Responsibilities of International Students


In addition to meeting the responsibilities shared by all Pace University students, it is essential that you follow the regulations below. International students should be familiar with the information contained in these webpages. The following responsibilities apply to students who are in the U.S. with F-1 or J-1 non-immigrant status for study at Pace University:

  • Students in F-1 or J-1 visa status must take a full course load at all times during their academic stay. For undergraduates, this means a minimum of 12 course credits each fall and spring semester; for graduate students, this means a minimum of 9 credits per semester; and for English Language Institute (ELI) students, this means 18 contact hours per week. Matriculated students are not required to enroll during summer. Under very limited circumstances, students may be permitted to take less than a full-time course load with the permission of the ISSO staff.  Authorization to enroll less than full-time must be approved prior to the beginning of the semester.  Any international student who is taking less than a full course load without prior written authorization is at risk of falling "out of status" (see details below).
  • International students must keep passports and immigration documents valid at all times; passports must be valid at least six months into the future.
  • International students are responsible for observing the regulations of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Department of State (DOS), and Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  • Any international student attending Pace University for the first time (or any continuing student who has been absent from the college for a semester or more and is returning to the U.S.) must check-in at the Office of International Programs and Services.  Students must bring their passport with visa stamp and visa document (I-20 or DS-2019) for check-in. This must happen within the first two weeks of classes and applies to all full-time students with non-immigrant visa status.
  • International students who are transferring from another school in the United States to Pace, or from one academic level to another within Pace, or are extending a program at Pace must follow the correct DHS procedures in a timely manner.  A new immigration document (I-20 or DS-2019) must be issued for the new school / program / within the first two weeks of the semester in which the program begins.  For an extension, the new I-20 / DS-2019 must be issued prior to the expiration date on the current immigration document.
  • Students with F-1 or J-1 visa status are permitted to work on campus up to 20 hours per week while school is in session and full-time during summer and vacation breaks. Special permission for off-campus work is required. Students with F-1 visa status may not seek or accept paid off-campus employment without prior permission from the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO).  This involves a written authorization on the Form I-20. F-1/J-1 are restricted by Federal Regulations for off-campus employment.  It is allowed under certain conditions, but students must first consult with the International Students and Scholars Office.
  • Students with J-1 visa status must have proper authorization from their J-1 program sponsor before engaging in any type of employment, including on-campus employment.
  • International students enrolled full-time at Pace University in any non-immigrant visa status must participate in the international student health insurance program offered by the university, unless a waiver request is approved (visit the Student Insurance website for details). Spouses and children with J-2 visa status are also required by federal law to have insurance coverage. It is strongly recommended that coverage for F-2 spouses and children be purchased as well.
  • Changes of address must be reported to the International Students and Scholars Office and the Office of Student Assistance (OSA) within ten days of a change. Reporting a change of address to OSA is not enough. Immigration regulations require that the Office of International Programs and Services always have your most current local U.S. address and home country address.  The International Students and Scholars Office will report the change to the immigration service through the SEVIS system.

Admission for “Duration of Status”
As an F-1 student, you have been admitted to the United States for “duration of status,” which is defined by the immigration service as:

  1. The time during which you are pursuing a full course of study (as shown on your I-20) and making normal progress toward completion of your degree
  2. The time you are engaged in authorized optional practical training (OPT) after you complete your studies (if you qualify and are authorized by USCIS)
  3. A grace period of 60 days to transfer schools or depart the U.S.

The immigration service grants “duration of status” to F-1 students by entering the notation “D/S” in the upper right corner of the Form I-20 and on the Form I-94 (white card that is stapled into your passport). The completion of studies date in item 5 of your most recent I-20 is the date by which the immigration service expects you to complete the requirements for your current program. If you are unable to complete your program by this date, contact the International Students and Scholars Office at least 30 days in advance to discuss applying for a program extension.