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Immigration Information

The information provided here is to help you with the most common immigration questions that arise for international students and scholars.

Maintaining Legal Status for ALL F and J Visa Holders

You are required to:

  • Check-in every semester within 10 calendar days of the first day of classes.
  • Report any changes in name, address, or phone number within 10 calendar days.
  • Maintain a valid passport.
  • Remain engaged in appropriate activities according to your DS-2019 or I-20.
  • Seek authorization prior to accepting any employment.
  • Report any changes of employment within 10 calendar days after employment is authorized.
  • Maintain health insurance.
  • Have your I-20 or DS-2019 signed prior to leaving the US for travel so you may be eligible for re-entry into the US.
  • Refrain from and report any criminal activity.

Maintaining Legal Status for all F and J STUDENTS

You are required to:

  • Remain full time which is 12 credits  for undergraduate students and 9 credits for graduate students.
  • Obtain authorization to drop below full time-time BEFORE doing so. 
  • Report being placed on probation or suspension and any other academic difficulties.
  • Report any delay in completing your program BEFORE the expriation date on your I-20 or DS-2019.
  • Report any changes to your degree program(s) or academic minors.
  • Ensure that you are enrolled in at least 12 (undergraduate) or  9 (graduate) credits of traditional, in classroom, courseses before enrolling in any distance/online courses. (J-1 visa)
  • Ensure that you are enrolled in at least 9 (undergraduate) or  6 (graduate) credits of traditional, in classroom, courseses before enrolling in any distance/online courses. (F-1 visa)
  • You must make normal academic progress towards completing your studies.

Volunteering as F or J Student Information

All F-1 or J-1 Students who are considering volunteering must complete the “Volunteering as F-1 or J-1 Student Request to Participate in Volunteer Activity” form.

Due to many limitations that international students on F-1 and J-1 visas have pertaining to both employment and unpaid/volunteer activities, it is important to understand and follow the guidelines mentioned below.

Volunteer Activities MUST adhere to ALL of the following for all students in J-1 and F-1 status:

  • Any volunteer activity that is intended to take more than 20 hours per week is not permitted.
  • All volunteer activity must be done for a non-profit organization involved in civic, charitable, or humanitarian activity.
  • Any activity overseen by a campus department or organization that takes place on CCU’s campus and is available to any student, regardless of their citizenship, but as a part of their student status at the university can be the site of volunteering.
  • Activities sponsored by CCU clubs, organizations, or departments that are available to and encouraging of participation of a broad range of CCU student participants, may be excluded from the requirement of no in-kind remuneration, and allow for meals, transportation, housing and/or small gifts. Requests for this review must be provided to the PDSO/RO for Coastal Carolina University at least 1 week before participation. Such requests will be approved on a case-by-case basis and in the University's discretion.

Please complete the “Volunteering as F-1 or J-1 Student Request to Participate in Volunteer Activity” form, and return it to Amir Maleki via email at amaleki@coastal.edu or drop it off at the Center for Global Engagement at Lib Jackson Student Union, A-109, at least 1 week prior to intended volunteer activity!