Other Requirements

In addition to enrollment requirements, international students must meet certain other requirements to maintain legal visa status while they are studying at SDSU.
Learn about these other requirements:

All F-1 and J-1 students are required to have the following information in their My.SDSU record at all times:

  • A valid U.S. address
    • This should be the address of the location where you live, not a mailing address or PO box.
  • A permanent foreign address
  • A valid email address
  • A valid phone number

Entering your U.S Address and Making Updates

  • Log into your My.SDSU portal. Click the Profile title.
  • Select Address in the list on the left
  • Scroll down and click + on the Local address to add your U.S address (here in San Diego). This is the address you must enter as soon as you arrive in the US and before the schedule adjustment deadline for immigration purposes. If you don't, ISC won't be able to register your SEVIS (I-20) record as Active and this could lead to termination of your SEVIS record.
  • You should also make sure the other addresses fields are up to date.

Your permanent address should be your address in your home country. 

  • To update your address in the future (contact information updates must be made in this portal within 10 days of a change for immigration purposes), simply click on the address, and it will allow you to update information.
  • Enter Email and telephone number updates in the Contact Details from the list on the left. Always check you SDSU email address. 

Reporting changes

You are required to report any changes to your address, phone number or email within 10 days by updating it in your My.SDSU record. Updating your information in My.SDSU record will automatically update this information in your SEVIS record.

  • Post-OPT: If you are on Post-OPT, you should update this information in your SEVP Portal Account. You can update it in your My.SDSU portal for your SDSU record.
    Important: Failure to have an address/phone number/email address, or to update it within 10 days, is a violation of your immigration status.

Valid passport

You are required to have a valid, unexpired passport at all times.

  • Expiring passport: If your passport will expire soon, you can return to your home country before the passport expires to obtain a new passport or you can contact the Consulate or Embassy of your country in the U.S. for renewal procedures.
  • Lost or stolen passport: If your passport is lost or stolen, immediately contact the Embassy or Consulate of your country, and notify the ISC.

Valid I-20/DS-2019

You are also required to have a valid, unexpired I-20 or DS-2019 valid at all times. You can check when your I-20/DS-2019 expires by looking at the program end date on page 1 of your I-20/DS-2019 or, if you are on Post-OPT, check page 3 on the I-20 for Pending or Approved OPT.

I-20/DS-2019 Extension Request

You must submit an extension request to the ISC if you do not complete your program of studies at SDSU within the time specified on the I-20/DS-2019. The extension must be completed by the ISC before the form expires on the program end date.

Students applying for an extension of their I-20 must obtain the following forms and upload them to the ISC's online I-20 Extension Request Form at least 7 business days before their I-20 ends. However, we strongly advise students to submit the documents earlier, in case there are any questions or problems with the documents submitted. I-20's can be extended for a maximum of one year for undergraduate students and a maximum of one semester for graduate students. Documents required are:

  • Financial Statement Form. If the funding is from a parent, relative or other sponsor, they must complete Section D.
  • Proof of continuing financial support. This is normally a Bank Statement or Bank Letter. Proof of support must be liquid funds and less than 6 months old when submitted to the ISC.
  • Graduate students only: A letter from your academic or grauate advisor that states you are making progress toward your degree and the expected date of degree completion.
    Students applying for an extension of their DS-2019 should review the extension information on the J-1 Exchange Students webpage.

Review the information about Traveling Outside the U.S. before you travel internationally while you are a student at SDSU.

Traveling abroad without the proper documents (passport, I-20/DS-2019, etc.) or without a valid travel signature could make you ineligible to re-enter the U.S.

F-1 and J-1 students are not allowed to work or do an internship off-campus without work authorization. Doing any kind of work for any kind of remuneration without authorization is a violation of your visa status and will result in the loss of your visa status. Unpaid internships also require work authorization.

Please carefully review regulations on employment, speak with an advisor if you have questions, and apply for off-campus work authorization in a timely manner. Keep in mind that CPT can be processed as quickly as 7 business days by the ISC (assuming all forms are correct and the student is enrolled in the CPT course, if required). OPT applications are approved by US Citizenship and Immigration Services and can take 3 to 5 months for them to adjudicate your application.

Find information on employment regulations and how to apply for work authorization for your visa category:

F-1 visa status
J-1 visa status

The California State University, including SDSU, requires all international students to maintain adequate health insurance throughout the duration of their visa status. Failing to maintain adequate health insurance will jeopardize your visa status.

Link to important information about health insurance.

F Hold
SDSU automatically places an F Hold on your registration for the next semester. You will need to satisfy the health insurance requirement before the F Hold can be removed. We recommend you complete this requirement at least 3 business days before your Registration Date.
J-1 Dependents
Students on the J-1 visa are also required to purchase insurance for their J-2 dependents in the U.S.

International students who complete their program of study have 60 days after the posted "last day of semester" date listed on the university approved academic calendar to take action on their immigration record. Some actions include departing the U.S., transferring to another school, or applying for OPT. More detail on some options can be found below. You may always make an appointment with an advisor to discuss your plans.

You must notify SDSU before you:

Always make an appointment with an ISC advisor to discuss your intentions. 

How to inform us that you are leaving

  • Make an appointment with an ISC advisor and inform the advisor of your intentions.
  • You should also notify the Registrar's Office of your intentions.

Leave of Absence

Before taking a leave of absence, international students should meet with an international student advisor at the ISC to discuss how it will affect their immigration status. Please read the ISC's Leave of Absence information before meeting with the advisor. A leave of absence involves temporarily terminating your visa status and you must follow certain procedures before leaving and coming back to the U.S. 

Leaving your program

If you intend to leave your program permanently, you must make an appointment with an ISC advisor to inform us of your departure.  We will end your F-1 or J-1 visa status for an authorized early withdrawal. After this, you will be able to re-apply for F-1, J-1, or any other visa status and, if approved, use the new visa to re-enter the U.S.

Transferring to another school

To transfer to another school, complete the SEVIS Transfer Request Form and upload the acceptance letter from the new school at least 7 business days before you would like your SEVIS record (I-20) to be transferred. If your record is Active and transferable, the transfer will be done and you will be notified. If you have questions about the process or want to discuss the transfer date, you can meet with an international student advisor at the ISC.

If you leave without informing SDSU

If you leave your program without informing the ISC, your status will be terminated for failure to enroll and this will have a negative impact on your future travel to the U.S.