If you are an international student attending Casa Loma College, it is important to follow the steps below to maintain your F-1 status. Enter the United States no more than 30 days prior to starting your program. Immediately contact your Designated School Official (DSO) when you enter the United States.

Maintain a Valid I-20

Do not let your I-20 expire and be sure to get a travel signature before departing the United States. You will also need to get a new I-20 if you change your degree level, major, funding source, or the number of F-2 dependents you have. Timing can be critical for all of these changes, so start the process early.

Short-Term Travel

All F-1 students must obtain authorization from their DSO prior to traveling outside of the United States. Failure to obtain signed authorization on your form I-20 may result in your inability to re-enter the county. Please meet with your advisor at least 3 days prior to your expected travel.

Maintain Full-Time Enrollment

To stay in status, you need to enroll in at least 12 credit hours per semester and maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. Obtain prior approval prior to withdrawing from a class or attempting to enroll in less than 12 credits. If you feel you need to extend your graduation date, see your advisor immediately.

Work Only With Authorization

F-1 students are eligible for curricular practical training (CPT) at either the undergraduate or the graduate level during the program of study. CPT employment must be an integral part of an established curriculum and the position must directly relate to your major area of study. Your DSO can give you the school’s policy on this option.

F-1 students are also eligible for optional practical training following their program of study. OPT is a form of temporary employment that directly relates to your program of study. Students may not accrue more than 90 days of unemployment.

Keep Your Address Updated

You must update your address within 10 days of any move, even if it is only temporary

Keep a Valid Passport

You must have a valid passport at all times. If your passport will expire while you are in the United States, you will want to contact your embassy to renew it. Once you have your updated passport, you must provide the College with a copy of the page showing your new passport expiration date.

Abide by grace periods

You have a 60-day grace period following the completion of your program of study or Optional Practical Training (OPT). You can explore your options during this period. However, if you have not made other plans by the time it is over, you must depart the United States.

Transferring to a New School

Upon completion of your program, you may seek to transfer to another college to continue your education. Transfers must be completed within the grace period and prior to starting classes at a new institution.


The process to reinstate your I-20 status is very complicated. The College DSO may be able to advise you, but it is possible that you will need legal advice from an immigration attorney.