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Resources for Protecting Your Status




Contact OIP

Clayton State University Office of International Programs (OIP)

Call or email for advising appointment

University Center 210 2000 Clayton State Blvd.  Morrow, GA 30260-0285

Tel: (678) 466-5499 Fax: (678) 466-5469

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As an international student on an F1 or J1 visa, it’s very important throughout your stay in the United States to protect your status by complying with the terms of your F1 or J-1 visa. Also known as “maintaining good status”, this is the #1 priority of ISS also.

Failure to do so can make you “unlawfully present in the U.S.”, which would have a negative impact on any future plans you may have in the U.S. In certain cases, violation of visa status can lead to deportation, and you could be barred from re-entering the U.S. for up to 10 years.

Your Student Exchange and Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record holds all data related to your immigration status in the U.S. Therefore, your SEVIS record should be updated to match changes in real life at all times.

Contact ISS immediately to report:

  • Change of address (in the U.S or your home country)
  • Change of major
  • Addition of a minor or double major
  • Renewed F1 or J1 visa
  • Renewed or replaced passport
  • Lost, stolen or damaged I-20 or DS-2019
  • Expiring I-20 or DS-2019. See: Program Extension Request Form at the Forms Channel
  • Plans to transfer to another school or to Clayton State from another school. See: I-20 Request Form and Information at the Forms Channel
  • Being out of status. See: Reinstatement below
  • Any situation you feel may put your status at risk

International Student Responsibilities:

  • The International Student Responsibilities Form outlines the essential requirements of your stay in the U.S. in F1 or J1 status. These regulations will be reviewed in detail during international orientation. You will be asked to sign this form as part of your international check-in process.
  • Please review the form, please visit the forms channel.

Other F1 or J1 Responsibilities:

  • Only attend the school listed on the I-20 or DS-2019 that you used to enter the United States.
  • Following completion of studies or practical training, F-1 students have 60 days to leave the country; J-1 students have 30 days. If a student is approved by ISS to withdraw from classes in cases of extraordinary circumstances, that student has 15 days to leave the U.S. If a student withdraws without authorization, the student has no grace period and must depart the U.S. immediately.


Termination / Reinstatement:

  • If you are "out of status", you may request Reinstatement. This process is expensive, time-consuming and not-guaranteed. To learn more, please click here.


  • The signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 must not be more than 6 months old when you re-enter the U.S. Only a Designated School Official (for F1) or Responsible Officer (for J1) may sign the forms. The ISS can sign this form for you. You must also have a valid passport, visa, and I-20 or DS-2019 to return to the United States.
  • Travel to Canada, Mexico and certain adjacent islands for 30 days or less, might allow for re-entry with an expired visa under a benefit known as automatic visa revalidation. However, if you apply for a new visa while outside the U.S, but not in your home country, you could also be denied or not given a decision. In that case, you will not be allowed to re-enter the U.S. under this provision. You may be required to travel from the 3rd country to your home country to get a new visa before returning to the U.S. Therefore, travel to a 3rd country without a valid U.S. visa is considered risky.


F2 / J2 Dependants

  • An F-2 and J-2 spouse may NOT engage in full-time study and can only engage in study that is non-vocational or recreational in nature. An F-2 and J-2 child may only engage in full-time study at an elementary or secondary school.
  • An F-2 spouse or dependent may NOT accept employment. However, a J-2 spouse or dependent may apply to for work authorization under certain conditions.