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ADMISSIONS International Student Office

 

Current Students

Now that you enrolled and attending classes at the University of North America, there are still many issues related to your status or your special circumstances for which you can turn to the International Student Affairs Office. You may have questions about vacations, traveling home, when can you work and many more.

Maintaining F-1 Status

 

Every F-1 student must comply with the following guidelines in order to maintain his/her legal status. Failure to maintain status can result in severe consequences. Please note: "STATUS" is a function of physically being in the US. When leaving the US for breaks, vacation, study abroad, etc. the student has no "status," but will be granted F-1 status upon reentering the US with an F-1 visa. (See exception to F-1 visa requirements below in section on traveling outside the US.)

 

1.   Enroll in Authorized School - This means that in order to attend the University of North America full-time as an F-1 student, you must have a valid I-20 issued by the University of North America.

 

2.   Maintain full-time enrollment - This means you must register for, attend and complete the minimum 6 credit hours per term academic term.

 

a.      Vacation policies: An F-1 student is permitted an annual vacation (usually a period of 3 months) once each academic year. An annual vacation is permitted (but not required) after the student has been full-time enrolled for 3 academic terms. The student must also have a 3.0 GPA or higher to be eligible for a vacation.

 

b.      Enrollment during one's final term: During the last term of your academic program, less than full-time enrollment is permitted.

 

3.   Comply with employment and practical training regulations - This means do not exceed 20 hours per week of work when employed on campus during your academic term. Do not work off campus without getting proper work authorization through the International Student Affairs Office.

 

4.   Get your I-20 signed on the last page before departing the US for a temporary absence - In order to reenter the US after a temporary trip abroad, you must have a current signature on the last page of your I-20. Get this signature in the International Student Office. Your passport must be valid to enter the US - see next item. Generally speaking, to reenter the US after a temporary trip abroad, your F-1 visa must also still be valid. See page on Automatic Revalidation for exceptions to this rule.

 

5.   Keep your passport valid - Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months into the future at all times. If your passport is about to expire, contact your embassy in Washington for instructions to extend the validity or to get a new passport. Click to find the website of your embassy.

 

6.   Report address changes within 10 days of moving - To have your address updated in SEVIS, you must complete the Change of Address form and send it via email to the International Student Affairs Office, seheno.reilly@uona.us.

 

7.   Apply for extensions of your I-20 before it expires - If your program of study is going to take longer than the time provided on your I-20, make an appointment in the International Student Affairs Office to get it extended.

 

8.   Comply with departure grace periods - Students who have completed their programs have 60 days to depart the country after the program end date or after the end of their Optional Practical Training. Students who drop out of their programs of study in the middle of an academic term for whatever reason with the approval of the International Student Affairs Office have 15 days to depart the country before their SEVIS records are terminated for Authorized Early Withdrawal. Students who drop out without giving prior notification to the International Student Affairs Office AND the university are expected to leave the US immediately and their SEVIS records will be terminated for Unauthorized Withdrawal.

Annual Vacations

At University of North America there is no one season that is identified as the vacation term as classes are held year round. There are four academic terms per year, a winter term, a fall term, a spring term and a summer term.

F-1 students are eligible for one Annual Vacation per calendar year when they have completed an "academic year," that is, three consecutive terms of full-time enrollment or 18 credit hours.  Additionally, a student must have a 3.0 GPA or higher to be eligible to take a vacation.  That means that depending upon when a student begins their program, their "Vacation" could be winter, fall, spring or summer.

Note: Students are not required to take an Annual Vacation. They can choose to continue full-time enrollment. Then the opportunity for an Annual Vacation can roll forward.

SEVIS considerations:

The International office is required to report to SEVIS when students are full-time enrolled and when they are on their Annual Vacation. To provide that information, students are required to complete an Vacation Request Form when choosing to take their Annual Vacation. A deadline to submit Vacation Request forms is given each term.  Failure to submit a Vacation Request form will result in an automatic denial, no exceptions. Click here for the Vacation Request Form.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I want to go back home but my trip will extend beyond just one term. Is that my Annual Vacation?

A. No. That is a leave of absence, approval for which must be submitted to the Registrarís office.  Click her for the Leave of Absence Form.  Please note that your SEVIS record will be terminated for Authorized Early Withdraw during your leave of absence from the university.

Q. When I come back to school from my vacation, I have only 3 credits remaining in my program. Can I be enrolled less than full time during term following my vacation?

A. You can be enrolled less than full time (even following your Annual Vacation) when it is your final term and you have fewer than 6 credits remaining in your program. You need to fill out the Reduced Course Load Form and get an approval.

Q. If I am eligible for an Annual Vacation, can I still take it even if when I return I have only my Capstone class remaining to complete my degree?

A. Yes. Eligibility for your Annual Vacation is based only on your having been enrolled full-time the three terms preceding the Vacation term and you have a 3.0 GPA or higher. Having fewer than 6 credtis remaining in your program upon your return has no bearing on Vacation eligibility.

Q. I transferred to the University of North America in January after having been full-time enrolled during the fall at my previous school. Do I still need to be enrolled full-time for two terms before being eligible for my Annual Vacation?

A. Yes. Your full-time enrollment at your previous school does not count towards your eligibility for an Annual Vacation during the summer term.

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