English Language Institute

F-1 Visa Requirements for Current ELI Students

Current students studying at the English Language and have an F-1 Visa must follow the requirements below to maintain a valid visa. If you have any questions, please contact the Student Services Supervisor at stacyranson@pitt.edu.

Attend the school on your I-20

  • If you change schools for any reason, you must see the Student Services Supervisor to request a transfer in SEVIS to the new school.

Inform the ELI of any change of address

  • Updates must be made within 10 days of the change.

Be a full-time student

Make satisfactory Academic Progress 

  • Making regular academic progress is an SEVP condition for maintaining F1 visa status.
  • Having excessive absences, missing work, and/or failing grades due to lack of effort may cause you to lose your visa.

Maintain a valid passport 

  • If your passport expires while you are here, you may get a new one at your country’s consulate.

Keep your I-20 Valid

  • Check the program completion date and ask the Student Services Supervisor to extend an expiring I-20 before the end date if you are continuing in the ELI.  If you ask after your I-20 expires, it is too late.

Keep your I-94 admission number updated 

  • Go to the I-94 website and print a copy of your admission number for the ELI main office each time you enter the US.

 Keep the ELI Student Services Supervisor informed of your plans 

  • Your I-20 is only valid for as long as you are studying full time.  The dates on the I-20 are shortened if you stop studying in the ELI. 
  • After you complete your ELI study, if you complete Level 6, you will have a 60-day grace period to prepare to leave the country.
  • If you stop studying before completing Level 6, you will have 2 weeks to prepare to leave the country. 
  • The grace period begins on the last day of the last term you attended ELI classes.  When the grace period ends, you must either transfer to a new program or leave the U.S.
  • ​If you are traveling outside the US and plan to return to the ELI after travel, the Student Services Supervisor must sign the back of your I-20 before you travel. 

Vacation term

  • You are eligible for a SEVIS vacation term after completing two full-time semesters at the ELI.
  • During a vacation term, you may take part-time classes, no classes or classes at another school without transferring.

Driver's license/State ID 

  • You may apply for a driver’s license or state ID if you have 6 months or more on your I-20.
  • You need a letter from the ELI and other documents before visiting the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).  See the Student Services Supervisor or ELI main office for more information.