize your chances to participate in the lottery by filing multiple entries.