Current Students

This section strives to keep all current international students with F-1 and J-1 visas up to date on your legal responsibilities in the U.S. If after reading this information you still have questions please feel free to call or visit ISS for more detailed information.

  • F1 Information – There a hundreds of immigration laws that impact international people in the United States. It is important to know and follow the laws for your status. Following the laws keeps a student “in status” and violating a law can make a student “out of status.” There are five basic law concepts that impact F-1 students. For more information on the Laws go to:
  • Course Enrollment – Be a Full-Time Student – Students must be enrolled in a full-course study (at least 12 credits for undergraduates and at least 9 credits for graduates) during all required semesters. “Required Semesters” are all fall and spring semesters – summer semester is only required if it is your last semesters.  Full-time in summer is at least 6 credits.  Otherwise, summer can be a vacation when none of the registration requirements are applicable. Only 3 credits or 1 class of the required course registration canbe an online class. Some exceptions to this law are permitted but must be approved before the beginning of the semester. See “Reduced Course Load” form on our website. For students studying English as a Second Language, “full-time” means attending all your classes unless you are sick. Summer vacation is only permitted if students have already been studying for one full academic years (August to May).
  • Drivers License – Information to obtain your Drivers License within the state of Illinois.
  • Health – Health Services provide preventive services and resources that support participation in health care, enabling individuals to recognize health as a comprehensive state over which they have control.  Health care that allows individuals to perform optimally, both physically and mentally, in order to achieve their academic and intellectual potential and to minimize interruptions in their academic careers.
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) – is temporary authorization for employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s academic program and level of study.
  • Taxes – All international students in the United States are required to fill out and mail income tax forms with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) even if they did not make any money.
  • Travel – Information on Travel in and outside the United States.
  • Tuition Payment – For information regarding student accounts, payment due dates, authorized payers, etc.  For information regarding the payment plan:  Please visit the USFSCO Payment Plan website.
  • Immigration for Current Students