Current International Students

Maintaining Status

When you entered the U.S. your passport was stamped and you were admitted as an F-1 or J-1 student. You now have a responsibility to maintain your immigration status. All international students are responsible for remaining “in status” by complying with the following regulations and policies:

Reporting requirement

You must report to ISO (International Services Office) within 10 days of changing any of the following:

  • Home address in the U.S.
  • E-mail address you use to communicate with ISO
  • Academic program, degree level, and/or school

Employment Authorization

  • Obtain an “Authorization for Employment’ letter from ISO if you are offered an on-campus job (including teaching assistantship).
  • Consult with your International Student Advisor regarding off-campus work eligibility before seeking off-campus employment.
  • Apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and/or Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Maintain Full Course Load

  • Know what the full course requirement is for your specific degree program.
  • Register for a full course load every quarter except for your vacation quarter.
  • Complete a “Request for Reduced Course Load” whenever you are registering for less than a full course load or requesting a vacation quarter.

Observe ISO Policies

  • Maintain a valid passport at all times and provide ISO with a copy of any new and/or renewed passports.
  • You must obtain a travel validation signature from ISO before traveling outside the U.S.
  • Know when your visa expires and provide ISO with a copy of any new visa.
  • Remember your program completion date on your Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20/ DS-2019). Apply for an extension, if you qualify, in a timely manner (90 days before your program end date).
  • Maintain appropriate health insurance for you and your dependents at all times
  • Notify ISO if you are permanently leaving Fuller (e.g., returning to your home country, transferring to a new school, etc.).
  • File a non-resident tax form each year before the tax deadline.

Consequences for Failure to Maintain Status

Immigration laws in the United States may issue severe penalties if you fail to comply. Failure to comply with the above regulations and/or policies can result in falling “out of status.” Violation of status can result in being required to leave the United States. Most people who violate the terms of their status are barred from lawfully returning to the United States for a period of time. Maintenance of accurate records at ISO is especially important since the SEVIS system will automatically report details of your status to the Department of Homeland Security.

Remember, it is always best to check with ISO whenever you are uncertain about immigration laws or maintaining legal status.

More information can be found on the United States Immigrations and Customs Enforcement website.

Employment Options

F-1 visa holders are not allowed to work off campus unless specifically authorized for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT). The only employment allowed for an F-1 student is a part-time campus job. F-2 dependants are not allowed to obtain employment in any capacity.


Click here for a list of on-campus positions

As an international student you are not eligible for the Federal Work-Study program or for the Federal Loan programs. If your visa status allows you to work on campus, you will need to apply for regular positions (not Federal Work-Study) as posted on Fuller’s employment page.

CPT (F-1 Students)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) allows F-1 students to complete any applicable academic requirements for field internships. To be eligible for CPT you must

  • Be enrolled in a degree program that requires a field internship as part of the academic program;
  • Complete one full academic year of full-time study (unless otherwise required by your degree program);
  • Continue to enroll in courses full-time (your CPT may account for up to 4 units toward your full-time requirement);
  • Obtain an offer of employment from the organization where you will be completing your CPT requirements;
  • Apply for CPT authorization from your International Student Advisor before starting your position.

OPT (F-1 Students)

Optional Practical Training (OPT) allows an F-1 student to obtain employment related to their field of study for a maximum period of 12 months. It is designed to allow actual field experience that is complementary to their program of study. To be eligible for OPT you must:

  • Complete one full academic year of full-time study;
  • Continue to maintain your full-time F-1 status;
  • Work only in a position that directly relates to your academic program;
  • Apply for OPT authorization from your International Student Advisor 90 days prior to starting your employment.

Pre- or Post-Completion OPT:

To enroll in OPT prior to the completion of your studies, you will be allowed to work only part time while maintaining a full course load in your academic program. To enroll in OPT after you complete your coursework, you must apply for OPT authorization 90 days prior to completing your studies. For post-completion OPT you may work full-time.

Academic Training (J-1 Students)

Traveling as an International Student

Travel Abroad

If you plan to travel abroad while you are in school, you will need a travel validation signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 from your International Advisor. Travel signatures are valid for 6 months but we recommend meeting with your International Advisor each time you plan to leave the country.

Your student visa functions as your entry document. If your visa is expired or is about to expire, you may not be able to enter back into the US without first renewing your visa.

Always remember to carry your Passport, Visa, and I-20/DS-2019 whenever you leave the US. It is advisable to also bring your Declaration of Financial Support and a copy of your current transcripts.

Travel within the U.S.

Travel within the US is typically hassle-free for international students in regards to immigration status. However, it is still a good idea to carry your passport, visa, I-20, Declaration of Financial support, and current transcripts with you should any problems arise.

Travel During OPT/CPT

If you plan to travel during your OPT or CPT you must meet with International Advisor first.

Travel on an Expired Visa

If your visa is expired and you leave the country, you will most likely not be able to reenter on the same visa. You will need to renew your visa before returning. Please meet with your International Advisor before you leave to discuss your eligibility and the required documentation for renewing your visa.

(626) 584-5200
(800) 235-2222
135 N. Oakland Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91182