F-1 Students

F-1 international students are subject to special laws and policies mandated by the United States (US) government.

Our purpose at Mid Michigan College is to help you attain your educational goals while at the same time maintaining good-standing with the federal government so you do not risk being arrested and deported. When you enter or continue your education in the US, you agree to certain immigration rules. Violating those rules affects your status and good standing. Following are the rules you must adhere to in order to remain in legal student status.

  • Maintain full-time status. You must be registered for at least 12 semester credit hours at Mid in the Fall and Winter semesters. You must meet with the Designated School Official (DSO) each semester to select your classes for Fall and Winter. Taking courses in the Summer semester at Mid or at another institution is optional but you must notify the DSO of your intent to do so. An official letter from Mid can be provided to the institution you wish to enroll at as a Guest International Student.
  • Make Normal Academic Progress. The academic work you are doing in your classes must advance you toward graduation. This includes passing the courses in which you are registered. Failing and retaking multiple courses can result in not meeting satisfactory academic progress. If you are not making Normal Academic Progress, you are considered out of status.
  • Obtain work authorization. You are not allowed to work off-campus without authorization from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Working off-campus without prior authorization from the USCIS places you at risk of being out of status and subject to arrest and deportation. Mid does not offer on-campus employment opportunities for international students.
  • Keep your Passport current. It is your responsibility to maintain your visa status and keep your passport current. Contact the embassy in your home country when your passport is close to expiring to avoid any issues.
  • Keep your Form I-20 valid. You must keep your Form I-20 valid at all times. If you believe you cannot complete your program of study by the date indicated on your Form I-20, you must contact the Designated School Official (DSO) to discuss your options.
  • Tell Mid if your address changes. You must inform Mid of any changes in address and phone number. Report all changes to the Mid's International Program Coordinator, who serves as Mid's PDSO.
  • Plan ahead for international travel. In order to travel outside the US you must make arrangements well in advance. You need a valid passport, a valid F-1 Visa, and a current official letter from Mid to go along with your current I-20. Schedule a meeting with the DSO well in advance of trip. If your F-1 Visa expires while you are a student at Mid you must meet with the US Embassy or consulate to get a new F-1 Visa.
  • Know your rights. Being an F-1 student has many responsibilities associated with it, know your rights. Check out the USCIS website to get information about being an F-1 student and forms that you may need to complete.

F-1 students are admitted to the United States for a Duration of Status (D/S), which is defined as the time necessary to complete an educational program (within limits) and any authorized practical training plus 60 days. To determine your duration of status, see the program completion date on your Form I-20.

  • An F-1 student with an expired visa who is admitted for D/S, who is otherwise maintaining status and making normal progress toward completing their educational objective, is not required to apply for extension of stay.
  • An F-1 student, with an expired visa, who is admitted for D/S, is maintaining status and making normal progress toward completing their educational objective is not required to apply for extension of stay.

An F-1 student may be granted an extension if the student has maintained status and shows that the completion delay has been caused by compelling academic or medical reasons, such as changes of major or research topic, unexpected research problems, or documented illness. Delays caused by extensive course retakes, academic probation, or academic suspension are not acceptable reasons for an extension.

Program Extension Process

Make an appointment with Mid's International Advisor at least 30 days prior to the end date on your Form I-20. Bring the following to your appointment

  • Current Form I-20
  • Passport
  • Documentation of the delay. This documentation must be from your academic advisor or medical doctor verifying the specific reason for the delay in program completion.

If an extension is approved, your SEVIS record is updated and a new SEVIS I-20 is issued to you within one week.

An extension may not be granted if the student did not apply until after the program end date noted on the Form I-20.

An F-1 student who has overstayed their period of stay or has otherwise failed to maintain F-1 student status may be reinstated to lawful F-1 status at the discretion of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Reinstatement to lawful F-1 status may be granted to a student if the student

  1. Has not been out of status for more than 5 months at the time of filing the request for reinstatement (or demonstrates that the failure to file within the 5 month period was the result of exceptional circumstances and that they filed the request for reinstatement as promptly as possible under these exceptional circumstances)
  2. Does not have a record of repeated or willful violations of USCIS regulations
  3. Is currently pursuing, or intending to pursue, a full course of study in the immediate future
  4. Has not engaged in unauthorized employment
  5. Is not deportable on any grounds other than Federal Regulations stipulated in 8 CFR 237(a)(1)(B) or (C)(i)
  6. Establishes to the satisfaction of the USCIS that
  • the violation of status resulted from circumstances beyond the student's control or
  • the violation relates to a reduction in the student's course load that would have been within an Academic Advisor's power to authorize and that failure to approve reinstatement would result in extreme hardship to the student.

Failure to maintain lawful immigration status is a serious issue and any student who finds themselves out of status should consult with an immigration attorney for advice on options for resuming valid status.

Application Procedure
Students who have fallen out of valid F-1 status and would like to file for Reinstatement should schedule an appointment with Mid's International Advisor to review the possibility of a reinstatement application.

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is defined as temporary employment for practical training directly related to the student's major area of study. 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(f)(10)(ii)

OPT may be authorized to an F-1 student who has lawfully enrolled in an academic program on a full-time basis for one full academic year. The student may apply for OPT employment authorization for work that is directly related to their area of study. It is intended to provide hands-on practical work experience complementary to the student's academic program. English language training students are not eligible for OPT.

Although an employment offer is not required to apply for standard OPT, it is expected that a student work during their period of employment authorization. Students applying for a 17-month STEM extension are required to have an offer of employment with an E-verify registered employer. Students on Post-Completion OPT may only accumulate a total of 90 days of unemployment.

To discuss the pre- or post-OPT application and your eligibility as an F-1 student, contact your Mid Mentor.

International Mid Mentor

Eric Wittig


(989) 317-9210 


(989) 267-8140