F-1 (Student Visa) Regulations
(Darton College, 4/3/03)
Maintaining F-1 Status
You must not drop below a full course of study (12 credit hours) during fall and spring semesters without prior PDSO approval. Only one class or three credits per semester may be counted toward the full course of study requirement if the class is taken on-line or through distance education and does not require the student's physical attendance for classes, examination or other purposes integral to completion of the class.
Reduced course load can only be approved for:
Initial difficulty with the English language or U.S. teaching methods - requires documentation from the instructor
Improper course placement (i.e. adviser registered you for a class for which you did not meet prerequisites) - requires documentation from advisor
Medical conditions - requires documentation from a licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or licensed clinical psychologist
Completion of course of study - you must notify PDSO prior to the registration that you are finishing your requirements for graduation in that semester and that fewer courses are needed to complete the degree
Do not accept off-campus employment or engage in business (i.e. you provide services for a fee or sell products) without authorization from a PDSO (for curricular practical training (CPT), optional practical training (OPT) or severe economic hardship (SHE) only) and from USCIS.
Do not work on campus for more than 20 hours a week. You may work up to full-time during the summer or official breaks (campus regulations may restrict some employment).
Your I-20 must state your current program of study and must not expire. See PDSO within 10 days when you change your major. See a PDSO for a program extension if you will not complete your program before the expiration date on your I-20. Note: program extensions may not be granted for academic difficulties, so work hard to not be put on exclusion!
You must provide a PDSO your new address within 10 days of moving. The PDSO will enter your new address in SEVIS. Note: Those subject to National Security Entry Exit Registration System (NSEERS) Special Registration must notify a PDSO and also submit an AR - 11SR address change form to USCIS.
If you want to transfer to another school, you must:
apply and be accepted to the new school
let Darton College PDSO know to which school you are transferring
- receive an I-20 from the new school before the 15th day of classes. (Note: the DSO must write "Transfer completed (date)." on the I-20 for it to be valid.)
Maintain a valid passport. You should apply for a new passport at least six months before the expiration date. Provide a copy to PDSO when you obtain a new passport.
If you change your name, you must provide documentation of the new name to a PDSO within 10 days. The PDSO will enter your name change in SEVIS and issue a new I-20.
If the name or address of your dependant changes, you must notify a PDSO within 10 days.
Additional Regulations and Information
Dependents must have their own I-20 with their name on page 1.
Entry into the U.S. may receive more scrutiny than in the past. Have the following items with you when you go to the BCBP check point:
Passport valid for at least 6 months - required
Valid F-1 visa - required
I-20 signed for travel within the last 12 months - required
All I-20s ever issued to you accessible - recommended
Transcript(s) or enrollment letter from the Registrar's Office - recommended
New financial documents (bank statement and/or on-campus employment letter / contract) - recommended
Letter from PDSO - recommended if you are traveling overseas while school is in session (not official breaks or summer semester).
Make a photocopy of your passport, visa, and I-94 and carry the copies in your wallet. Staple your I-94 inside your passport. Carry your passport and I-20 form with you any time you leave Albany.
Notify PDSO at least 120 days prior to the date you would like to start optional practical training.
Notify PDSO prior to withdrawal from school.
Report to PDSO within 10 days after the each registration/pre-registration.
You must have medical insurance to cover yourself for the duration of your program (USG requirement).
You should check your Darton E-mail accounts at least twice weekly. This is an official address for Darton College to contact you, and I send helpful reminders and notices to these addresses. If you wish to add your personal e-mail address to our list, please notify the PDSO.
PDSO (Primary Designated School Officer)
Diana Garner, MS
International Student Coordinator
2400 Gillionville Rd.
Albany, GA 31707
Phone: (229) 317-6924
Fax: (229) 317-6614