Immigration Information - Coastal Carolina University
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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 expiration 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 International Student and Scholar Services by email at or drop it off at the Center for Global Engagement in Kearns Hall Suite 207 at least 1 week prior to intended volunteer activity.