Maintaining Student Status

In order to maintain your immigration status, you are required to:

  • Enroll in a full-course of study each semester you are enrolled at UCA. This is a minimum of 12 hours for undergraduate students and 9 hours for graduate students. See Enrollment Requirements for more details.
    • See this website for acceptable reasons for dropping below full-time enrollment
  • Do not work off-campus without previous employment authorization;
  • Follow required transfer procedures if transferring to another university;
  • Complete your program before the expiration date on your I-20 or DS-2019;
  • Report a change of address to a DSO within 10 days of the change so that SEVIS can be updated.

Online Study Restrictions

Undergraduate students must take at least 9 credit hours of in-class instruction. Graduate students must take at least 6 credit hours of in-class instructions. If this in-class credits requirement is met, students may take as many additional online credits as their adviser will allow.

Reasons for a Terminated SEVIS Record

Failure to maintain F-1/J-1 status will result in your losing your status and being “terminated” in the SEVIS system. Some of the consequences of this include losing your eligibility to work on-campus or apply for off-campus work authorization, your visa may be cancelled and you may ultimately be arrested or deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.

UCA is required to “terminate” your record in SEVIS if:

  • You do not register full-time at the university every semester (excluding summer, unless required in first year) until your program is completed (see Acceptable Reasons for Dropping Below Full-Time);
  • You drop below a full course of study (12 credits undergraduate, 9 credits for
    graduate students) without PRIOR authorization (learn more about Authorized Early Withdrawal);
  • You are expelled from the university;
  • You are suspended from the university;
  • You fail to maintain your proper status (e.g. if you work illegally, do not attend
    classes full-time etc.);

In all of the above cases, the university is required to report in SEVIS that your record has been terminated. In turn, you may be required to leave the United States (deportation). If your SEVIS record has been terminated, meet with a DSO to discuss the options for re-gaining your immigration status.

It’s up to you!

Center for Global Learning & Engagement staff are here to assist you with immigration questions and concerns you may have. If you have questions, please contact a DSO by phone, (501-450-3445) e-mail ( or come by McCastlain Hall, Suite 109. Please remember, though, that it is ultimately YOUR responsibility to understand and abide by the regulations.

Keep Learning

Dropping Below Full-Time Enrollment

Request I-20 Extension

Employment Options for International Students

Report to Center for Global Learning and Engagement

Travel Outside the United States

Absence from the United States