F-1 Students are required to continuously enroll full-time.  What is full-time at Harrisburg University?


Undergraduate Students: Undergraduate students on F-1 visa status must be enrolled for a full-time course load of a minimum of four (4) courses [12 semester credits] each semester. Only one (1) online course may be taken each semester.


Graduate Students: Graduate students on F-1 visa status must be enrolled for a full-time course load of a minimum of two (2) courses [6 semester credits] each semester.  Only one (1) online course may be taken each semester.



Maintain a Valid Passport and I-94


Passport: If your passport will expire within 6-12 months, or if you need to replace a lost or stolen passport, you should contact your embassy or consulate in the U.S. for instructions on obtaining an extension or new passport. Federal regulations require you to maintain a valid passport at all times.


I-94: Your I-94 Departure Record can be obtained online from USCIS.



Obtain Proper Employment Authorization before Beginning Any Work or Internship

  • DHS considers working without proper authorization as one of the most serious violations of a non-immigrant's status.
  • It is illegal to begin any work before obtaining written permission, even if the student has applied for work authorization and is anticipating approval. Refer to the Employment section for detailed information on employment opportunities and procedures to obtain approval.
  • When in doubt, consult a SEVP Designated School Official (DSO) before accepting any offer of employment or beginning any work.


Check for Valid I-20 Travel Signature and Proper Documentation before Traveling Outside the U.S.

  • If you will travel outside the U.S., you must have a valid U.S. Entry Visa and a valid travel signature on the I-20
  • Each signature is valid for one year (365 days) while you are a full-time student
    • 6 months for F-1 students on post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT)
  • Signatures can only be obtained by a P/DSO


Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress

In order to maintain valid F-1 status, you must be in good academic standing by making normal progress. Failure to maintain good academic standing may lead to immigration problems depending on the nature of the academic problem.



Do Not Stay in the U.S. beyond the Grace Period

F-1 Students: You are allowed a 60-day grace period to stay in the United States after the completion date of his/her studies or post-completion OPT.


If you withdraw early (prior to completion of the program) you are allowed a 15-day grace period to stay in the United States.



F-2 Dependents may not work and may only study part-time in the U.S.

If you have a spouse and/or children in F-2 status, please note they may not work in the U.S. under any circumstances.



Check your Harrisburg University Email

  • Your Harrisburg University email address is where important information will be sent from professors and other offices on campus. 
  • Not reading your email regularly can mean that you miss very important information and that can lead to immigration, academic, and other problems.