Your Legal Immigration Obligations

When you enter the United States with an F-1 or J-1 visa status, it is very important that you understand that you have important legal obligations while in the United States.  International Student & Scholar Services is always available to advise you on these requirements.  Don’t hesitate to seek our advice on any legal immigration regulatory issue.  Please read the following very carefully and follow these rules that are strictly enforced by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):

  • You must have a valid I-20 form (F-1) or DS-2019 form (J-1) from Montclair State University.  
  • All students in F-1 or J-1 visa status must register for a full time course load (12 credits for undergraduates and 9 credits for graduate students) each Fall and Spring semester.  Summer school registration is optional, unless required by your program of study. If you cannot enroll full time for any reason, you must see an advisor in the Office of International Services before classes begin. 
  • You must enroll in classes every Fall and Spring semester.  Summer is optional
  • Report any change of your name or address to the IS within 10 days of the change. 
  • Do not work without proper legal authorization.  As an F-1 or J-1 visa holder, you are allowed to work on-campus up to 20 hours a week during classes and full time during annual vacation periods. All off campus employment must be authorized by the IS or by USCIS.  Working without proper authorization is considered a serious violation of your legal status.
  • Always seek the advice of an advisor in the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) if you have questions or concerns about your USCIS responsibilities.