F-1 and J-1 students must maintain full-time enrollment to keep their visa status active throughout their program of study in the United States.

  What is Full-Time Enrollment? Depends on the degree level:

  • Academic English: 18 credits per term
  • SAWE Part 1: 18 credits per term
    • SAWE Part 2: 12 credits per term
  • Undergraduate/Graduate Pathways: 12 credits per term
  • Undergraduate: 12 credits per term (9 required on campus)
  • Graduate: 9 credits per term (6 required on campus).

  Things to Remember

  • Register for at least 1 on campus credit during your final term to maintain physical presence in the US
  • No more than 3 credits of distance (E-campus) or online education can count toward full-time enrollment per term
  • To be eligible for immigration benefits, you must be enrolled full-time on campus for a minimum of 3 consecutive terms
  • S/U credits count towards full-time enrollment
  • Audited courses and withdrawals do not count toward full-time enrollment

  Changes in Registration

Immigration regulations on enrollment are very strict and allow for exceptions only under certain conditions. To make use of an exception, you must receive written approval from the Office of International Services prior to registering for less than a full-course of study or dropping below a full-course of study. Forms for the following alternate enrollment exceptions can be found on the OIS Forms page and should be submitted prior to the start of the term.

Failure to maintain full-time enrollment throughout the program of study or submit appropriate paperwork for an exception could result in a SEVIS termination.​

Initial Difficulties
  • 1 time use within the first year of a degree program
  • For initial difficulties with English language or reading requirements, unfamiliarity with American teaching methods, or improper course level placement
  • For degree-seeking students (not INTO OSU students)
  • Requires at least half-time enrollment
  • Initial Difficulties Request Form for Students



Medical Reasons
Final Term


Reduced Enrollment


Concurrent Enrollment
  • Can be used multiple terms. Must be submitted for every term of Concurrent Enrollment
  • For students enrolled in more than one U.S. school, they can submit documentation of registration at the non-OSU school to show that credits between OSU and the other school add up to full-time enrollment
  • Requires at least 3 credits of enrollment at OSU 
  • Required even when students may already be enrolled in the Degree Partnership Program (DPP)
  • Concurrent Enrollment request form for students
About Degree Partnership Program (DPP):

Fully-admitted undergraduate students enrolled in more than one school may also be interested in the DPP. While Concurrent Enrollment must be requested each term, DPP requires a one-time application and provides benefits such as advanced registration and easy transfer of credits. Some important notes about DPP:

  • Fully‐admitted students are encouraged to enroll full‐time with OSU in their first term before requesting permission to participate in the DPP.
  • Sponsored Students should seek written approval from their sponsor before applying for the DPP or Concurrent Enrollment.
  • If you have an OSU tuition remission scholarship (ICSP, International Provost, OIS, etc.), consult with the International Scholarships coordinator.
  • Deadline is typically 3 weeks prior to the beginning of each term.
Vacation Term
  • 1 per year
  • Typically taken in summer, if summer is not the first time and the student will continue in their program after summer
  • Cannot be the final term. If the final term is summer, then it is not considered a Vacation Term and full-time enrollment or an approved reduction of credits is required

Students on a vacation term can choose to:

  • Remain in the US and not enroll in classes (as long as they maintain health insurance coverage)
  • Return to their home country
  • Study part-time on campus, at another school, or online

Students who wish to take a term off other than summer term may be eligible if they have been fully enrolled for the previous 3 terms (including summer) and should meet with an international student advisor to determine eligibility. If you decide to take a vacation term outside of summer term, you must register full-time for the next three consecutive terms before being allowed to take another vacation term including the following summer.

Students in INTO OSU programs must also receive approval from INTO OSU for a vacation term, regardless of the time of year.

Vacation Term request form for students

  Do you have a registration hold?


IT - Immigration related issue


Registration - you will not be able to register for classes if you have this hold.

Why the hold is placed

You have an immigration related issue that is urgent. This may be related to immigration document check-in, your SEVIS status, or a financial guarantee issue for sponsored students.

How to resolve the hold

Check your OSU email for details about this hold and how to address it. You can also contact the Office of International Services at ois.student@oregonstate.edu so we can help you address your hold.