F-1 Information

F-1 Pre-Arrival and Post-Arrival Checklist


  • Review your I-20 document when you receive it. Check that all information is correct (spelling of your name, your birth date, programs dates, etc.).
  • Pay SEVIS fee (see link below).
  • Locate your local U.S. consulate; schedule an appointment for a visa interview (see link below).
  • Arrange travel to the United States. Plan to arrive at least one week before the first day of orientation.
  • Plan your finances (check with your bank about travelers; checks, money transfers, etc.)
  • Get a health check up--physical, dental, eye exam, etc. Make sure you have any presecriptions written down and doctor's instructions if necessary.




  • Locate permanent housing and update your local Unites States Address/
  • Explore mobile phone choices.
  • Research banking choices.
  • Research public transportation (see link below)
  • Atend the Mandatory International Student Orientation.


F-1 Regulations

As an F-1 international student, you are responsible for learning, understanding, and complying with the U.S. laws and regulations that apply to your F-1 student status. This is referred to as "maintaining status" or "being in status." Failure to be aware of and to comply with important U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations could jeopardize both your legal status in the U.S. and your future academic plans.

Basic Guidelines


Keep your passport vailid for at least 6 months

Contact your home country's embassy in the U.S. for information about renewing your passport validity.

Attend the School noted on your I-20

You must have a current, valid I-20 from the school that you are attending. If you transfer from another school, the SEVIS transfer process must be completed within 15 days of the semester start date.

Keep your I-20 valid and up-to-date at all times

You must complete your academic program or request and I-20 program extension before the completion of studies end date indicated on your I-20 (see section 5 of the I-20). You must also request a new I-20 from you Internations Counselor if you change your major.

Maintain full-time enrollment

F-1 students must enroll in and complete a full-time course of study at CCSF each Fall & Spring Semester. Students do not need to be enrolled in a full-time course of studey during the Summer.  What constitues a full-time course load varies according to academic level.

Get approval before dropping below full-time or withdrawing from CCSF

If you must withdraw from your academic program or drop below full-time studies, you are required to get approval from your international counselor before doing so. Immigration requlations permit exceptions to the full-time enrollment requirement in very limited circumstances.

Get an I-20 travel signature

If you will travel outside the U.S. there must be a travel signature on the third (last) page of your I-20 form and International Student Counselor for you to re-enter. This signature must not be older than 6 months on the day you re-enter the U.S.