California Western School Of Law building background

SEVIS Rules for Enrolled F1 Students

It is imperative F-1 students at California Western keep their status. It is the responsibility of F-1 students to make sure they provide the most current information for the Students and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). 


Every semester, California Western must provide the following information

Within 30 days of the last day of drop/add

  • Whether or not a student is currently enrolled
  • If a student is not taking a full course of study
  • Next term of enrollment for student
  • Current address
  • Date of termination of enrollment & reason

Within 21 days of the event

  • Change of legal name or address of student or dependent
  • Any change in the program (degree, level)
  • Extensions
  • Dependents
  • Drop below a full course of study
  • Disciplinary action resulting from a Criminal Conviction; Suspensions; Expulsions
  • Failure to maintain status or complete program
  • Graduation prior to completion date on I-20
  • Withdrawal

Rules and Requirements

Students must report a change of address within 10 days of their transfer to a new address. This is a SEVIS regulation.  The Admissions Office then has 21 days to enter your new information into the SEVIS database.

  • These are the steps
    1. Notify the Admissions Office of your new address. Students must provide a physical address (no P.O. boxes, U-boxes or office addresses are allowed). If it is not possible to receive mail at your physical address, you must also provide a mailing address. You may NOT use the CWSL address.

    2. Update your address with the Registrar's office.


Do not drop, withdraw from, or cancel your classes without authorization from a DSO or you will fall out of status and will have to leave the country immediately.

  • You must contact the Admissions Office before you request cancellation of classes or withdrawal from the Associate Dean's office.
  • The Admissions Office must notify SEVIS within 21 days of the withdrawal. 
  • NOTE: DSO (Designated School Official) - authorized withdrawal - must leave the U.S. within 15 days. Non-authorized withdrawal - no grace period (must leave immediately).


  • F-1 Visa students enrolled full-time are allowed to work on-campus up to 20 hours per week while school is in session.
  • First-year J.D. students are restricted to five hours per week.
  • F-1 students do not need permission from the SEVIS for on-campus employment.
  • If an F-1 student has a critical economic need, they must get permission from SEVIS to work off-campus. 


  • F-1 students may be eligible to take part in practical training related to their field of study during or after their studies at CWSL.
  • To be eligible for OPT, you must be enrolled and in good status for at least one academic year prior to applying.

Employment of Dependents

  • F-2 dependents are not allowed to be employed under any circumstances.

Social Security Numbers

  • A Social Security number is required for those who seek employment in the U.S. and is used as identification for other purposes.
  • If you plan to gain lawful employment, go to the nearest Social Security Office to apply for a card.
  • You will need to take your passport, Form I-20, and proof of employment authorization or proof of an on-campus job offer with you when you head to the Social Security Office. 

If an F-1 student is expelled from a school, they considered out of status and must leave the United States immediately.

  • There is no grace period.
  • If expelled, the students need to contact the Admissions Office right away so they can report it to SEVIS immediately. 

If you are an F-1 student, maintaining status and making normal progress toward completing your educational objective but are unable to complete your course of study by the program end date on the Form I-20, you must apply for a Program Extension before the program end date.

  • Extensions may be granted for compelling academic or medical reasons.
    • Delays caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for a program extension.
  • The Admissions Office asks students to apply for Program Extension at least 60 days prior to the end date on their I-20 form.
  • The extension will be recorded in SEVIS immediately and an updated I-20 will be issued to the student with a new program end date.

The DSO must inform SEVIS of the termination of a student's F-1 status if any of the following events occur:

  • Unauthorized withdrawal
  • Death
  • Unauthorized employment
  • Unauthorized drop below a full course
  • Unauthorized drop below a full course time exceeded
  • Expulsion
  • Suspension
  • Absent from country for 5 months
  • Failure to enroll
  • Costs exceed resources
  • Transfer student no show
  • Otherwise failing to maintain status
  • Change of Status Approved
  • Change of Status Denied
  • Change of Status Withdrawn

Grace period refers to the amount of time an F-1 student has to leave the U.S. after the following:


Event Grace period (number of days)
Following completion of students or OPT 60 days
Withdrawal authorization 15 days
Failure to maintain status 0 (must leave immediately)
  • Notify the Admissions Office you have completed your program or OPT.
  • Reporting of completion of studies must be done within 30 days of graduation or completion of OPT.
  • Note: An F-1 student who applied for Optional Practical Training but has not received approval is within the non-immigrant status.
    • After completion of OPT, an F-1 student has a 60-day grace period before they must leave the U.S. unless they are readmitted to another program or has a change of status.

If you plan to transfer contact the Admissions Office for a CWSL SEVIS transfer form.

  • A student who maintained status and wants to transfer to another SEVIS-approved must follow all SEVIS notification procedures.
    • The transfer must take place within 5 months (i.e., the student must begin classes at the new institution within 5 months of transferring out of the current school or within 5 months of the program completion date listed on the current I-20, whichever is earlier).
  • If a student changes the choice of school to which their record is being transferred, a cancellation of the transfer request must be made before the release date.
    • After the release date, the new school will have the student's record, and we will no longer have access to it.
  • Students participating in post-completion Optional Practical Training must transfer within 5 months of transferring out of the school that recommended OPT or 5 months of the end date of the OPT, whichever comes first.
  • Students should consult with the DSO at their current school to receive permission to transfer to another school.
    • The current school must "release" the student in the SEVIS system to a specific new school, as of the specified date.
  • Transferring students must notify the Admissions Office of their intent to transfer before completing their last term at CWSL.
    • A notification to SEVIS about the transfer occurs when the DSO in the Admissions Office submits that information to SEVIS.