Maintaining Status

While studying in the United States, it is imperative to maintain your F-1 student visa status. Review the guidelines below for more information.

Registration

Registration information is posted online prior to each registration period. Students can search the open courses schedule by term. Current students can register for classes in person or online through myWilmU.

International students are required to maintain and complete a full course of study each semester while attending Wilmington University. A full course of study consists of 12 credits per semester for undergraduate students and 9 credits per semester for graduate students. Only one online class can be counted towards full enrollment per semester.

It is strongly recommended that all international students meet regularly with an academic advisor to ensure their program can be completed within the USCIS enrollment constraints. Students transferring in credits from other institutions must ensure that the transferred credits do not affect their program’s ability to meet F-1 student minimum enrollment requirements.

International students who are in the last semester of their program need only take those classes required to complete the program. Please contact your DSO at OPT@wilmu.edu before you begin your last semester.

Academic Issues

All international students are responsible for making satisfactory progress toward degree completion. Thus, all international students must work collectively with the DSO and academic advisors or program coordinators.

Maintaining Your Grade Point Average (GPA)

Dropping below the minimum GPA for your degree level can result in academic probation or suspension and can negatively affect your student visa status. If you are having trouble maintaining your GPA, please contact your DSO immediately.

Grades That May Affect Your Status

Grades of FA (Failure due to absences), NA (Failure to withdraw from a course), and I (Incomplete grades) result in no credit for the course and can cause students to drop below a full course load and result in the loss of F-1 visa status.

Current Student Travel

These instructions are intended to assist current students in requesting travel authorization. Students on OPT or STEM extension will need to contact OPT@wilmu.edu for travel authorization.

You must be currently in valid F-1 status, with a valid passport and F-1 visa in order to be eligible to travel.

The travel endorsement indicates that Wilmington University DSOs certify you are maintaining legal status upon traveling and you are expected to come back to continue studies or research.

Please complete the following travel request form so that we can assist you with your request within 7- 10 business days. **This form is only applicable to CURRENTLY ENROLLED WilmU students.**

Travel Plans

Please be advised, USCIS only permits travel during the semester under specific circumstances. These include being enrolled in only online courses during the travel period or documented family emergencies. In the case of a family emergency, please reach out to our office so that appropriate remarks can be added to your I-20.

Travel Disclaimer

Please keep in mind, every time you travel, it is at your own risk- an I-20 with travel authorization is not a guarantee that you will be permitted to re-enter the country. It is a good idea to travel with your current/future course schedule and, if you are traveling while class is still in session, any written communication with your instructors permitting you to either miss class or explaining that the class was moved to an online session. Please refer to the government site regarding travel as an international student: https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/students/traveling-as-an-international-student

Important to note: You do not need your I-20 endorsed for travel to leave the country, only for re-entry.

Employment

Unauthorized employment is a violation of your status and results in the termination of your I-20 with Wilmington University. Wilmington Univeristy does not offer day-one curricular practical training (CPT). Please see Employment Guidelines for more information about employment options.

Changing Visa Type to F-1

When you come into the US on a nonimmigrant status, that status indicates what you are supposed to be doing during your time in the US. Often, students decide they want to change to an F-1 status once they have been in the US and want to study full time. There are 2 ways to change your nonimmigrant status, outlined below. While considering your options for a change in visa type, you should contact our office at either international@wilmu.edu or +1(877) 967-5464.

Option 1: Travel and Reentry

In this case, you would leave the US and apply for a new visa at a U.S. Embassy and reenter the US with a new F-1 visa. You will officially be on F-1 status once you enter the United States. This is usually the fastest way to gain F-1 status.

Option 2: Change of Status in the U.S.

To do this, we recommend you hire an immigration attorney. You will apply to USCIS with a change of status request. This process can be very slow, usually taking between 6 months to a year. You do get to stay in the U.S. During this processing time, however, you cannot leave the U.S. either.