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Maintaining Status

It is your responsibility, as a student to understand and obey the terms of your visa through the duration of your stay in the United States.

If you comply with all said regulations, you will be in status. If you ever fall out of status, you may run into serious problems with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

We, at ISS, are happy to provide you with the information needed to maintain your status. However, it is your responsibility.

There are four main aspects of maintaining status. All requirements will fall under these four core elements:

Be in good academic standing
  • Attend the university you are authorized to attend.
  • Maintain full-time enrollment.
  • A full course of study at BYU–Hawaii is 12 credits in fall and winter semesters and eight credits in spring. To stay in status, you must take no less than 12 credits for fall and winter and no less than eight in spring.  
  • If you are on an approved reduced course load or annual leave semester, you must be enrolled with full-time credits immediately after the RCL or leave of absence semester. 
  • Annual leave will only be granted after the international student has been in school for two full semesters. 
  • If you are thinking of registering for fewer than 12 credits, please see your ISS advisor. You will need to fill out the appropriate forms and receive prior approval.  
  • NOTE: If you withdraw from a class that will put you below full-time status, this will put you out of status. 
  • Attend and pass all your classes. 
Keep your documents current
  • All your documents must be up to date.  
  • File timely requests for any program extension, change of status, or school transfer.  
  • Get your I-20 or DS-2019 signed by an advisor prior to travel. 
  • Renew your passport six months before it expires. 
  • Update ISS of any change in program, major, biographical information, or address. A change in any of these will generate a new DS-2019.
Work only with authorization
  • Limit on-campus employment to 20 hours per week during semesters, and no more than 40 hours during official school breaks. 
  • University policy caps employment at 19 hours per week. Going over hours may result in termination of your status as a student. 
  • Seek proper authorization from USCIS or ISS if you are pursuing OPT or AT.  
  • Update your ISS advisor of any change in employment within 10 days.  
  • Do not engage in self-employment or unauthorized employment.  
Comply with all regulations pertaining to your visa
  • Upon arrival in the United States, you must check-in online and in-person at International Student Services at Brigham Young University–Hawaii.  
  • Make sure you bring all your documents with you during check-in: passport, U.S. visa, and your I-20 or DS-2019. 
  • Attend the mandatory new international student orientation.
  • It is essential that you check your email and ISS communication channels regularly. If you do not, you may miss updates that are essential to maintaining status. 
  • Immediately update ISS of any change in employment, address, marital status, program dates, or contact information. 
  • Abide by the grace period at the end of your program 
  • Obey ALL state, federal, and university laws and regulations