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University of Houston-Victoria

Maintain F1 Status

Maintaining F1 visa status is the sole responsibility of the international student.  UHV Designated School Officials are available to help students understand and take the necessary steps to maintain proper F1 status.  However, the DSO is not responsible for actions taken by the student that may jeopardize their status. Maintaining F-1 status will affect student enrollment, student employment on and off-campus, travel and re-entry, and transfer procedures. 

Three International Students

Designated School Officials at University of Houston-Victoria

Designated School Officials (DSO) are individuals the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has recognized at this institution to provide service and instruction to international students who are in the United States on an F1 visa. 

These persons are:

Yvonne Garcia, International Student Coordinator
garciay@uhv.edu and/or international@uhv.edu

Linda Parr, Admissions Senior Specialist
parrl@uhv.edu and/or admissions@uhv.edu

DSOs provide travel signatures when students are planning to travel out of the United States, and transcripts or other documents to assist students with re-entry.  We present workshops on employment, orientation for new students, and other special topics that relate to international students. 

Email is the best way to communicate with a DSO.  Emailed questions to the individual DSO or to international@uhv.edu will receive a response directly to the student.  Be sure to include your full name and UHV ID number in the subject line of each email.

UHV Student Support Day at University of Houston-Sugar Land Campus
DSOs also travel to the Sugar Land campus on the first Thursday of each month during the UHV Student Support Day.  We are located in the George Building, third floor, from 2 to 6 pm.  Walk-ins are welcome.

Maintaining Your F1 Visa Status - An Overview

  1. A student in the United States on F1 visa may be admitted for duration of status.  This means that you are authorized to stay in the United States for the entire length of time during which you are enrolled as a full-time student in an educational program, and any period of authorized practical training, plus a 60-day grace period.  You may continue from one educational level to another or transfer to different schools that are authorized to admit F1 students.
  2. For initial admission, the first time you are admitted to a university after coming to the United States from your home country, you must attend the school specified on your visa.  If you do not do this, special transfer procedures must be taken to ensure you have maintained your visa status.  It is best to study the first semester in the university listed on your visa and then transfer to the school you desire to attend when this option is available.
  3. You must pursue a full course of study and make normal progress toward the completion of the program.  See Enrollment Requirements in the left column of this page under Maintain F1 Status for additional information.
  4. You must apply for extension of your academic program before the Program End Date on your current I-20 in the event that you do not complete your program before this date.  A DSO will help you with this process.
  5. You must follow correct procedures for changing from one program or educational level to another.
  6. You must follow correct procedures for transfer from one school to another.
  7. You must limit on-campus employment to 20 hours per week or less while school is in session.
  8. You must not take part in off-campus employment without authorization from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
  9. You must report a change of address to the DSO within 10 days of the move to a new address.
  10. While in the United States, you must maintain a valid foreign passport that has not expired.
  11. If you find that you must return to your home country for a short time (less than five months), you will be able to return to the U.S. as long as there are no other reasons for you to be denied entry.  For re-entry you must present a valid, unexpired foreign passport, a valid unexpired visa, and a Form I-20 with current information that has been properly signed on page 3 by the Designated School Official at UHV.

Each student is informed about the regulations set forth by the United States Department of Homeland Security and the regulatory branches of this agency in order to maintain their F1 status.  The regulations are presented in detail at each UHV International Student Orientation Session scheduled prior to the fall and spring terms.  The orientation sessions are mandatory for this purpose, so that the F1 visa holder will understand actions to take regarding their lawful status while enrolled at UHV.

Please see additional information in the left column under the Maintain F1 Status heading.