TWU ISSS Regulations & Policies

International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) department overview 

The International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office provides information and support to Texas Woman’s University (TWU) students, faculty, and staff regarding F-1 student Visa and J-1 scholar Visa regulations, as well as academic program requirements related to Visa eligibility.

TWU F-1 Visa holding students are provided with information on F-1 Visa regulations and requirements to maintain eligibility during their academic program at TWU. It is the F-1 Visa holder’s responsibility to learn, understand, and comply with U.S. federal laws and regulations pertaining to F-1 Visa status, as well as all information printed on the student’s individual I-20.

TWU faculty are provided with information on how to support F-1 Visa holding students while those students adhere to eligibility requirements in their academic program, and eligibility requirements for F-1 Visa holding students in internship, graduate assistantship, and academically related employment opportunities. TWU staff are provided with information to support F-1 Visa holding students’ access to various campus resources with respect to varied needs related to F-1 Visa status.

Application, admissions & arrival

F-1 Visa eligibility in academic programs

There are many academic programs to choose from at TWU. However, programs that are only, or mostly, offered online and would jeopardize F-1 Visa holder status are not eligible academic programs for admission. The TWU Admissions Office provides information on eligible academic programs for F-1 Visa holders.

Application and admission


Students must follow the application guidelines for TWU through the Admissions website. International transcripts must be evaluated and reported by a National Association of Credential Services (NACES) agency. English proficiency requirements must be met based on scores set by TWU International Admissions office. 


Admission to TWU is one part of the acceptance process for international students studying on an F-1 Visa. F-1 Visa holders applying to graduate programs must also be admitted by their academic department through the TWU Graduate School. For programs that require secondary admission (meaning that the student has been accepted to TWU but must submit a secondary application to a specific degree program), students must be granted secondary admission by the academic department prior to contacting the ISSS office regarding Visa status or I-20 documentation. 

Once fully admitted to TWU, the student will be notified by the ISSS office with instructions on how to submit specific documentation through the International Portal to meet international admissions requirements as either an Initial Student or a Transfer Student.

  • An Initial Student is an F-1 Visa holder who is either attending a U.S. institution for the first time, or who is returning to the U.S. to study under a new F-1 Visa with an updated SEVIS ID.  
  • A Transfer Student is an F-1 Visa holder who has been enrolled in a different U.S. institution and has requested a transfer of their SEVIS record to TWU to begin a new program.

F-2 Visa requirements

The spouse or unmarried minor children (under age 21) accompanying the F-1 Visa holder to the United States may qualify for F-2 dependent status. In order to add an F-2 dependent, the F-1 Visa holder must submit all required documents for the F-2 dependents (to include a copy of unexpired passport and certification of finances) along with the F-1 Visa holder’s own required immigration documents, when requesting their Initial or Transfer I-20 in the International Portal

F-1 Visa holders continuing their enrollment through TWU may submit a request to add F-2 dependents to the F-1 I-20 at any time by providing an updated Certification of Finances and copy of dependent passports to the (P)DSO. F-1 Visa holders on Optional Practical Training (OPT) are not required to submit an updated Certification of Finances. 

F-2 dependents must maintain their F-2 status in the following ways:

  • May not engage in work and are not eligible for Social Security Numbers
  • May depart and re-enter the US with proper documentation
  • May engage in study at a SEVP certified school part-time at the post-secondary level. However, full-time enrollment is not allowed. The F-2 dependent is required to apply for a change of status (Form I-539) from F-2 to F-1 to enroll in full-time study at a SEVP certified school at the post-secondary level.

Additional information on USCIS F-2 policy

Summer admission

International students studying on an F-1 Visa are typically not admitted to TWU for a summer semester start unless mandated by their academic program. Constraints to summer admissions are based on potential limits to course availability required for F-1 Visa eligibility. SEVIS Enrollment Reporting Requirements state that an international F-1 student must be enrolled in a full-course of study at the institution in order for the enrollment to be reported and an Initial I-20 issued (8CFR214.2(f)).

For those academic programs mandating a summer admission start date, students must maintain full-time enrollment. For undergraduate students, full-time enrollment is 12 hours, in which at least 9 hours must be in-person or hybrid. Full-time enrollment during the summer for graduate students is 9 hours, in which at least 6 hours must be in-person or hybrid.

Individual exceptions to F-1 regulations will not be made for international students if courses are not offered in the proper modality. F-1 Visa holding students must understand that limits to summer course offerings may result in the F-1 student’s SEVIS record being terminated.


An F-1 Visa may be issued up to 365 days prior to a student's program start date. However, an F-1 Visa holder may enter the U.S. no more than 30 days before the program start date printed on the Initial I-20, and no later than the first class day. The TWU ISSS office requires that F-1 Visa holding students arrive at least 12 days prior to the first class day, in order to attend mandatory International Student Orientation on the date provided in ISSS Arrival Information materials, and to complete the tuberculosis screening requirement with the TWU Student Health Services office.

Travel endorsement

F-1 Visa holders planning to travel outside of the U.S. at any time during their academic program dates may do so with authorization of a Travel Endorsement on the I-20. In order for the DSO to approve this request, the student must be in good F-1 Visa standing, have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the travel return date, and a valid F-1 Visa. If the F-1 Visa expiration date is prior to the student’s anticipated return date the student must schedule a Visa renewal appointment with a U.S. embassy and renew the Visa before returning to the U.S. Individuals with an expired F-1 Visa will be denied re-entry into the U.S. by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers.

All F-1 Visa holders traveling outside of the U.S. are advised to carry with them the Travel Endorsed I-20, a valid passport, and an unexpired visa. The Travel Endorsement is valid for one calendar year for currently enrolled students, and for 6 months for students on OPT.

Students with a submitted application to USCIS for a change to their SEVIS record are discouraged from traveling while their application is pending.

F-1 Visa eligibility and full-time enrollment

F-1 Visa eligibility and full course of study

To maintain F-1 status, an F-1 Visa holder must enroll in a full course of study from their first semester of enrollment, and in every fall and spring semester thereafter as a continuing student through program completion. A full course of study is 12 credit hours for undergraduate students, and of these 12 credit hours at least 9 credit hours must be delivered in an in-person or hybrid format. A full course of study is 9 credit hours for graduate students, and of these 9 credit hours at least 6 credit hours must be delivered in an in-person or hybrid format. Additional hours taken to meet and/or exceed the 12 credit hour minimum (undergraduate students) or 9 credit hour minimum (graduate students), may be taken online.

Continuing F-1 Visa holding students have the option, but are not required, to enroll during the summer semester. If an F-1 Visa holder is pursuing Curricular Practical Training during the summer semester, the student must be enrolled in coursework during the summer.

Upon completion of all academic requirements, on or before the Program End Date printed on the student's I-20, F-1 Visa holders SEVIS records will be marked as complete and no additional coursework will be counted for the program issued for that specific I-20 [8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(iii)(C)]. F-1 Visa holders have options within a specific grace period to either apply for Optional Practical Training (if eligible, and within the authorized timeline for USCIS applications), transition to a new academic program meeting F-1 eligibility, apply for a change of visa status, or return to their home country.

Change of status

A student’s Change of Status to F-1 must be completed prior to being issued a Continued Attendance I-20 at TWU. All students must show proof of the required amount of accessible funds through the required Certification of Finances form for Initial and Transfer students.

Students on a B-1/B-2 Visa may not submit a Change of Status request to F-1 through the ISSS office at TWU. These students must return to their home country and apply for an F-1 Visa as an Initial student.

Students on other Visa types, who wish to change their status to F-1, may contact the ISSS office for information on the Change of Status procedure based on their current Visa type and current USCIS procedures related to the requested change.

Students currently studying on an F-1 Visa who apply for, and are granted, a Change of Status to a Visa type other than F-1, may request a voluntary termination of their SEVIS record. This request must be made through the International Portal with an upload of the new Visa document or the Approval Notice from USCIS. An application receipt will not be accepted as proof of the change.

Change of educational level

F-1 Visa holders who earn a degree at TWU and wish to re-enroll at TWU for a new program (i.e. earning a Bachelor’s degree and returning to TWU to begin a Master’s program), may do so. The F-1 Visa holding student will need to apply to the new program through TWU admissions and/or Graduate School, and once accepted, must request a Change of Program Level through the International Portal. The Change of Level request must be completed within the 60 day grace period after the Program End Date on the student’s I-20.

An updated Certification of Finances form, and financial supporting documents are required, as well as the acceptance letter for the F-1 Visa holder’s new academic program.

Change of major

International students who are F-1 Visa holders have the option to change their major, and must do so by first meeting with their academic advisor. Once the advisor has verified with the student that the new program will support F-1 regulations and has officially made the change, the student must submit a Change of Major request through the International Portal. Submission of the request in the International Portal initiates a review by ISSS of the academic program for F-1 eligibility, and upon verification an updated I-20 with new academic program information is issued to the student.

Program extension

Upon initial registration at TWU, F-1 Visa holders are provided with a Program End Date on their I-20. This is the date F-1 Visa holders are expected to complete all of their academic requirements. If international students on an F-1 Visa change their major, or otherwise have extenuating circumstances which will delay the anticipated program completion date, students must request a program extension in the International Portal. This request must be submitted at least one semester before the Program End Date printed on the I-20.

Requests for a program extension must show that a student has continually maintained status and that they have compelling academic or medical reasons for the request, such as a change of major or research topic, or a documented illness. Academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for program extension approval. A program extension request will be denied if it is submitted after the Program End Date noted on the Form I-20, per USCIS policy 8 CFR § 214.2 (f) (7) (iii).

The limit for Program Extensions are two (2) requests for undergraduate students, and three (3) requests for graduate students. Each approved extension is limited to one calendar year.

Concurrent enrollment

An international student holding an F-1 Visa may take courses at another institution [8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(iv)] as long as the student is enrolled in at least 1 credit hour at TWU. If coursework is not being offered at TWU in a particular semester, and is needed for the F-1 Visa holder to meet the full-time enrollment requirement or meet prerequisites for the following semester, the F-1 Visa holder may submit a request for Concurrent Enrollment. This request must be made in the International Portal after registering for both TWU credits and credits at the secondary institution. Full-time enrollment and qualifying course modality (6 out of 9 graduate hours must be in person or hybrid, 9 out of 12 undergraduate hours must be in person or hybrid) must be maintained at both institutions. F-1 Visa holding students must work with their academic advisor prior to enrolling in courses at a secondary institution to ensure that the courses will transfer back to TWU as appropriate equivalents and apply towards the student's degree plan.

F-1 Visa holding students enrolling at TWU and another higher education institution through concurrent enrollment may become ineligible for certain financial aid awards at TWU. F-1 Visa holding students should verify the conditions of their financial aid award with the TWU Financial Aid office before requesting concurrent enrollment.

Incomplete grades

Per the TWU Incomplete grade policy, an F-1 Visa holding student who has successfully completed two-thirds of the assigned work in the class, and has an extenuating circumstance which delays completion of all remaining coursework by the scheduled course completion date may request an Incomplete. The student must discuss their circumstances with the instructor and an Application for Grade of Incomplete must be submitted. Students who are issued a grade of incomplete (INC) for a course must communicate with their instructor to determine the new date of completion for the course. An F-1 Visa holding student should never re-register for an Incomplete course. This will result in a failing grade for the first registration and a new grade for the second registration.

International F-1 Visa holding students who are issued an Incomplete may not apply the hours of the incomplete course in the subsequent semester towards full-time enrollment requirements. The F-1 Visa holding student is required to register for the required full-time number of hours and complete the incomplete coursework in addition to full-time enrollment.

Graduate student full-time equivalency

F-1 Visa holding graduate students enrolled in the appropriate number of thesis/professional paper or dissertation hours deemed equivalent to full-time status by the TWU Graduate School and the academic department, are automatically reported as maintaining F-1 Visa status in SEVIS reporting for that semester. No additional request by the F-1 Visa holding student is required.

TWU Graduate School policy indicates the minimum required credit hours for graduate students holding an assistantship is 5 semester credit hours. F-1 Visa holding graduate students with an assistantship may submit a request for Full-Time Equivalency in the International Portal to have their full-time equivalency status reported each semester.

Reduced course load

An F-1 Visa holding student in one of the following four situations has the opportunity to apply for a Reduced Course Load, either academic or medical.

  1. Academic difficulties — one (1) authorization to drop below a full course load of study (12 hours for undergraduates, 9 hours for graduate students) for academic difficulties can be requested during a student’s academic program at TWU, and only during the student’s first academic year in their program. Difficulty with the English language, reading requirements, U.S. teaching methods, or improper course level placement are options eligible for review by the ISSS office for an Academic RCL petition. Once the F-1 Visa holder has used one Academic RCL for academic difficulties, a second request cannot be made for academic difficulties.
  2. Medical reasons — An F-1 Visa holding student facing a temporary illness or medical condition may request a Medical RCL not to exceed a total of 12 months throughout their academic program at TWU at each program level. The F-1 Visa holding student must submit medical documentation from a licensed medical doctor, psychiatrist, doctor of osteopathy, licensed psychologist, or clinical psychologist. This information must be submitted each semester that the F-1 Visa holding student is requesting the Medical RCL for DSO approval to drop below full course of study.
  3. Last semester of coursework — An F-1 Visa holding student in the final semester of their academic program, in need of fewer than full-time hours (12 hours for undergraduate students, 9 hours for graduate students) to complete academic requirements may request an academic RCL for their final semester. This is a request to register only for the remaining number of hours needed to complete the degree. If the F-1 Visa holding undergraduate or graduate student needs only 3 hours, those 3 hours must be taken in-person or hybrid. If the F-1 Visa holding undergraduate or graduate student needs 6 hours to complete their degree, at least 3 hours must be taken in-person or hybrid. If an F-1 Visa holding undergraduate student needs only 9 hours, 6 hours must be taken in-person or hybrid.
  4. Students engaged in certain practical training opportunities — F-1 Visa holding students enrolled in an academic program in which a full-time internship or clinical rotation is required for completion of the degree — and this requirement is designated as full-time enrollment for all students by the academic department are considered to be enrolled full-time by the TWU ISSS office. In addition to a Curricular Practical Training request, the F-1 Visa holding student must also submit a request for an Academic RCL through the International Portal.

F-1 Visa holder work authorization

On-campus employment

TWU on-campus employment is defined as work engaged in by the student on one of the three TWU campuses. Position examples include, but are not limited to: student assistant, research assistant, graduate assistant, teaching assistant, resident assistant, on-campus clinical rotation. On-campus employment is typically 20 hours or less per week and is searchable through TWU Handshake within the TWU Career Connections website. F-1 Visa holding students do not need permission from the ISSS office to engage in on campus work opportunities. 

Graduate assistantships are not guaranteed for all graduate students. F-1 Visa holding graduate students applying for assistantships should consult the Graduate Education Policies for information about assistantship guidelines and requirements. Graduate assistantships are considered on-campus employment. TWU tuition and fees are not waived as a part of the employment. 

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an opportunity to engage in experiential training that applies directly to the F-1 Visa holder's academic program. To qualify for CPT the F-1 Visa holder must have completed one full academic year of study at an approved SEVP-certified U.S. college, university, conservatory, or seminary.

The CPT opportunity may be part-time (20 hours or less per week) or full-time (more than 20 hours per week). The employment dates must start and end within the semester in which the F-1 Visa holder is enrolled in a course that directly relates to the employment experience (i.e. internship, clinical rotation, etc.).

F-1 Visa holders must first enroll in an appropriate academic course for the semester. The F-1 Visa holder must then submit a CPT request in the International Portal and upload a clinical attestation statement, practicum agreement form, or employer cooperative agreement. The document must be submitted on official letterhead and include a brief outline of duties and responsibilities, start and end dates within the registered semester, information on the number of hours to be worked weekly (part-time or full-time), and the physical address of the employment location.

  • A cumulative 365 day total of full-time CPT during the student’s academic program eliminates the opportunity for an F-1 Visa holder to engage in Optional Practical Training (OPT)
  • CPT cannot be extended after the program end date printed on the F-1 Visa holder’s I-20
  • CPT must be approved every semester and coincide with semester enrollment
  • CPT, in which the student is an independent contractor with no employer-employee relationship, will not be authorized

CPT start dates for F-1 Visa holders new to TWU: After one year of full-time enrollment during consecutive fall/spring or spring/fall academic semesters.

CPT end dates for all F-1 Visa holders: Must end on or before the program end date printed on the F-1 Visa holder’s I-20.

Semester start and end dates for F-1 Visa continuing students: With enrollment, CPT can begin the day after the last day of the previous semester, and may end the day before the first class day of the next semester.

If the F-1 Visa holder’s academic department has defined the required internship as equivalent to full-time enrollment, the F-1 Visa holder may qualify for an Academic Reduced Course Load.

Additional information on CPT can be found on the FAQ: Curricular Practical Training page in the International Portal, as well as through scheduled online information sessions.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is an opportunity for F-1 Visa holders to engage in employment that directly relates to the student's completed academic program upon graduation. Applications for OPT must be submitted online to U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) during the appropriate application cycle based on the F-1 Visa holder's semester of graduation. OPT application dates are updated in the International Portal.

F-1 Visa holders are required to attend an OPT information session online through the ISSS office to apply for OPT. Multiple sessions are scheduled throughout each semester and are open to F-1 Visa holders ready to apply and those who would like to learn more about OPT prior to being eligible to apply. Individuals may also access this information through the FAQ section on OPT in the International Portal. Once eligible students have attended an OPT information session, the F-1 Visa holder may submit their OPT request through the International Portal. The student may not apply for OPT through USCIS until their OPT application through the International Portal has been reviewed and the recommendation has been provided by the DSO.

F-1 Visa holders completing an F-1 eligible academic program at TWU are able to apply for one year of OPT. F-1 Visa holders completing an F-1 eligible academic program in a STEM field, as designated by the U.S. Department of Education, may also be eligible to apply for a 24 month STEM OPT extension.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) / Special Student Relief (SSR)

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may designate certain countries for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), based on civil, government, or environmental concerns that reduce the safety of the return of an individual to that country. Individuals may pursue an academic program at TWU and have the option to change their status to F-1 Visa holder if eligible.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will issue a Federal Register (FR) notice when an event occurs that constitutes emergent circumstances that may financially impact an F-1 Visa holder studying in the U.S. The F-1 Visa holder who is a citizen of the designated country, lawfully resides in the U.S. during the dates specified in the FR, has been enrolled in an SEVP certified school since the event, is maintaining F-1 status, and is experiencing severe economic hardship can apply for Special Student Relief (SSR).

For additional information on severe economic hardships, F-1 Visa holders can find details about qualifying circumstances, USCIS guidelines, and application criteria here.

Deactivation of SEVIS record

Completion of program

Upon successful completion of all F-1 Visa student requirements by the Program End Date printed on the F-1 Visa holder’s I-20, the SEVIS record is marked as complete in the SEVIS database. Completion is demonstrated in the following ways:

  • All academic requirements have been met, the degree has been conferred, and the student has no plans to continue study in the U.S.
    • Undergraduate students have completed all coursework, as well as any applicable required internships, honors thesis, or research projects
    • Graduate students have completed all coursework, thesis/dissertation requirements, and the final manuscript has been submitted and approved
    • Graduate students with a project or comprehensive exam instead of a thesis/dissertation have completed all research and exam requirements
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) and/or OPT STEM Extension is complete, with no additional plans to continue to work in the U.S.

The student with no plans to change their status, enroll in another academic program, or engage in Optional Practical Training will have their SEVIS record automatically updated to complete by USCIS 60 days after the Program End Date printed on the student’s I-20. This indicates that the purpose of the F-1 Visa issuance has been satisfied and the individual must leave the U.S. within those 60 days.

Completion vs Graduation vs Commencement

Completion: a USCIS term indicating the fulfillment of all requirements of the F-1 student visa.

Graduation: an academic term indicating the fulfillment of all academic requirements at TWU. Upon verification by the TWU registrar’s office, the student’s degree is conferred.

Commencement: an academic term for the ceremony in which individuals celebrate their academic accomplishments. A degree is not awarded during commencement.

SEVIS record transfer out

F-1 Visa holders currently enrolled in classes at TWU or engaged in post-completion OPT, with the intent to transfer to another institution before the Program End Date printed on the I-20, must submit a SEVIS Record Transfer Out request through the International Portal. The F-1 Visa holder must upload an acceptance letter from the transfer institution, the transfer institution’s school code, and indicate a release date for the transfer of the SEVIS record. Upon approval, the record will be transferred electronically from the TWU ISSS office to the transfer institution. Once a SEVIS record has been transferred, it becomes accessible only by the transfer institution, and can no longer be accessed for viewing or editing by the TWU DSO.

OPT employment authorization approved by TWU’s ISSS office will automatically end on the requested date of SEVIS transfer. F-1 Visa holders should work closely with their OPT employer and the DSO at the transfer institution to discuss an appropriate SEVIS record transfer date.

SEVIS record termination

F-1 Visa holders’ SEVIS records may be terminated for various reasons. The termination can be requested by the student, initiated by the (P)DSO, or automatically occur under the authority of USCIS. 

Common reasons for F-1 SEVIS record termination are as follows (these are common but not exhaustive; the full list can be found here):

  • Failure to enroll before the close of each TWU semester registration period
  • Failure to maintain full-time enrollment throughout the semester (i.e. dropping a course in the middle of the semester or enrolling in less than full-time hours without approval; this includes concurrent enrollment)
  • Failure to make academic progress (e.g. suspension from academic program or too many failed classes)
  • Failure to request extension of program end date
  • Approval of change of status

F-1 Visa holders who have an approved Change of Status from F-1 to another eligible status may request to have their SEVIS record terminated upon Change of Status approval. The F-1 Visa holding student may submit a request through the International Portal and upload USCIS approval documentation to have their SEVIS record terminated voluntarily. Voluntary SEVIS termination cannot be requested by the student, or completed by the (P)DSO, with only an application receipt; the case approval must be recorded by USCIS.

A student whose SEVIS record has been terminated no longer qualifies for on campus employment, CPT, or OPT.

A student with a terminated F-1 SEVIS record from another institution has the option of applying for reinstatement through the institution in which the termination was initiated, or leaving the U.S. within 15 days. These individuals can apply for a new F-1 Visa in their home county, and if granted, can re-enter the U.S. on an Initial I-20 after being admitted to TWU. Payment of a new I-901 fee is required and, if applicable, eligibility for CPT/OPT benefits must be reestablished.


F-1 Visa holding TWU students who failed to maintain F-1 status, resulting in the termination of their SEVIS record, must either apply for reinstatement through USCIS (Form I-539) or leave the U.S. within 15 days of the termination date. All F-1 Visa holding terminated TWU students wanting to apply for reinstatement, must contact the PDSO to determine if their case qualifies for ISSS office reinstatement recommendation.

Reinstatement requests may be submitted through the International Portal for TWU students who plan to apply for reinstatement through USCIS. The following criteria will be evaluated as a part of the student's International Portal reinstatement request, and by USCIS when applying for reinstatement:

  • The student has not been out of status for more than 5 months (if so, the student has documentation to support exceptional circumstances leading to failure to submit reinstatement application within the allowable 5 month time period)
  • The student does not have a record of willful violations of DHS regulations
  • The student will resume full-time study in the semester(s) in which the reinstatement application is pending, and every semester thereafter through program completion
  • The student has not engaged in unauthorized employment/work experiences
  • The student is not deportable on any ground other than section 237(a)(1)(B) or (C)(i)

USCIS will request evidence from the student, and begin review of the reinstatement petition, if the student meets the following conditions:

  • The violation of status resulted from circumstances beyond the student's control. Such circumstances might include serious injury or illness, closure of the institution, a natural disaster, or inadvertence, oversight, or neglect on the part of the DSO, but do not include instances where a pattern of repeated violations or where a willful failure on the part of the student resulted in the need for reinstatement; or
  • The violation relates to a reduction in the student's course load that would have been within a DSO's power to authorize, and that failure to approve reinstatement would result in extreme hardship to the student.

Reinstated students will forfeit any accumulated time towards the one-year of U.S. study requirement for CPT or OPT authorization.

Terminated transfer in

F-1 Visa holders whose SEVIS record was terminated at another institution may not petition for reinstatement through TWU, nor can an I-20 be issued by the TWU ISSS office for a transfer student with a pending reinstatement application. USCIS requires historical documentation explaining the circumstances leading to the termination of the student’s SEVIS record. The TWU ISSS office would not have access to this information, and therefore, cannot provide/support reinstatement for a new transfer student.

Authorized early withdrawal

F-1 Visa holding students facing extreme or emergency situations, which require a temporary withdrawal from their academic program, may qualify for Termination through Authorized Early Withdrawal (AEW). The F-1 Visa holding student must leave the U.S. within 15 days of having the request processed and must return to the U.S. and to TWU within 5 months of their AEW date. 

The F-1 Visa holder’s SEVIS record will be terminated on the date that the AEW is processed. Upon return to TWU, the student may request a reactivation of the SEVIS record from the PDSO to resume studies. The PDSO can submit the recommendation for reactivation of study if the student returns to TWU within 5 months of the AEW termination date. However, the reactivation is adjudicated and approved or denied by the Student and Exchange Visitors Program (SEVP). 

Additional documentation that the F-1 Visa holding student may need to submit to SEVP may include: 

  • Proof of last date of physical attendance, such as course drop request form or letter from academic department or professor
  • Proof that you submitted the AEW request to ISSS office prior to departing the U.S.
  • Proof of enrollment in upcoming semester
  • Proof of re-entry (flight itinerary) to return to the U.S. within the 30 days prior to the start of classes

F-1 Visa holding students who request an AEW after the first class day or who did not enroll full-time in the semester in which the request was made have a higher risk of reactivation denial through SEVP. If the reactivation request is denied, the student must apply for a new F-1 Visa and new I-20 to re-enter the U.S.

Page last updated 2:37 PM, May 17, 2024