The OIPS team advises F-1 students on compliance with US immigration law and regulations. In addition to advising, the OIPS team endorses forms, recommends and approves immigration benefits, and processes document requests. If you have questions or concerns related to your immigration status, we are here to help.
Ebony's Ten Tips
Ebony is the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) coordinator in OIPS. In addition to advising, she verifies, tracks, and submits visa status notifications through SEVIS.
- Update your US address and phone in Patriot Web within 10 days of your move
- Register for a full course of study in Fall and Spring
- Take max. three credits of online courses in Fall and Spring
- Keep a valid passport for six months into the future
- Complete course of study by program end date program on I-20 - otherwise ask for a program extension
- Meet with an OIPS advisor BEFORE taking a leave of absence or withdrawing from the University
- Meet with an OIPS advisor when you plan to transfer to another school
- Request permission BEFORE working on or off campus
- Report any dependents (spouse or children)
- Leave the US within 60 days of completing your program
To learn more about your responsibilities as an F-1 student, go to F-1 Immigration Responsibilities.
The Office of International Programs and Services offers a variety of employment workshops for international students and scholars:
- Online OPT workshop: This online workshop for F-1 students is offered throughout the year. Click here to request access.
- Immigration Options and Beyond workshop: This face-to-face workshop about H-1B, pathways to legal permanent residency (Green Card), and other employment visas for international students, faculty and scholars is offered in Fall and Spring semesters. Click here to learn more.
We highly encourage F-1 students who are interested in working in the US to review the web page "Employment Options." This web page includes information about:
- F-1 Employment Options Comparison
- On-campus Employment
- Curricular Prartical Training (CPT)
- Optional Practical Training (OPT) and STEM OPT
"Change of Level" Check-in with OIPS
Many F-1 students decide to pursue another degree program at Mason. If you are completing your current degree or finishing your authorized Optional Practical Training (OPT) and are admitted to a new degree program at George Mason University, Admissions will request documents to process a new I-20. This I-20 is referred to as a Change of Level I-20.
After you have received your Change of Level I-20 (step 2), you are required check in with OIPS (step 3). If you fail to check in with OIPS, you will be out of status. This means you will not be allowed to continue working on campus and you will lose your eligibility for all other benefits of your F-1 non-immigrant status.
Click here to learn more about check-in and required documents.
INTO Mason (Academic English and Pathway Programs)
Tran Beatson, Assistant Director for Immigration Compliance advises INTO Mason students on immigration compliance related questions. If you are an INTO Mason student, we highly encourage you to review the INTO Mason page. Click here to get started.
What is INTO Mason?
INTO Mason is the short-hand for the joint venture between the company INTO and George Mason University to provide English language (Academic English) and academic preparation coursework (Pathway programs) to students who do not yet meet the academic or English language proficiency level required for regular admission to the university.