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Get Legal Status

  • Apply to a school, approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program SEVP.
  • Get accepted to SVSU, an SEVP approved university.
  • Get a form issued by SVSU known as I-20 (240kB)‌ or DS-2019.
  • Pay your $200 SEVIS Fees. SEVIS I-901 fee is required of each student or exchange visitor.
  • Apply for Visa.


Maintain your Legal Status


1) Have a valid passport.

  • A valid passport, Visa, and I-20 are required for entry and reentry to the U.S.
  • Staple your I-94 to your passport.


2) Attend an SEVIS authorized school.


3) Arrive at SVSU for the start of classes and SEVIS registration,


4) Carry a full course of study.

  • 12 credits for undergraduates
  • 9 credits for graduates
  • Any credits below this require approval from the Office of International Programs.
  • Attend class
  • Participate in class
  • Finish homework and study for tests
  • Stay in and pass each class


5) Obey state & federal laws.


6) Adhere to regulations of employment.

  • Part-time on campus
  • Circular Practical Training (CPT), as part of an established curriculum and is directly related to your major. Internships and CO-OP Programs are CPT.
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) for 12 months after graduation
  • OPT extension, of 17 months with a new application, for those in Science, Technology,Engineering and Math fields


Keep your I-20 or DS-2019 up-to-date.

  • Verify your address is accurate each semester in Cardinal Direct. Update to current address, if necessary, in Cardinal Direct or with the Registrar's Office within 10 days of moving.
  • If you plan to leave the US, including to Canada or Mexico, get appropriate signature on your I-20 or a "letter of good standing" from the Office of International Programs.
  • Keep your major current, as it is on your I-20. If you change majors, be sure to complete at "Degree Program Change" form found in OIP. They will update it with SEVIS.
  • Keep your graduation date current, as it is on your I-20. If you change majors, be sure to complete at "Degree Program Change" form found in OIP. They will update it with SEVIS.