On behalf of the Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS) I would like to welcome you to the start of the spring 2016 semester. I always find the beginning of each New Year and new semester to be full of promise for the future. I hope you had a restful and uplifting winter holiday, because the coming semester is already shaping up to be a busy and productive one.

OISS Director, James Dorsett

I write to offer you some helpful reminders to maintain your immigration status as you study at MSU:


  1. You must be enrolled for your courses by the beginning of each semester. OISS is required to report underenrollment to DHS (Department of Homeland Security) within 30 days. Students not enrolled will be reported and will be considered out of status.
  2. Always maintain full-time enrollment status and DO NOT drop below full-time course load without authorization from OISS.
  3. You must be a full-time student during your first and your last semester, even if your first or last semester is a summer semester.
  4. You are limited to one online course that can be counted towards a full-time course load. Sponsored students must receive authorization from their sponsor before enrolling in any online course.


  1. You MUST apply for a reduced course load in your last semester, if you need less than a full course load to graduate
  2. During your last semester, you are NOT eligible to have only online courses. You must enroll in at least ONE non-online course.


  1. You MUST NOT work off-campus without prior employment authorization


  1. Check your MSU email account DAILY
  2. You must maintain a valid passport, valid unexpired I-20 or DS-2019 Form at all times.
  3. You must update your U.S. address and phone number at the beginning of each semester.


  1. Prior to traveling outside the U.S. make sure that your I-20 or DS-2019 has been endorsed within the last 6 months by a Designated School Official (DSO) for F-1s, or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) for J-1s – all of whom can be found at the OISS.


  1. OISS Weekly.

Check your MSU email every Thursday for important OISS and immigration reminders and for fun events happening on and off campus.

  1. OISS Social Media.

Follow OISS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (OISSMSU) for the most up-to-date immigration news, fun events on campus in community, career and leadership opportunities. Connect with OISS!

  1. OISSLive Blog.

OISSLive tells stories from international students like yourself by sharing their Spartan experiences about academic success, culture sharing, job search tips and much more!

  1. OISS Website Homepage. Events. News. Twitter Feed. Videos.

OISS Website homepage has all of the most recent OISS featured events, news and videos! Also the live tweets have the news that you won’t want to miss!

Once again, welcome to a new semester. I would like to urge all students to be vigilant about maintaining their immigration status. I wish you best of luck this semester. Please visit OISS if you have questions and/or comments.

James Dorsett
Office for International Students & Scholars
Michigan State University
427 N. Shaw Lane, Room 105, East Lansing, MI 48824
jdorsett@msu.edu |517-353-1720| www.oiss.msu.edu