Physical Presence Requirement
Per federal regulations, international students in F-1 status are limited to face-to-face classes at the main MSU campus location. This means that:
- International students in F-1 status are not allowed to enroll in MSU courses offered at the Minot Air Force Base or at the Bismarck, Fargo or Williston satellite locations.
- International students in F-1 status at Minot State University may take only one online or distance education course per semester to count towards full time enrollment. Undergraduate students in F-1 status must be registered in at least 9 credits face-to-face on campus; and graduate students in F-1 status must be registered in at least 6 credits face-to-face on campus. If an international student in F-1 status needs only one course to finish his or her program of study, it cannot be taken through online/distance education. There must be a physical presence requirement for the course.
- International students in F-1 status may enroll in a course offered by another university or college only with prior authorization from the International Student Coordinator.
- International students in F-1 status who return to their home country to pursue online or distance courses, or to complete practicum requirements of their degree, forfeit their F-1 status and benefits.
Scenario 1: A Canadian student majoring in Communication Disorders returns home to complete a practicum in Canada during spring semester.
- The student must inform the International Student Coordinator of her plans before the end of fall semester.
- The student's F-1 status will end when she leaves the United States after fall semester. She should return the I-94 card upon crossing the border.
- The student will not be eligible for F-1 benefits, such as OPT or change of level.
- If the student wishes to return to MSU to continue studies, then she would need to apply for a new I-20 through Enrollment Services.
- If the student wishes to return to MSU for the graduation ceremony, or to meet with her advisor, she will need to enter the country as a visitor.
- International students in F-1 status who take a leave of absence in the spring semester and return to their home country for less than five months are ineligible for “annual vacation” when they return to the United States in the summer semester. Therefore, international students in F-1 status who return from a leave of absence shorter than five months in the spring semester must enroll full-time in the summer semester to retain F-1 status without applying for a new I-20.
Scenario 2: A Japanese student wishes to return home to take online classes from Japan for one semester during her sophomore or junior year.
- Depending upon how long she will be in Japan, her F-1 status MIGHT be forfeited, meaning she would need to apply for a new I-20 through Enrollment Services in order to return to MSU.
- She should speak with the International Student Coordinator before making any travel plans to discuss her specific case and any repercussions.
last updated Oct. 24, 2014