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Immigration Overview for Advisors

ISSS is available to assist departments who work with international students. Please remember that academic advisors should send international students to ISSS if there is any question about any changes in their academic program or full-time status to confirm that these changes will not violate their immigration status. Our team of International Student Advisors in ISSS is available to help students through e-mail, phone, appointments or walk-in advising. You may contact ISSS at isss@du.edu or 303-871-4912.

In order to keep the University of Denver compliant with immigration regulations, ISSS reports the activity of F-1 and J-1 students to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

ISSS reports to SEVIS every term and when changes occur in the student record. The student is responsible for maintaining his immigration status. (Please note that the immigration status is different than the visa. The visa is the document in the passport that a nonimmigrant uses to ask permission to enter the U.S. Once a nonimmigrant is granted entry into the U.S., he acquires an immigration status. The status establishes a nonimmigrant's legal presence in the U.S.).  Following are some immigration reporting requirements that may involve an academic advisor:

    • - Full-time enrollment requirement
    • - Completion of academic program by program end date
    • - Changes to the student's academic program
    • - Off-campus employment authorization

More information about an academic advisor's role in working with F-1 and J-1 students is found on the other webpages of this section.

Please note that international students in the U.S. may be in a variety of immigration statuses. Some may be here for another reason besides studying, but are allowed to attend classes in their current status. In these cases, study does not maintain their immigration status and is considered "incidental to status" (e.g., H-1B, H-4, J-2, E's, etc.). Unlimited study (part or full time) or not studying at all would be acceptable for these students.

Some types of immigration statuses do not allow studying, so in order to begin studying the future student would have to leave and re-enter in a student status or change their status within the United States. Examples of statuses that do not allow study are B tourists and business visitors, and F-2 dependents of F-1 students. Students in categories that do not allow study would be considered in violation of their immigration status if they begin study before their status is changed.

Many dependent statuses (given to individuals who are accompanying the principal non-immigrant) are limited by age. Most dependent children "age out" at 21 (e.g. J-2, H-4, etc.), and can no longer enjoy derivative status based on their parents' status. So this may affect college-aged students; they will be in one status through age 20, and then need to change to another status that might have different requirements, before they turn 21.

The following is a chart that lists visa types and if those in that status are eligible to study. Remember to refer students to ISSS if there are any questions.

SEVP Handout: Nonimmigrants: Who Can Study?