Immigration Rights & Responsibilities

The information on this site is for use by international students in F-1 status at Saint Anselm College. After reading the information on this page and subsequent pages under "Current F-1 Students," you should have a basic understanding of the important rights or benefits you have in relation to U.S. immigration regulations. You should also have an understanding of your responsibilities for maintaining your lawful immigration status as an international student in F-1 status. You will not, however, have an understanding of the actual procedures which must be followed in order to apply for certain benefits. In order for you to exercise many of your rights it will be necessary for you to meet with and gain assistance from the staff of the Office of International Programs.

Registration, Attendance and Course Load

Registration & Attendance: You must register at and attend the school indicated on your I-20.

Course Load: You must register as a full-time student when school is in session. For undergraduate students, full-time is defined as a minimum of 12 credits. In order to graduate within four years all student should enroll in 16 credits each semester.

Reduction in Course Load: You may register for a lesser course load if a) you will complete your studies by the end of that school term and do not need a full course load in order to graduate; b) the Office of International Programs approves, in advance, a reduction in course load due to special circumstances such as illness, academic difficulties, etc.; or c) you are participating in authorized Curricular or Optional Practical Training.


Within the U.S.: You have the right to travel freely within the U.S. provided you maintain your legal F-1 status and have your passport and immigration documents in your possession.

Outside the U.S. with return planned to the same school: You must consult the Office of International Programs in advance regarding travel authorization and the necessary documentation required to facilitate your reentry to the U.S.

Outside the U.S. with return planned to a different school: You must consult the Office of International Programs in advance regarding your proposed travel and change of schools. If the change is permissible, you must obtain a new Form I-20 from your new school before you attempt to reenter the U.S.

Completion of Study

Upon completion of studies you may have the right to a) continue study at the same school or transfer to a different school for a higher academic degree, certificate or program of academic work; b) apply for Optional Practical Training; or c) take up to 60 days to depart the U.S. If you complete your studies before the expiration date listed on your I-20 you will have 60 days to prepare for departure. If you choose to remain in the U.S. for more than 60 days following the end of your program (without entering a new program or Optional Practical Training), you will be in violation of your immigration status, could be subject to deportation, and/or may be denied entry to the U.S. in the future.

To be eligible for on-campus, employment you must be enrolled in a full course of study and remain enrolled full-time. Students may work "on campus" up to 20 hours per week (each week) when school is in session, and full-time (more than 20 hours a week) during holiday and vacation periods. A new F-1 student who has been issued an initial form I-20 may work up to, but no more, than 30 days prior to the commencement of classes.

If you pursue on-campus employment, you must apply for a Social Security Number.

What is considered on-campus employment?

Type 1: Employment at Saint Anselm College: Any on-campus work for which you receive a paycheck (or other compensation, such as room and board, etc.) from Saint Anselm College.

Type 2: On Campus Work affiliated with an On-Site Commercial Firm on Saint Anselm College Premises. This includes work on the Saint Anselm campus for a commercial firm, if and only if, this work provides direct services to Saint Anselm students. Prior approval from OIP is required.