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International Office

Maintaining Your Student Status

California State University, Fresno is required as a SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) school to follow the SEVIS requirements in order to enroll international students. Immigration requirements for international students under SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) are very similar to previous instructions but are constantly updated.

The university re-applied to USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) to be allowed to enroll international students and was accepted as a SEVIS school in October 2002. We started issuing SEVIS I-20 forms immediately. The university is required to electronically notify SEVIS regarding international student enrollment. Most of these items have strict timelines that we must follow and include the following information: arrival/registration of new students, student enrollment status, physical U.S. address, expected completion of a program of study while in U.S., and other vital information.

The following will provide you with a better understanding of the expectations of the student and the university while in attendance. Please be mindful of each of the following:

  • Full-time, regular enrollment is critical. The minimum "full-time" unit load is 12 units per semester. Graduate units (200-level courses) are weighted at 1.5 per unit so that enrollment of 8 units is equivalent to 12 undergraduate units. Bear in mind that some departments require graduate students to be enrolled in 9 units in order to be considered full-time. Students are not required to enroll during the summer months as this is a vacation term, but you must enroll each fall and spring semester. Students in their last semester may be under-enrolled, but you must inform the INternational Office when it is your last semester.
  • Students need to update, and keep current, your local physical mailing address, and e-mail address through the My Fresno State Portal ( (Should we need to contact students we will use the e-mail address in PeopleSoft, which in turn is updated through use of the Portal.)
  • Students are allowed one online course per semester, (3 units). Blackboard enhanced courses are not included in this restriction.
  • If a student has pre-approved concurrent enrollment with another institution, the student must secure verification of enrollment for the International Office before the 4th week of instruction begins.
  • Notify the International Office if you want to completely withdraw from the University for any applicable reason.
  • Do not let your I-20 expire. (If you will graduate before the end date on the I-20, please be sure to notify the International Office.)
  • All work authorization both on and off campus must be approved, and the student must be enrolled as a full-time student in order to be employed. (F-2 dependents cannot attend classes at the University and are not allowed to work in the U.S.)
  • Students are not allowed more than 12 months (2 semesters) of under-enrolled status related to a verified medical condition. Each semester must be verified in writing to the International Office for final approval. Students are allowed one semester of under-enrollment for "academic difficulty." You must discuss your academic difficulty with the International Office staff before an exception will be granted.

Our mission is advocacy for international students. We do not consider ourselves a monitoring office or an extension of the United States Department of Homeland Security. However, we must comply with all applicable Federal Law(s). We approach this proactively on your behalf; please be aware of your individual responsibility and keep us informed if your status as a student has, or will be changing, you are under-enrolled, or you have any other immigration or legal issues. We will assist in any way that we can legally do so.