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Basic F-1 student regulations


Quick List of International Student Rules from Your Friendly Director of International Studies

  1. You can only work in your campus job(s) as assigned by career services and only for up to 20 hours per week during the semester and 40 during any vacations, including mid-semester breaks.

  1. You cannot accept cash for any jobs like babysitting or house sitting even if they are “on-campus.”  This would be illegal work and put you immediately out of status.  You also cannot accept a volunteer position or internship, without checking with me first.  Sometimes it is legal and sometimes not.

  1. You must always have an I-20, a valid visa and a passport for travel into the U.S.  Your I-20 must be signed by me within the last 12 months, preferably every 6 months if you travel.

  1. For students who will obtain a Bachelor’s degree at Sweet Briar, there are ways to work off-campus, legally, in your field of study, but this must be after you have completed an academic year of study.  Always come see the Director of International Studies if you are thinking about a job/internship/research position off campus. 

  1. You must always keep the Director of International Studies informed about any change of address even for a dorm room, and even if it is just for a few weeks in the summer.

  1. It is my responsibility to let the Director know if I declare or change my major or minor.

  1. You must always be registered for 12 credits minimum each semester.  Do not drop a course if this will bring your credit load below 12 or you will be out of status.  If you have a medical or personal reason for going below a full course of study (12 credits) you must come to see me to request approval first. 

  1. If someone tells you that an immigration regulation seems ridiculous, they may be right that it seems ridiculous, but that doesn’t mean that it is not the law and that the law has a purpose.  Please check in with me for clarification in these situations.   

  1. If your visa has expired while you are in the U.S. that is not a problem.  But if you leave the country, you must plan for enough time to get a new one, and this needs to be done in your home country.

  1. As soon as you receive your Social Security Number, you should bring it by the Dean’s Office for recording.

10.  The Director of International Studies will help you understand your responsibilities as an F-1 student, but it is YOUR responsibility to be certain that you comply with all immigration regulations that apply to you.