F-1 Student Visa Responsibilities

Immigration Documents 

  1. Passport: The expiration date should always be valid at least 6 months into the future (for example, if your passport expires in July, it should be extended in January).  To extend your passport, please contact your country's consulate/embassy in the U.S. or come visit the ISP office for the latest contact information.
  2. Visa: The visa is either a stamp or sticker put in your passport by the U.S. Consulate in your home country.  A visa is necessary only to ENTER the U.S. The date on the visa shows the latest date you can enter the U.S., NOT how long you can stay here.  If it is expired or if you change your visa status while in the U.S., you must re-apply for a new visa in order to return to the U.S.  It is not necessary to extend your visa if you are not planning a trip outside the U.S.  Visa renewals can only be done at a U.S. Consulate/Embassy in your home country or country of primary residence.
  3. I-94: Known as the Arrival/Departure Record, the I-94 is an electronic (or paper, if entering the U.S. via a land border crossing) form recording every time you enter or leave the U.S. You can find your most recent I-94 or travel history at: The “Admit Until Date” listed on your electronic I-94 is the date you must leave the United States.  D/S (Duration of Status) is the notation on an F-1 visa holder's I-94 record and means that you can stay in the U.S. as long as your I-20 is valid and you are pursuing a full course of study (plus any authorized practical training following program completion).
  4. I-20: The Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status, often referred to as the I-20 Form, is a document authorized by ICE and issued to you by International Student Programs when you were first admitted to De Anza College, and is three pages total. The I-20 should be kept with you at all times and will be needed to re-enter the U.S. after a trip or temporary absence.  All records of school transfers, work permission, etc. will be recorded on the I-20. If you are traveling outside the U.S., you must have your I-20 signed by De Anza ISP before leaving.

Full-Time Attendance

F-1 visa students are required by U.S. immigration regulations to maintain full-time status while studying in the United States.  At De Anza, full-time attendance means the student must ENROLL AND COMPLETE a minimum of 12 units of coursework each Fall, Winter and Spring Quarter.  You are not required to take any classes during summer vacation or winter and spring breaks.  If, for any reason, you are forced to withdraw from classes (either by the instructor or by yourself) or if you take less than 12 units, you must FIRST speak to a counselor and get the final approval from an international student advisor at ISP prior to dropping and/or withdrawing from class(es).

Online (distance learning) Courses:

No more than the equivalent of one online/distance education class or 3 units/credits per academic term may be counted toward the “full course of study” requirement.  Hybrid classes (classes offered both online and on-campus) are considered the same as on-campus classes.

Exceptions to the Full-Time Enrollment Requirement

There are very specific reasons for which a student may be authorized to enroll in less than 12 units in a quarter. However, students must first receive approval from an international academic counselor and international student advisor.

Academic Performance

You are expected to remain a student in good academic standing (2.0 G.P.A. or higher) while you attend De Anza College.  If you are placed on academic probation or disqualified for inadequate academic performance, please contact ISP immediately for a counseling appointment.

Extension of Program of Study

F-1 visa students are admitted to the U.S. for Duration of Status (D/S), which is defined as: 

  • the time during which you are pursuing a full-course of study and making normal progress toward completing your requirements; plus
  • the time you may be working in authorized practical training after you complete your studies (if you qualify and are so authorized); plus
  • 60 days to depart the U.S. after you complete your program. 

The “Program End Date” on Page 1 of the I-20 Form issued to you by De Anza's ISP is the date by which ICE expects you to complete all requirements for your current program.  If you are unable to complete your program of study by that date, you will need to make an appointment with an international academic counselor at ISP for a program extension at least 45 days before reaching the I-20 program end date.  

Travel Abroad and Re-Entry

Whenever you plan to leave the U.S. temporarily and return to continue your studies at De Anza, you must check with the ISP regarding documents needed to re-enter the U.S.  If you plan to travel outside the U.S., you must have the following documents:  

  • a travel signature on Page 2 of your I-20 Form (signed by ISP);
  • a passport valid six months or more into the future; 
  • a valid F-1 visa in order to re-enter the U.S.;
  • a tourist visa for the country that you plan to visit (if required);

If you need to renew your expired F-1 visa when overseas, you will then need additional documents: 

  • enrollment verification letter from International Student Programs;
  • financial verification/documentation; 
  • De Anza transcript.

Leaving De Anza

If you plan to leave De Anza permanently, please turn in a completed exit form to the ISP office in your final quarter and attend an Exit Workshop. If you have question or would like a temporary leave of absence, please see an international student advisor.


Study in the States:

U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories:


California driver license or ID card:

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