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Maintaining Your Status as an International Student

Maintaining Your Status 

Making the decision to come to University of Houston-Victoria to pursue your academic goals is a huge step, and we understand that reaching these goals is top priority while you are here. In addition to your courses, registration, books, health insurance, and lab work, there is one more important subject you need to "study" in order to ensure success during your stay at UHV: how to maintain your F-1 or J-1 status. All international students who are under F-1 and J-1 visa status must follow a set of immigration regulations as outlined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in order to maintain the international student status.

Each item below has instructions for any event affecting your immigration status as well as consequences for failure to comply. If you have any questions or concerns about how to maintain your immigration status and/or employment eligibility, please contact the International Program Office at or visit Bookings to schedule your appointment. 

Full-Time Course Enrollment

International students must register for a full course of study during the Fall and Spring semesters as defined below:

Given some conditions, international students may appeal to Reduce Course Load.

Concurrent Enrollment

F-1 students are eligible for simultaneous enrollment with a combination of courses both at UHV and another college or university, only if approved by the International Programs Office.

Students must be registered for at least 1 credit at UHV during all terms including the final term. In order to receive International Programs scholarships, students must register full time at UHV. Students who wish to be admitted, enrolled, and attend classes full time at an institution other than UHV need to request a transfer to the new institution.

Eligibility Requirements

An F-1 student at UHV may apply to enroll concurrently at UHV and another SEVIS-approved school provided that all of the following conditions are met:

How to Apply for Concurrent Enrollment:

Please note that when you enroll concurrently, International Programs is NOT able to inform you of when you are running the risk of being dropped from courses at the other campus. You are responsible for meeting the payment deadlines and maintaining your course enrollment at the other campus in order to maintain your immigration status at UHV. Failing to maintain 12 credits for undergraduate students and 9 credits for graduate students every semester will result in the cancellation of your immigration record.  


All F-1/J-1 international students are eligible to work on-campus for up to 20 hours per week when school is in session and 40 hours per week when school is not in session. Please make sure that you do not go above the allocated hours. If you fail to maintain the number of hours as listed in these guidelines, the International Programs Office is required to terminate your F-1/J-1 student status. 

Off-campus Employment
In order to work off-campus, students must receive prior authorization from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. For more information pertaining to employment, please visit our international student employment website. 
If you work off-campus without authorization, the International Programs Office is required to terminate your immigration status.

Program Extension

F-1 and J-1 students are allotted a specific period of time to complete their academic program requirements. For F-1 students, this period of time is shown on Item #5 of your I-20 or Item #3 of your DS-2019. Please note the expiration date on the I-20/DS-2019. Students who are unable to meet their academic program requirements by that date must request a program extension from the International Programs Office prior to the expiration date. If the expiration date on the I-20/DS-2019 has passed, students must meet with International Programs immediately as the student is considered to be out of status.

Leave of Absence

F-1 or J-1 international students who need to take a semester off during the academic year (Fall or Spring Semester) instead of enrolling in courses must receive authorization for a leave of absence the from International Programs Office.


Graduation is the most exciting point of your educational pathway in the United States. If you are a student in junior standing, we recommend that you go ahead and begin planning your graduation efforts. This means you need to look into the following items:

Grace Period

International students have a set of grace period regulations that are applied to their visa status.

Change of Status (to F-1 student)


Reinstatement may be an option for F-1 students who out of status and wish to regain it without leaving the U.S. F-1 students must be in status in order to be eligible for benefits such as work authorization, program extension, school transfer, and/or adjustment of status. Depending on each student's case, reinstatement may or may not be the best option. In some cases, we encourage you to consult an immigration attorney. Please consult the International Programs Office for more information.

A student may be considered out of status when he or she:

To apply for reinstatement a student:

Maintaining Immigration Documents

Change of local address

International students who change their local address, whether you move to a different apartment or simply change dorm rooms, must report this change to the International Programs Office within 10 days of the move. Log in to your UHV account, update your address, and send IPO an email confirming your change of address.