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UC Merced International

Maintaining Legal Status

Maintaining Your Legal Status

It is important that you maintain lawful F-1 or J-1 visa status while in the U.S. as a student. Follow these simple steps to ensure your stay in the U.S. remains valid:

Check in with the International Office in KL 101 and attend the International Student Orientation.
Report a change of address to the International Student and Scholar's Office (ISSO) within 10 days of moving by updating your address in the Student Portal.
Keep your passport valid at least six months into the future.

Maintain full-time study. Undergraduate students must be registered for a minimum of 12 units. Graduate students must be registered in 8 units unless they have been appointed as a Teaching Assistant (TA) or Graduate Student Researcher (GSR). A graduate student with a TA or GSR appointment must be registered in 12 units.

There are some exceptions to the full-time study rule, but you must obtain special permission from ISSO prior to reducing your course load.

Report any name or program changes to ISSO.
Do not engage in any unlawful employment. Off-campus employment requires special permission. 
Initiate a timely departure, transfer or change of status during grace period.