Maintaining Your F-1 Visa

While studying at Bennington, you are required to maintain your F-1 non-immigrant status. As an undergraduate, this equates to a minimum of 12 credit hours per term. It is important that you adhere to the guidelines below as well as those provided by USCIS.

The information below is intended to offer general information on F-1 regulations and should not be taken as legal advice. Please note that your International Student Advisors (ISAs) are available to assist you, however, maintaining your legal F-1 status is ultimately your responsibility.

F-1 Compliance Guidelines

  1. You must meet with an ISA within the first week of classes to register in SEVIS. You will receive an updated and signed I-20.

  2. Inform your ISA of any name, address, or funding updates within 10 days of the change.

  3. Meet with an ISA for prior approval to drop below 12 credit hours, which is only feasible under certain extenuating circumstances.

  4. Inform an ISA of address changes, including changes over FWT.

  5. Keep your passport valid for at least six months beyond your program completion date.

  6. Do NOT work without prior written permission from an ISA. Students who work on campus must not exceed the maximum 20 hours per week while school is in session.

  7. To transfer out of Bennington College, you must notify an ISA of your intentions to transfer before your F-1 status ends.

  8. Upon completion of your degree, you will have a 60-day grace period to depart the United States. You may also transfer to another program, change education levels, or apply for post-completion OPT. Please visit the work authorization page (link here) to learn about your options.