Maintain your immigration status

All F-1 and J-1 students must make sure to be registered full-time, update their address, and obtain a travel signature when leaving the United States in order to maintain their immigration status. For more information on these important regulations and work authorizations, please see below.

Full Time Enrollment

In compliance with the United States Citizenship, Immigration and Naturalization Service, (USCIS), Undergraduate international students are required to carry no fewer than 12 credit hours each semester and have two semesters to achieve a 2.00 grade point average. Graduate international students are required to carry no fewer than 9 credit hours each semester and have one semester to achieve the appropriate grade point average. For that reason, students must have the written approval of the Director of International Student and Scholar Services before adding, dropping, or changing classes. Failure to meet these guidelines may result in dismissal from Grand Valley State University and USCIS will be notified that the student is out of status.


Change of Address

Federal Requirements: United States immigration law requires the reporting of a change of address within 10 days of the move, even if it is changing apartments within the same complex. 

Reporting Change of Address: Grand Valley students must report their change of address in four ways:

  1. To the US Postal Service 
  2. On Grand Valleys myBanner 
  3. In an email to Kate Stoetzner to report to SEVIS
  4. In the USCIS immigration form AR-11

Travel Signatures

Any student wishing to leave the country for either travel or vacation must have their I-20 or DS 2019 endorsed by the Designated School Official. Please allow a minimum of 2 days for this signature. It is the responsibility of the student to make sure that their documents have this signature and each signature is good for one year from the indicated date. There will not be problems for the student to leave the country, but without the signature, re-entry may not be granted. Students travelling to Canada or Mexico are encouraged to have their documents signed within 6 months of travel. If you are interested in visiting Canada and/or Mexico, you should visit the Canadian and Mexican embassy websites before traveling. Be sure to have Kate Stoetzner's contact information while traveling. 

Travel advice from Immigration.

F-1 Work Authorization

F-1 students are only at eligible to work at GVSU without any additional immigration authorization as follows:

  • Maximum 20 hours per week during the regular semester (Fall & Winter semesters)
  • Maximum 40 hours per week during breaks (Spring Break, Winter Break, Spring/Summer semesters)

For information on work authorization outside of campus BEFORE graduation, see the CPT Information

For information on work authorization outside of campus AFTER graduation, see the OPT Information

J-1 Work Authorization

J-1 International Students are eligible to work at GVSUS only during their studies.

Academic Training (AT) is work authorization for J-1 students after program completion. Some J-1 students may be eligible for AT after their program ends. Students should make an appointment in their last semester to discuss eligibility.

Page last modified October 20, 2022