As an international student in the US, it's important for you to understand that it is your responsibility to maintain your F-1 or J-1 status and avoid violations throughout the duration of your studies at Amherst College.

Read on for information to help you to navigate the immigration regulations and requirements that may impact you, and always be sure to visit us during advising hours or email us if you have any questions.  Failure to maintain status, or a violation of status, will lead to the accrual of unlawful presence.

Make sure your immigration documents are valid.

  • Your passport should always be valid at least six months into the future. If your passport is expiring sooner than six months from now, renew it with your country’s consulate in the US or back home.
  • Your I-94 record should be correct. Be sure to check and print out your most recent I-94 record every time you reenter the US. If your I-94 shows an incorrect entry date, does not accurately reflect your status (F-1 or J-1), or lists an “Admit Until Date” (it should list “D/S”, with no date), please visit us during advising hours or email us to help you have the record corrected.  
  • Your I-20 or DS-2019 must be original, accurate, and unexpired. You must keep all original I-20s ever issued to you in a safe place. Do not ever throw away an I-20. If any information is incorrect or you need to update anything on your I-20 or DS-2019, visit us during advising hours or email us.
  • Your visa must be valid if you are traveling outside of and reentering the US. To learn more about getting a new visa, visit How to Get a US Student Visa.

Keep a current US address and phone number in your AC Data record at all times.

  • You are required to provide your current US address and phone number at all times. If this information changes, you must update your Amherst College record in AC Data within 10 days of the change.

Do not work without authorization.

  • Not sure if you have proper work authorization or eligibility? Read through Employment & Taxes. Working without authorization wis a violation of status, and will lead to the accrual of unlawful presence.

Enroll full-time each semester

  • You must enroll in a full courseload each semester.  If you are not enrolled full-time, your F-1 or J-1 record will need to be closed (unless you have a medical letter signed by a licensed doctor, clinical psychologist, or osteopath specifically registering you for part-time enrollment or a medical leave of absence).  Please email us or visit us during advising hours to discuss the impact on your immigration record before changing your enrollment.
  • For more information about taking a leave from the college, visit the CISE's Leaves of Absence, Withdrawals, & Readmissions page.

Follow College and US government requirements, including federal tax requirements.

  • You are required to fill out tax forms annually, even if you did not work in the US in the previous year. For more information, read through your Taxes Obligations.

Carry all the required documents when traveling and reentering the US as an international student.

  • Not sure what to carry when you travel? Read through the Travel Checklist before you depart.