Academic Issues That Impact Immigration Status
International students are required to have an approved Plan of Study in Hokie SPA when applying for approval of a Request for Reduced Enrollment, or when applying for Curricular Practical Training (Co-op).
Check with your academic department for details on how and when to file a Plan of Study for your particular program of study. Also see Forms and Procedures for the appropriate forms.
International students are required to request an update to their immigration documents any time that they change degree levels or majors. If this change occurs within the same department, file a Change of Admission Status form with the academic department.
If the request is approved, apply for a new I-20 or DS-2019 form by logging into the IntlHokies portal and completing the Change of Level I-20 or Change of Level DS-2019 e-form under F-1 Student Services or J-1 Student Services respectively.
International students are required to request an update to their immigration documents any time that they change graduate programs or request admission to another department. File a Change of Graduate Program form with the academic department.
If the request is approved, contact an immigration advisor for assistance.
Please be aware that, if your request to change Graduate Programs is denied, you will be dismissed from the rolls of the Graduate School. This has severe implications with regard to your immigration status, because if you are dismissed, you only have 15 days in which to request admission to another department at Virginia Tech, or request that your SEVIS immigration record be transferred to another college or university.
International students are required to request an update to their immigration documents any time that they request a change of campus, either from Blacksburg to the National Capital Region campus, or vice versa. Begin with filing a Change of Campus form with your academic department.
When your Change of Campus request is approved, you must complete SEVIS Transfer Out procedures:
- From Blacksburg to National Capital Region: log into the IntlHokies portal and complete the Transfer Out e-form under F-1 Student Services.
- From National Capital Region to Blacksburg: Complete the Transfer Out form and submit it to your immigration advisor in Falls Church.
International students in the final semester of their academic program may be eligible for reduced enrollment. You need to submit a Request for Reduced Enrollment form to the IGSS office before the beginning of your final semester to be approved for less-than-full-time enrollment.
- Students who can defend within the first 5 weeks of the semester may submit a Start of Semester Defense Exception (SSDE) form to the Graduate School after obtaining the appropriate departmental signatures. The Graduate School will enroll you in 1 credit hour for defense.
- Students who cannot defend within the first 5 weeks of the semester are required to enroll in 3 "on campus" credit hours and remain enrolled for the duration of the semester.
- Non-thesis students who need less than 9 credit hours to graduate may enroll in the number of "on campus" hours needed for graduation.
Please see What You Need to Graduate for more information about graduation requirements, forms, and submission deadlines.