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F-1 Status

Information About F-1 Status
What is F-1 Status?
F-1 Documents
F-1 Extensions
F Visa Insurance
F-1 Employment
F-2 Information

F visas are a non-immigrant student visa that allows foreigners to pursue education in the U.S.

  • I-20: The Form I-20 is your certificate of eligibility. Your I-20 serves as proof of your status while in the U.S. Do not let this form expire while you are in the U.S.  
  • U.S. Visa: The U.S. visa is the document that allows entry into the United States. You will also receive a visa stamp.
  • Passport: Your passport is the official document showing your basic biographical information. Make sure to renew your passport six months before it expires. This is part of maintaining status in the U.S.  
  • I-94: The I-94 is your arrival/departure record. It contains your admissions number and is another necessary document to use when travelling, applying for on-campus jobs, etc.  

If you need more time to finish your program beyond the completion date on your Form I-20, you must apply for an extension of program before the completion date. We recommend that you apply no less than 30 days prior.

Eligibility and Requirements

  • Be a non-immigrant currently maintaining student status and are able to, and in good faith intending to, continue maintaining that status for the period in which the extension would be granted.
  • Be able to show that the delay was caused by compelling academic or medical reasons such as changes of major or research topics, loss of credits upon transfer to BYUH, unexpected research problems, or documented illnesses—Delays caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for program extension. 

University policies require all F-1 students and F-2 dependents to have sickness and accident insurance while attending BYU–Hawaii.

You will be eligible for the Student Medical Benefit only if you are attending BYU–Hawaii on a full-time basis in Laie, i. e. you are taking 12 or more credits and living in Laie.

If you do any pre-completion internship for credit in Hawaii or in the mainland, you are required to enroll in the Student Medical Benefit. You need to see Beth Martin to enroll in the monthly student medical benefit.

  • If you do any post-completion OPT, you will need to use third-party insurance. You must present your insurance contract to the ISS for proof. 
  • If your training is split—where a section in the United States and a section in your home country or another country—you are responsible for the insurance portion outside the United States. You will not be covered by the SMB. 
  • If you do optional practical training outside the United States and have graduated, you do not need insurance. 

If you plan to apply for annual leave and will be staying in the United States, you will be covered by the Student Medical Plan.

If you travel to your home country for annual leave, you need to present your airplane ticket (electronic or paper) to Beth Martins of the insurance office, for verification, before leaving. Email

If you have coverage through your family or employer during your internship/CPT/OPT/annual leave, you need to submit a 'letter of credibility for your coverage' to Beth Martin for verification. Email

Failure to purchase and submit proof of health insurance coverage to International Student Services will put your immigration status at risk!

For F-1 students, on-campus employment does not require a work permit. Off-campus employment, however, requires prior work authorization.

F-1 students have the option to engage in practical training during their stay in the United States. The types of practical training available are: curricular practical training, standard optional practical training, STEM optional practical training, or H1-B cap gap optional practical training extension. Curricular practical training must go through a necessary approval process by ISS. Optional practical training must be approved by USCIS.

Read more (F-1 Student Employment (

F-2 dependents are not eligible for work authorization. F-2 spouses are not eligible to student full-time in the U.S.; however, they may engage in study that is merely avocational or recreational in nature. F-2 children in primary and secondary schools may be eligible to study in the U.S.

The status of the F-2 dependent is contingent upon the duration and status of the F-1 status holder.