Maintaining Legal Status While in the US

To maintain legal F-1 or J-1 visa status and your eligibility to continue studying at the UO, you must follow the following immigration regulations:

Full-Time Enrollment

You must enroll in a full-time course of study each term:

            Undergraduate students: At least 12 credits

            Graduate students: At least 9 credits

Reduced Course Load

You may request a reduced course load to drop below full-time enrollment under certain circumstances. Go to Reduced Course Load Exemptions for eligibility requirements and instructions on how to submit a request.

Online Courses (currently suspended for Fall 2021)

An online course is defined as a course that is offered exclusively online and does not require your physical attendance for lectures, examinations or other purposes integral to completion of the class. Online courses which require your physical attendance for labs, lecture groups, examinations or other class requirements are not included in the online credits limitation.

You are limited to enrolling in 1 online course each term (4 online credits for undergraduate students and 3 online credits for graduate students. A maximum of 4 online credits may be counted toward your full-time enrollment requirement. Below is a table showing how many online credits are allowed each term and the minimum number of lecture (or classroom) credits that are required each term.

Degree Level Total Credits/Term Online Credits Allowed Minimum Required Lecture Credits
Undergraduate 1-15 credits 4 credits (one course) 8 credits
  16+ credits 4 or more credits 8 credits
Graduate 1-9 credits 3 credits (one course) 6 credits
  9+ credits 3 or more credits 6 credits

Term of Study - you may not take only online classes in your final term of study; your final term must include at least one lecture class.

For Government Sponsored Students - there may be additional restrictions to enrolling in online courses. Please consult with your government sponsored advisor.

Changing Your Course Schedule

After the 10th day of each term, you cannot drop below full-time enrollment or withdraw from all of your courses through Duckweb. You must meet with an ISSS advisor. This is a safeguard to keep you from dropping out of legal status.

Making Normal Progress

You are required to make normal academic progress toward degree completion. Normal progress means enrolling full-time and maintaining a satisfactory grade point average (GPA) each term of a 2.0 or higher for undergraduate students, or a 3.0 or higher for graduate students. Students who fail to make normal progress may be found ineligible for F-1 benefits such as travel signatures or I-20 extensions.

If you are disqualified, suspended or expelled from the UO, you are no longer eligible to continue studying at the UO and your F-1 or J-1 visa status ends immediately. Please meet with an ISSS advisor if you are having problems making normal progress toward degree completion and/or have been disqualified from the UO.

Maintaining Valid Immigration Documents

I-20: Do not let your I-20 expire if you have not completed your degree program. If you need more time to complete your degree, you must request an extension of your I-20 at least two weeks before the program end date expires. Failure to request and obtain a program extension prior to the program end date will result in termination of your immigration status.

Passport: Your passport should be valid at least 6 months into the future. If your passport will expire within 6 months, you must get it renew through the embassy or consulate of your home country.

Change of Address, Phone, or Email

International students are required to update DuckWeb within 10 days or a change of US address, phone number, or email address.

Grace Period

F-1 students who complete an academic degree or their one-year Optional Practical Training (OPT) period have a 60-day grace period to remain in the U.S. During the grace period, students cannot work and must leave the U.S. before the grace period ends, be admitted to a new degree program, transfer to another school, or seek another immigration status.

F-1 students who have received prior authorization from an international student advisor to withdraw from classes have 15 days to depart the U.S. after the withdrawal date. Students who withdraw from classes without prior authorization are not eligible for a grace period.

J-1 students have a 30-day grace period to remain in the US following the completion of their exchange program.