F-1 Student

Being in F-1 student status means that your primary purpose for being in the U.S. is to study.

  • Immigration Documents
    Learn about immigration documents related to your visa status.
  • SEVIS I-901 Fee
    Learn what F-1 students need to know about paying the SEVIS fee.
  • Maintaining F-1 Student Status
    Understand what you need to do to maintain your F-1 student status.
  • On-Campus Employment
    F-1 students are eligible to work on-campus during their academic program if they are maintaining their F-1 status.
  • Reduced Course Load
    Immigration regulations require that F-1 students maintain a full course of study. If a student cannot enroll full-time, they must be approved by ISS for a Reduced Course Load before dropping below full-time.
  • Extension of Stay
    Find out what you need to do if your I-20 is expiring and you need more time to complete your studies.
  • Leave of Absence
    Find out how to apply for a Leave of Absence and how it impacts your immigration status.
  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
    Curricular Practical Training (CPT) enables F-1 students to take part in an internship or other experience that is integral to the curriculum of their degree program.
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT)
    Optional Practical Training is an F-1 student benefit that allows you to work off-campus in a job related to your major. It is meant to supplement your academic experience with practical experience.
  • F-2 Dependents
    Some F-1 students wish to bring their spouse and/or children to the U.S.  Learn about F-2 status and what you need to do to obtain F-2 I-20's for your dependents.
  • Change of Status to F-1
    To be eligible for a change of status to F-1, you must have maintained and currently be in a valid immigration status, be admitted to a degree program at UB and have received an I-20. 
  • Violation of Status
    Maintaining F-1 status is very important. Recent changes in US immigration policy make it difficult to correct an immigration status violation.
  • Economic Hardship Work Authorization
    Economic Hardship employment authorization is permission granted to F-1 students by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to work off-campus due to specific economic hardship criteria.
  • SEVIS Transfer
    If you plan to transfer from UB to another school or vice versa, you may need a SEVIS Transfer.
  • Leaving UB
    Find out more about your next steps as an F-1 student after you leave UB.
  • How to Succeed as an F-1 Student
    Learn what it means to be in F-1 status, what rules you must follow, and how to successfully navigate your time studying at UB.


The information contained in this web site is provided as a service to the international students, faculty, staff, employees and administrators of the University at Buffalo, and does not constitute legal advice on any immigration, tax or other matter. We try to provide useful information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this web site or any associated site. As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel. Neither the University at Buffalo nor the Office of International Student Services is responsible for any errors or omissions contained in this website, or for the results obtained from the use of this information.