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F-1 Basics

Once you enter the United States as a University of the Cumberlands student, the Office of Student Affairs is here to help you maintain a positive standing with your F-1 student visa.


Remain A Full-Time Student

You must be full-time (12 credit hours for undergraduate students/6 credit hours for graduate students) each semester.  If you have questions regarding enrollment requirements, please contact the Office of Student Affairs.


Keep Your I-20 Current

Your I-20 houses a great deal of information.  If you change your local address, change your academic program or change your employer (if you are in CPT or OPT) you must notify the Office of Student Affairs so we can update your I-20.


Keep Your Passport Valid 

Contact your home country's embassy in the U.S. for information about renewing your passport.


Can I Work In The US?

F-1 students cannot work without employment authorization from the Office of Student Affairs (undergraduate) or the Department of International Graduate Services (graduate). 

On-Campus Employment

UC offers limited employment opportunities for up to 20 hours per week during the academic year. Employment on-campus may be full-time in the summer (if summer is not your first or last semester of enrollment) and vacation periods.

Off-Campus Employment

F-1 students cannot work off campus without permission from the Office of Student Affairs (undergraduate) or  the Department of International Graduate Services (graduate).  Either office can help students navigate the CPT and OPT employment request processes.


Check-In Before You Travel Outside The US

Before you leave the US, make sure you request a travel signature for re-entry from a UC Designated School Official. The DSO will sign page 2 of the I-20 for this purpose. The signature is valid for one year, but it is recommended to obtain a new signature every 6 months. A new signature is required every 6 months while on OPT.


Do You Know Your Grace Periods?

A grace period is the lapse of time that occurs before or after you start/complete your program of study. Before you begin your program of study: An F-1 student may enter the U.S. initially up to 30 days before, but no later than, the program start date on the I-20. After completing your program of study:  The grace period ends when you depart the U.S., or no later than 60 days after the end of the I-20 or your EAD card (if on OPT), whichever comes first.