Regulations for F-1 visa status


In addition to meeting the responsibilities shared by all Rollins College students, it is essential that students follow the regulations below. International students should be familiar with the information contained on this webpage. The following responsibilities apply to students who are in the U.S. with F-1 non-immigrant status for study at Rollins College:


Full-time Enrollment

Students in F-1 visa status must take a full course load at all times during their academic stay. For undergraduates, this means a minimum of 12 course credits each fall and spring semester; for graduate students, this means a minimum of 9 credits each fall and spring semester. Matriculated students are not required to enroll during summer. Under very limited circumstances, students may be permitted to take less than a full-time course load with the permission of the OISSS. Authorization to enroll less than full-time must be approved prior to the beginning of the semester. Any international student who is taking less than a full course load without prior written authorization is at risk of violating their immigration status.


Keeping Documents Valid

International students must keep passports and immigration documents valid at all times; passports must be valid at least six months into the future.
International students are responsible for observing the regulations of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Department of State (DOS), and Internal Revenue Service (IRS).


Checking-in with OISSS

Any international student attending Rollins College for the first time (or any continuing student who has been absent from the college for a semester or more and is returning to the U.S.) must check-in at the Office of International Student & Scholar Services if they miss International Student Orientation. Students must bring their passport with visa stamp and Form I-20 for check-in. This must happen within the first two weeks of classes and applies to all full-time students with F-1 or F-2 non-immigrant visa status.


Transferring U.S. schools, Academic Programs, and Program Extensions

International students who are transferring from another school in the United States to Rollins, or from one academic level to another within Rollins, or are extending a program at Rollins must follow the correct DHS procedures in a timely manner. A new immigration document (Form I-20) must be issued for the new school / program within the first two weeks of the semester in which the program begins. For an extension, the new Form I-20 must be issued prior to the expiration date on the current immigration document.
The completion of studies date in item 5 of your most recent I-20 is the date by which the immigration service expects you to complete the requirements for your current program. If you are unable to complete your program by this date, contact the Office of International Student & Scholar Services at least 30 days in advance to discuss applying for a program extension.


Employment Authorization

Students with F-1 visa status are permitted to work on campus up to 20 hours per week while school is in session and full-time during summer and vacation breaks. Special permission for off-campus work is required. Students with F-1 visa status may not seek or accept paid off-campus employment without prior permission from the Office of International Student & Scholar Services. This involves a written authorization on the Form I-20.


Health Insurance Requirement

International students enrolled full-time at Rollins College in F-1 or J-1 non-immigrant visa status must participate in the health insurance program offered by the college, unless a waiver request is submitted by the deadline to the Office of the Bursar and approved. Spouses and children with J-2 visa status are also required by federal law to have insurance coverage. It is strongly recommended that coverage for F-2 spouses and children be purchased as well.  For information on the Rollins Health Insurance Policy and the Waiver Process click here.

Changes of Address

Changes of address must be reported to the Office of International Student & Scholar Services and the Office of Student Records within ten days of a change. Reporting a change of address to Student Records is not enough. Immigration regulations require that the Office of International Student & Scholar Services always has your most current local U.S. address and home country address. The Office of International Student & Scholar Services will report the change to the Immigration Service through the SEVIS system.


Admission for “Duration of Status”

As an F-1 student, you have been admitted to the United States for “duration of status,” which is defined by the immigration service as:

• The time during which you are pursuing a full course of study (as shown on your Form I-20) and making normal progress toward completion of your degree, plus
• The time you are engaged in authorized optional practical training (OPT) after you complete your studies (if you qualify and are authorized by USCIS, this will be no more than one year), plus
• A grace period of 60 days (F-1) to transfer schools, change immigration status, or depart the U.S.


The immigration service grants “duration of status” to F-1 students by entering the notation “D/S” in the upper right corner of the Form I-20 and on the Form I-94 (white card that is stapled into your passport).