F-1 Rules & Regulations

 

FULL COURSE OF STUDY
All F-1 students must enrolled in and successfully complete at least 12 units per semester (Spring and Fall). The institution is required to monitor and update your status to SEVP via SEVIS.
The certification of enrollment is reported on SEVIS by the 30th day from the start of the primary semester.

DISTANCE EDUCATION AND ONLINE COURSEWORK
No more than the equivalent of 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 facilities. This means 9.0 out of 12.0 units per semester will require campus attendance for compliance.

REDUCED COURSE LOAD
There are only a few legitimate reasons to be enrolled in less than 12 units. Reduced course load always requires prior approval! A student who drops below a full course of study without the prior approval will be considered out of status, and your I-20 will be terminated.

CONCURRENT ENROLLMENT AT ANOTHER COLLEGE
International students must first obtain authorization from the Vice President in the form of petition for concurrent enrollment; in order to enroll concurrently at another SEVIS approved school. Students must meet with International Student Counselor to obtain the recommendation for the petition.

CHANGE OF MAJOR
Students who wish to change their major during their studies must schedule a counseling appointment in order to complete a petition.

HEALTH INSURANCE ASSISTANCE
Medical care in the United States is extremely expensive because the system is privately based. The rate that expenses accumulate can be astounding. Costs for treatment at a clinic for a simple broken wrist can exceed $800, but may cost more. Medical treatments are very expensive in the United States. As an "F-1" visa student, you are not eligible for any federal or state welfare assistance, and if you are uninsured, you are held responsible for paying all your medical expenses.

San Diego City College requires that all international students maintain valid health insurance coverage during their entire stay in the United States. You will be asked for proof of insurance after you arrive in the United States. Your coverage must include evacuation & repatriation.

TRAVEL SIGNATURE
Students will need a valid travel signature to re-enter the US along with their passport & visa. Request required full-time enrollment & a minimum of 1 month to process contact
International Student Specialist.

EXTENSION OF STAY
Any F-1 student who is maintaining status and making normal progress toward completion of his/her educational objective, but who is unable to complete the course of studies by the program end date on form I-20, must apply for a program extension prior to the end date stated on the I-20.

WORK ON CAMPUS Employment
On campus employment is limited (20 hours/week during the semester and 40 hours/week during school breaks) we require full-time enrollment, must obtain approval prior to accepting any employment for additional information contact International Student Specialist.

CURRICULAR PRACTICAL TRAINING
F-1 students may also be eligible for practical training directly related to their studies. Curricular practical training is further limited in that it must be integral to the student’s program of study and with an employer formally authorized by the school through a cooperative agreement.

OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING (OPT)
Optional practical training is available for students enrolled in many of the majors offered at San Diego City College; some majors are excluded. Post completion OPT has to be applied for prior to the end of the last semester of completion of your degree. OPT is available for up to a total of 12 months and if taken after graduation it has to be completed within 14 months after the last day of school. For more details on requirements, please contact Dora A. Meza.

SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER

International students can apply for a social security number only if they are approved for work. No other reason is accepted by the Social Security Administration. A letter from the International Student Admissions Office is necessary.

COMPLETION OF DEGREE
Students who are eligible for graduation must apply for graduation and petition prior to the end of their last semester. For additional information please contact your counselor or the Evaluations Office. Deadline to submit application for graduation is listed in the Class Schedule calendar. Deadlines to submit application for graduation are listed in the Class Schedule calendars each semester.

TRANSFER TO ANOTHER INSTITUTION
A transfer clearance form must be completed with the International student specialist prior to the end of their final semester at San Diego City College. IN ADDITION, a student who decides to transfer to another institution must provide an copy of letter of acceptance for the prospective school before the end of the 60-day grace period to the International Student Specialist in order to be properly transferred in SEVIS.

GRACE PERIODS
The grace period regulations are as follows:

  • A 60-day period for those who have completed their course of study and any authorized practical training and

  • A 15-day period for those who terminate their course of study before it is complete with authorization prior to termination.

Students who terminate their course of studies without prior approval or otherwise fail to maintain status are not eligible for any additional period and have to leave immediately.

VISA RENEWAL
Students who need to renew their F-1 student visa during their studies need to petition at least 2 months before they are leaving the USA to visit their home country where they can renew their visa by making an advanced appointment with the US Embassy/Consulate in their home country for a visa interview. They will need a letter from the International Student Admissions Specialist for that interview.

The student also needs to submit the following documents together with the petition:

  • A new original bank statement in the amount of at least 1 year of tuition, fees and living expenses (currently $18,000; subject to change) and if there is a sponsor, also a Confidential Financial Statement,

  • along with a New I-20.