International Student and Scholar Services

The F-1 and J-1 Visa

To maintain F-1 and J-1 status, a student must:

  • Register full time every semester
  • Only work off campus with the proper employment benefit (OPT, CPT, or Academic Training)
  • Keep your passport valid six months into the future at all times
  • Report all changes in your US address, legal name, and/or visa status within 10 days of any change by emailing
  • International students and scholars are reminded of their responsibility to have registration documents with them at all times. We recommend keeping a copy of your I-94 on your person, which you can retrieve at:

What information must be kept and reported through SEVIS

Please Note: Oberlin College must report the following for each F-1 and J-1 student:

  • Enrollment and registration status
  • Whether or not a student drops below a full-time course of study
  • Completion of program of study
  • Extension of program of study
  • Change(s) in legal name(s) and/or address
  • Some academic or disciplinary actions taken against the student
  • Other information such as program transfers, changes in level and/or major of study, employment authorizations, reinstatement, and/or record termination date and reason

Program Extensions

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State (DOS) regulations require students in F-1 and J-1 status to complete their program of study by the expected completion date noted in their I-20 or DS-2019. If you will not be able to complete your current program by the expected completion date because of a valid academic or medical reason, you may apply for a program extension.  Please contact the International Student Resource Center for information on how to apply.

Program extensions are not available after the completion date on the I-20 or the DS-2019 has passed. 

Valid academic reasons may include:

  • the addition of a second major;
  • a change in degree program;
  • the need to complete remaining non-course degree requirements.

Not meeting admission requirements to a different program at Oberlin is NOT a valid academic reason to extend the immigration documents for a student in the Performance Diploma program.

Immigration documents cannot be extended for personal convenience, travel reasons, to renew driver’s licenses etc.