Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

F-1 Status

I-94 Number

Click here to obtain your I-94 number.  Enter in the appropriate information and print out a copy of it for your records.  You will need the I-94 number if you wish to apply for a driver’s license, a state photo I.D., or social security number.

Duration of Status (D/S)

Duration of Status or D/S is the length of time for which you may stay in F-1 status in the United States.  D/S allows you to stay in the U.S. as long as you comply with all immigration regulations.  D/S is based on the completion date on your I-20, plus a 60-day grace period.

back to top


The visa stamp in your passport allowed you to enter the United States.  The visa expiration date is the date up to which you are permitted to enter or re-enter the United States–it is not an indication of the length of permission to stay.  You only need to renew your visa if you are going to travel outside of the U.S. and then return after the expiration date on the visa stamp in your passport.  All visa renewals must be obtained at a U.S. embassy or consulate outside of the U.S.

back to top

Maintaining F-1 Student Status

To maintain F-1 student status, students must:

1.  Keep a valid passport.  To extend your passport validity, please contact your country’s embassy in the United States:  Websites of Foreign Embassies in the U.S.

2.  Attend the College he or she is authorized to attend as stated on his or her Form I-20.

3.  Pursue a full course of study and make normal progress towards the completion of your degree.  If for any reason, you are unable to be enrolled full-time in your program, please contact OIA immediately.  An F-1 student who fails to maintain a full course of study without the approval of OIA is not maintaining proper F1 status and is not eligible for the pre-departure or pre-transfer grace period.

4.  Online courses:  Only 3 credits of online courses count toward maintaining your full-time status requirement.

5.  Extensions:  A program extension can only be granted under special circumstances.  If you are having any difficulties in your academic program, please contact OIA as soon as possible.

6.  Changing Education Level or Program:  If you decide that you would like to change your field of study or change your academic level of study (e.g., from bachelor’s to master’s degree), you must visit OIA before you make any changes.

7.  Transferring Colleges:  If you decide that you would like to transfer to another institution, you must visit OIA before you make any changes.

8.  Employment:  You are permitted to work up to 20 hours a week while College is in session.  Full time on-campus employment is permitted during university vacation periods as long as you were enrolled full-time for the previous term and intend to be full-time the following term.  You must contact OIA for approval of any on-campus employment. Do not accept any unauthorized employment.  In the event of economic hardship or interest in part-time practical training, please contact OIA immediately to discuss appropriate options.

9.  Off-campus employment requires special authorization.  In the event of economic hardship or interest in part-time practical training, please contact OIA immediately to discuss appropriate options. Do not accept any unauthorized employment.

10.  You must report any change of address to OIA and USCIS within 10 days of your move. This is extremely important so that you can receive the proper documents from USCIS or Thomas Jefferson University. Click here to report your change of address online to USCIS.

back to top


If you plan to travel outside of the United States during your F-1 program, two weeks before you leave you must visit OIA with your passport and your I-20 so we can prepare your documents for travel and give you any necessary information regarding your return to the United States. It may be a good idea to contact OIA before you make your travel plans, so that we can provide you with any information you may need to make your travel decisions.

back to top

Health Insurance

All F-1 Students and any family members accompanying in F-2 status are required by Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Medical College to be covered by adequate health insurance. This health insurance must provide for medical evacuation and repatriation of remains.  

back to top

End of Program

If you are interested in more information about any period of Optional Practical Training that may be available to you at the completion of your studies, please contact OIA at the beginning of your final semester at Jefferson so we can review your program and advise. If you will be leaving the United States at the end of your academic program, please visit OIA at least one week before you end your program and return to your home country.

back to top


Always keep any I-20 you ever receive in your lifetime, because this document helps to show that you legally maintained your F-1 status.

back to top