Thiel College

F-1 Immigration Status


All international students attending Thiel College are in the U.S. on F-1 immigration status.

An F-1 status holder is a non-immigrant allowed to remain in the U.S. for as long as he or she is:

  • A full-time student (enrolled in at least 12 credits per semester) and is making satisfactory progress toward a degree at the school he or she is approved to attend.
  • An F-1 student in a period of post-graduation practical training that is directly related to his or her field of study and has been authorized by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The primary responsibility for maintaining current F-1 status is that of each F-1 student, but the Thiel College International Student Affairs Office is here to assist with any immigration concerns or to help you answer any questions you may have.

What is SEVIS?

F-1 status is monitored by the U.S. federal government through SEVIS, Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. Since F-1 students are monitored, both the students and the College have reporting obligations to the government as dictated by federal law.

SEVIS is a web-based information system that allows schools certified by the Department of Homeland Security to issue F-1 forms to foreign students applying for or currently in F-1 status (i.e. I-20 issuance, work authorizations, student violations, etc.).

F-1 Student Important Documents
  • Passport: A document issued by an authority of a particular country proving citizenship status.
  • F-1 visa: A travel stamp issued by the U.S. Department of State. This does not grant permission to enter or remain in the U.S. It allows the holder of the visa to apply at a port of entry for admission to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
  • I-94: A F-1 student’s arrival/departure record. This is a student’s most important document – it grants permission to enter and remain in the United States. It should be stamped and marked "F-1" "D/S" (Duration of Status).
  • I-20 Form: Three-page document issued by Thiel College. It is the certificate of eligibility for an F-1 student visa of F-1 immigration status.
  • Financial Support Documents
Rules to Remember

You, the student, are responsible for notifying the ISA office of any changes in your program or status, and for understanding the rules and responsibilities associated with your non-immigration status. You are responsible for helping us maintain your SEVIS record throughout your period of stay in the United States as an F-1 student. Therefore, you must continue to provide information to the ISA office during any period as an F-1 student, including post-completion OPT. SEVIS is an inflexible system with zero tolerance for those who violate the terms of his or her student status.

To avoid serious problems with your immigration status:

  1. Provide the ISA office at Thiel College with current copies of all immigration documents (I-20, passport, I-94 and funding information). Be sure to bring in your documents for copies if anything changes or is renewed.
  2. Do not allow your passport to expire.
  3. Enroll in a full course of study (12 credit hours minimum each semester during the fall and spring semesters). Make sufficient progress toward the completion of your degree.
  4. Report any change in your address within 10 days of the change (i.e. if you switch residence halls or receive permission to move off campus).
  5. Notify the ISA office and the Thiel Records Office when there are changes in your academic program information.
  6. Know your I-20 completion date. Please note: your I-20 is only valid as long as you remain in your degree program.
  7. Keep all original I-20 documents. These forms tell your story as an F-1 student.
  8. Complete an official immigration transfer if you wish to change educational institutions. If you wish to transfer, you will need to notify the ISA office and complete the transfer out form to request that your SEVIS record be released to the new school. You also must obtain a new I-20 for your new school, after the transfer of your SEVIS record.
  9. Work only with proper authorization. See international student employment for more information on this important topic.
  10. Have your I-20 signed by the ISA office if you intend to travel outside of the United States. When travelling, make sure that your I-20 has been signed for travel (on page three). This signature allows an F-1 student to travel for one full year before needing an additional signature. Please plan ahead, request your travel signature at least one week in advance of your departure date.
  11. Make an appointment and consult with the director when you have any immigration questions. Do not seek immigration advice from friends, family or other academic advisers.