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Resources for Protecting Your Status 

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. ISS is here to advise you on how to maintain your status.

If you go out of status you are considered  “unlawfully present in the U.S.”, which may have a negative impact on any future plans you may have in the U.S. In certain cases, violation of your 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 any changes immediately.

Contact ISS immediately to report

  • Change of address (in the U.S or your home country)
  • Phone Number
  • 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/ Re-entry options 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:

  • Currently enrolled Clayton State University students that violate their visa regulations and go "out of status", may request Reinstatement. This process is expensive, time-consuming and not-guaranteed. Learn more about termination/reinstatement.
  • New students applying to Clayton State University must be in status in order to be accepted. Reinstatement requests are not supported by ISS for new applicants and you will be requested to complete a Re-Entry to the United States with a new I-20.


  • 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. Please come to the ISS Office for a signature before you travel. 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 very 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.