F-1 Rules

F-1 Rules

F-1 students are subject to additional rules because of their visa requirements.

F-1 are required to be enrolled full time at MFTI, which is 12 credit hours per semester for undergraduate students and 9 credit hours per semester for graduate students.  Students are also required to physically attend at least one class at MFTI each semester.

F-1 students may not engage in employment or provide goods or services without the prior authorization by the DSO and, in most instances, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  If there is any question about whether an endeavor qualifies as employment, students should inform the Designated School Official (DSO) before undertaking it.  The DSO is a MFTI official who is authorized to maintain MFTI F-1 student records within the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

Employment may include self-employment, working within the U.S. for a foreign-based entity, and can even include work for which no compensation is gained (e.g. unpaid internships).

For F-1 students, any employment must be related to their area of study and must be authorized prior to starting any work by the DSO and USCIS.

As outlined in the below links, there are two types of practical training employment authorization: optional and curricular.  A STEM program enhancement is also available.

Additionally, you may be eligible for employment authorization based on severe economic hardship or if working for a specific type of international organization.

Working without prior authorization or failing to physically attend onsite instructional activities, constitute some of the most severe violations of F-1 status.   We are required to report these violations to the U.S. government, and this will result in the termination of one's legal status.  Termination of F-1 status may make the student subject to arrest and deportation by ICE.  Make sure to discuss employment plans with the DSO before engaging in any employment.

For more information on the Student and Exchange Visitors Program, see the “Student & Exchange Visitor Program, Immigration & Customs Enforcement” and the Study in the States “Training Opportunities in the United States” pages.  Additional information is also available on the USCIS website.

If you are a B-1 or B-2 Visitor who wants to enroll in school, please see the "Special Instructions for B-1/B-2 Visitors" page.