International students accepted to the VISIT program will be issued an I-20 form to apply for an F-1 student visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in the student's home country. Prospective students present in the U.S. in F-2 dependent visa status are allowed to enroll in less than full-time units. Full-time undergraduate study is 12 units and full-time graduate study is 8 units. U.S. federal visa regulations do not allow full-time study when present in the U.S. in B-1/B-2 tourist visa status.
In order to maintain your F-1 visa and legal standing within the U.S., there are a few guidelines to follow:
- Must take a full course load (12 units for undergraduate students, 8 units for graduate students). Continuing Education offers a variety of professional and online courses to help with this.
- Carry health insurance. See the How to Apply section for more details.
- Attend only the University listed on your I-20, and apply for an extension if necessary before the expiration date.
- Keep your passport valid at all times.
For a full list of responsibilities and requirements, visit the Responsibilities & Benefits of F-1 Visa Status page on Cal Poly’s International Center website.