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Maintaining Your Status

Legal Rights & Responsibilities

The U.S. constitution guarantees certain rights to all people, not just U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. Non-immigrants in the U.S. receive many of the same constitutional protections as U.S. citizens; at the same time, non-immigrants are subject to U.S. federal immigration laws that do not apply to U.S. citizens.

Your Legal Rights

International students enjoy freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, protection from unreasonable searches and seizures, and other rights included in the U.S. constitution.

Non-immigrants are protected against discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, color, and national origin. Federal, state, municipal, and university rules exist to protect citizens and non-immigrants from most forms of discrimination.

Your Immigration-Related Responsibilities

Report Address Changes

U.S. federal regulations require all F-1 and J-1 students to report a change of address within 10 days. You must update your address in here [link to form]. The International Center will then be automatically notified of your address change.

Email Access

Access you Norwich email account as soon as possible after being admitted.  You will receive periodic emails from the International Center; this is our main method of updating students regarding important regulations.  We cannot send emails to personal email accounts.

Passport

You must maintain a valid passport at all times. This is a requirement of your student visa status while in the U.S.

Report Changes in Academic Program to the International Center

Students must notify the International Center whenever there is a change in their academic program (for example, a change of major or an extension of stay.)

Change of Major [link to form]                            Extension of Stay [link to form]

Apply for an Extension of Stay Prior to I-20 or DS-2019 Expiration

Students must apply for an extension of stay before Form I-20 or DS-2019 expires. It is not possible to extend the I-20 or DS-2019 after it has expired.

Extension of Stay [link to form]

If transferring to another U.S. school, request the transfer of your SEVIS Record (I-20 or DS-2019)

Students must request the transfer of the SEVIS record (I-20 or DS-2019) prior to transferring to another institution. You must transfer your SEVIS record to maintain your immigration status. For more information please click here [link to “Traveling in the US / Leaving the US”]

Transfer Out [link to form]

Obtain Travel Signature Prior to Departing the U.S.

You must obtain a travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 before departing the U.S. Failure to do so may cause issues when you attempt to return to the U.S. Travel signatures are valid for 6 months. Visit our office during regular office hours to receive a travel signature.

Depart the US within your Grace Period

F-1 students: You must depart the U.S. within 60 days of the I-20 expiration date or your program end date, whichever is earlier, unless you have applied for Optional Practical Training (OPT). If you are on post-completion OPT, you have a 60-day grace period following the completion date of your OPT.

J-1 students: You must depart the U.S. within 30 days of the DS-2019 expiration date or your program end date, whichever is earlier.

Employment

On Campus: F-1 students in valid status may work a maximum of 20 hours per week on campus during the semester.  During Spring, Summer, and Winter breaks, students may work up to 40 hours per week.

Off Campus: Off campus employment requires authorization from the International Center.  Review the Employment [link to “Employment and Practical Training”] section for details.

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