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This college is authorized under Federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students. 

All F-1 students and J-1 exchange visitors must maintain a valid immigration status for the duration of stay in the United States.  This requirement is reviewed during the mandatory International Student Orientation program at the beginning of each semester.  It is the responsibility of each student to stay informed and maintain a valid immigration status.

1. Report to the International Student Office

All new F-1 and J-1 students are required to attend the orientation program and check-in at the ISO either online or in person within 30-days of the program start date.  Your SEVIS record must be activated within 30-days of the program start date of your first semester at SVA.  Failure to report may result in the termination of your visa status.

2. Enroll in a full course of study (Register Full-Time)

All F-1 and J-1 students are required by law to enroll in a full course of study.  At SVA, this means registering for a minimum of 12 credits every semester. A reduced course load must be authorized by your academic advisor and ISO before you drop below 12 credits.

3. Update your local address

All F-1 and J-1 students are required by law to notify the ISO within 10 days of a change of address.

4. Keep your I-20 or DS-2019 form current

Information listed on your I-20 or DS-2019 form must be kept current at all times, such as your program end date and field of study. If any of this information changes, you must notify the ISO immediately. Most importantly, if you cannot finish your program by the end date listed on the I-20 or DS-2019 form, you must have it extended before the program end date.

5. DO NOT engage in unauthorized employment

Unauthorized employment is a violation of status, so this rule must be observed carefully. F-1 students may work on-campus for a maximum of 20 hours per week during the spring and fall semesters and full-time during vacations. Students may also engage in internships after it is authorized by the ISO. Any off-campus employment, such as Curricular Practical Training or Optional Practical Training, must be authorized by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before you start working.

6. Obtain a travel signature

You are required to have your I-20 or DS-2019 form endorsed within the past 12 months in order to re-enter the U.S. upon traveling abroad. Please visit the ISO at least one week before departure.

7. Abide by your "duration of status"

F-1 students have a 60-day grace period after completing the program.  J-1 exchange visitors have a 30-day grace period after completing the program.  You must leave the U.S. or transfer to another school by the end of your grace period.  The grace period for an authorized early withdrawal or leave of absence is 15 days. There is no grace period if you violate your visa status. Overstaying your visa status is illegal.

8. Keep your documents safe

You must keep your passport valid for at least 6 months ahead, and keep all of your immigration documents in a safe place. Lost or stolen documents must be reported to the ISO.

International Student Profile

School of Visual Arts | 209 East 23 Street, NY, NY 10010-3994 | Tel: 212.592.2000 | Fax: 212.725.3587