Studying in US? Remember to maintain your Student Visa and Student Status

When your application is accepted at a school in the US, there is an air of excitement around you. Pursuing that dream course is all you want . But it is also important to remember some procedural details so that the stay is a productive and memorable one.

A ‘Student Visa’ is a document which a student receives before he/she enters the US. Student Status, on the other hand, has to be ‘maintained’ by students after they enter the US.

The US Department of State issues an F or M student visa to students. This means that you are coming to the United States to study. You should not take any action that detracts from that purpose. Maintaining your status means:

  • Fulfilling the purpose for why the Department of State issued you your visa.
  • Following the regulations associated with that purpose.

On Arrival 

On arrival, students having either F or M visas must:

  • Enter the United States no more than 30 days before their programme of study begins.
  • First contact the designated school official (DSO) when you enter the United States.
  • On arriving at the school, students need to contact their DSO again, before the programme start date listed on the Form I-20, ‘Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.’


While studying in the United States, both F and M visa students must:

  • Attend and pass all classes. Students who find it difficult to adjust to the curriculum should speak with their DSO immediately.
  • In case a student believes he/she will be not complete the programme by end date listed on their Form I-20, students should apply for a possible programme extension with their DSO.
  • Students must take a full course of study for each term. If a student cannot study full-time, he/she should immediately contact their DSO.
  • Never drop a class without speaking to the DSO, .