Maintaining Status | University of Portland

Maintaining Status

It is important for F and J students to maintain legal student status while in the U.S. The following information will assist your understanding on how to maintain status:

  • Make normal progress towards a degree by taking full time credits each semester (12 credits for undergraduates & 9 for graduates during fall and spring semester or 6 credits for undergraduates and 5 for graduates in summer).
  • Be a full time F-1 student for 2 consecutive semesters before taking a vacation term, or before requesting authorization from the ISS to work off campus.
  • Get authorization from ISS before you enroll as a part-time student (less than 12 credits for undergraduate students and less than 9 credits for graduate students).
  • Work no more than 20 hours per week on campus while enrolled during a school session.
  • Refrain from off-campus employment without prior authorization. ISS will advise you whether or not it is possible for you to work off campus, and if it is, will assist you with the appropriate documents.
  • Report a change of address in writing to ISS within 10 days. ISS will then report the change of address in SEVIS.
  • If you need to extend your program, contact ISS at least 30 days before the completion date on your I-20 or DS 2019. You will need to establish that there are valid academic reasons to extend your program.
  • Inform ISS of changes to your major, name, or education level (i.e. from bachelors to masters). If changing education level, admission to the new program must be verified in order to receive new I-20 or DS-2019.
  • If you are in F status, you are allowed to stay in the United States 60 days beyond the completion date of your studies or your practical training. If you are in J status, you are allowed to stay 30 days after the completion of your program or your academic training. Exceptions to these regulations include a pending application for Optional Practical Training (OPT), changing educational levels, or transferring schools.
  • If you plan to transfer from UP to another school in the U.S., either to pursue the same degree program or a different degree program, please meet with an ISS advisor to discuss your plans. At your written request, ISS must confirm that you are maintaining valid F or J status and "release" your student record in SEVIS before you can attend another school.
  • Government regulations require those in J-1 status to have comprehensive medical insurance covering themselves and all their dependents. Failure to maintain medical insurance is a violation of J-1 status.
  • The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations are the comprehensive rules, that among other things, govern F-1 and J-1 status. The text of these Federal regulations are available at the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) site and also at

Change of Address Form

Immigration regulations require students to report any change of local address to ISS within 10 days. ISS will then report this change into SEVIS. You must update your address at the registrar's office and the post office separately.

Change of Address Form
Reduced Course Load Request Form

If you need to reduce your course load below full time (12 credits for undergraduates and 9 for graduates) for any reason, you are required to fill out and sign a "Reduced Course Load Request Form." Stop by ISS to consult with an advisor before reducing your course load. The only exceptions to a full course of study include: annual vacation, documented medical problem, academic difficulty, concurrent enrollment and last semester. Please email filled out form to

Reduced Course Load Request Form

Support Letter Request Form

Please use this form if you need a support letter from International Student Services in order to open a bank account, apply for an Oregon ID or driver’s license, demonstrate international student status, or other reasons. Please note that enrollment verification, registration confirmation, and/or transcripts should be requested from the Registrar’s Office (1st floor, Waldschmidt Hall or Please allow our staff at least one business day to process your request. Return the completed form to Buckley Center 114 or by email to

Support Letter Request Form

For more detailed information about F and J immigration regulations, visit the Office of International Student Services in Buckley Center 114.


The Office of International Student Services is open Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.