You are responsible for your immigration status and following the rules of your status. Champlain College is responsible for reporting in SEVIS whether or not you are maintaining your status.

Important Terms You Should Know

SEVIS: Student and Exchange Visitor Information System

After 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security built a database to monitor and report on the activities of F, M, and J students/scholars and their schools.


P/DSO: Principal/Designated School Official

A P/DSO helps you understand the rules of your status and reports whether or not you are maintaining your status in SEVIS. This person is specifically trained in U.S. immigration regulations regarding F-1 students.

Champlain College’s PDSO is located in the Office of International Student Services and the DSO is located in the Office of Student Conduct in Skiff Hall.


STATUS: Permission to be in the United States for a period of time for a specific activity.

You were given your status by the Customs and Border Protection inspector. This can appear in your passport as a stamp “F-1 D/S” or as an electronic I-94 record (you can print this out online). You are in the US to pursue a full course of study for a specific time as long as you obey the rules.


FORM I-20:

Form I-20 certifies that you are pursuing a full course of study and you can afford your program.

Rules of F-1 Status/How to Maintain Your Status

  1. You must enroll in and complete 12 or more credits every Fall and every Spring semester. You are required to check in with your P/DSO at the beginning of the semester before SEVIS Registration.
  2. You need your P/DSO’s permission BEFORE you drop below full-time, stop attending, or withdraw.
  3. You may work on campus only up to 20 hours per week per term.
  4. You need your P/DSO’s authorization BEFORE you work on- or off-campus—this authorization includes any paid or unpaid internships, field work, and practicums required for your major. Working without authorization is grounds for immediate termination of your SEVIS record.
  5. Keep your passport valid.
  6. You are required to carry the appropriate health insurance for the entire length of your program.
  7. You must report any change to your local address within 10 days to your P/DSO.
  8. Inform your P/DSO of changes to the information (change or additions of program) on your Form I-20.
  9. Before you travel, be sure to obtain a travel endorsement (signature) every 6 months and discuss your travel plans with your P/DSO.
  10. File a federal income tax form every year you are in the U.S. even if you did not work.
  11. Complete your studies no later than the program end date on your Form I-20 or apply for a program extension with your P/DSO before your current I-20 expires.
  12. After your completion of study, you have a 60 day grace period. During this period, you must either depart the U.S.; apply for post-completion OPT; transfer to another school for further studies; or pursue further studies at Champlain College.
  13. You need to obtain a SEVIS transfer from your P/DSO BEFORE transferring to another US school.
  14. You need to obtain a Change of Level Form I-20 from your P/DSO BEFORE you complete your current program.

If you obey the above rules, you are “maintaining your status”.