You are in charge of maintaining your visa. It will be your job
to ask questions and be well informed about your particular visa
regulations. The OISS is a source of support and guidance for you
throughout your academic career at Butler University. The topics on
this page will be a good resource for you as well, but I encourage
you to visit the OISS with any major questions and participate in
the immigration workshops throughout the academic year.
Full Course of Study
In order to maintain your visa you must be enrolled as a
Undergraduates: 12 credit hours
Graduates: 9 credit hours
**If you begin your studies during the summer session, you will
be required to be enrolled in 6 credit hours. However if your first
semester is not in the summer, you are not required to take classes
over summer break.**
Maintain attendance and grades
Academic Difficulty: If you are having a difficult time
adjusting to academic life in the United States; consider taking
our one-credit class, LC:100 Strategies for Success.
Reduced Course Load
Request for Reduced Course Load
There are some circumstances when you are able to drop below a
full course of study.
Illness or Medical Condition, You will need to
show proof of your illness with a note from a medical
Academic Issues, which will be assessed on an
individual basis by the OISS
To Complete Course of Study in Current Term, If it is your
last semester at Butler University
Part-time Border Commuter Students (only
applies to Canadian commuters)
In order to be considered for RCL you and your academic advisor
must fill out the Request for Reduced Course
Load Form and return it to the OISS before
dropping below a full course of study. Once the completed RCL form
has been submitted, the OISS will decide whether you are
eligible to drop below a full course of study.
Change of Address
If your address changes while you are studying at Butler, you
must notify the OISS of your new address within 10 days of your
change of address by submitting the online Change of Address form.
Leave of Absence (LOA)
Leave of Absence Form
F-1 international students who need to leave the United States
for no more than 5 months, and are unable to maintain full-time
student status while outside of the U.S. must receive authorization
for a Leave of Absence (LOA) from OISS and their academic
LOA Requirements for the Student:
•You must be outside the U.S. during the LOA
•You must be in good academic standing
•You must be approved for a LOA by the OISS and the academic
The Leave of Absence Form must be filled out
by your advisor or department chair. We recommend that you speak to
your department about the academic consequences of an LOA (i.e.
will you be able to return to your academic program after the
LOA Exceeding 5 Months
Students who will be outside the U.S. for longer than 5 months
for an LOA will need to apply for a new visa even if your current
visa has not expired.
You MUST contact OISS at least two months prior to returning to
Butler to request a new I-20 to present to the U.S.
Embassy/Consulate when applying for your new visa.
You will also need to pay the SEVIS fee again
For more information on how to apply for a new visa, click here.
Returning from LOA
All students returning from an LOA MUST report to OISS
immediately after returning to the United States.
Students must bring the following documents when
reporting to OISS:
• I-94 card
• Visa in passport
You may NOT renew your visa in the United States.
You do not have to renew your visa if you have a valid I-20 and
you remain in the United States (this does not include Canada or
How to Renew Your Visa:
You must leave the United States.
You may renew your visa anywhere outside of the United States,
but it is recommended that you renew your visa in your home
country. You may not return to the US until you visa renewal is
You should contact the US Embassy or Consulate in your country
for more information before you leave the US for changes in
regulations. You can find the Embassy/Consulate in your country at
Visa appointment wait times: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/wait/wait_4638.html
What you will need:
- A completed visa application DS-160
- Proof of payment for visa application
- Current I-20 signed on first and third page by DSO (and all
- Passport valid at least 6 months into the future
- Updated Financial support documents
- Proof of enrollment at Butler (usually a transcript)
- Letter from OISS confirming that you are enrolled and in good
- For dependents applying for an F-2 visa: You should also
bring your marriage certificate
Visa Revalidation: Allows you to leave the US to visit certain
countries for less than 30 days and re-enter on your expired visa
if you did not apply for a visa renewal while out of the US. This
does NOT renew your visa, it is only valid for a single trip. Click
on the link to learn more about AVR.
Extension of I-20 Form
You may be eligible to extend your I-20 if:
You are making normal progress towards your degree
You submit all the required documents to the OISS for the
extension before the program end date on your current I-20
The extension is no longer than one academic year
- Request for Extension of I-20 Form
- A letter from your academic advisor explaining why you were
unable to complete your program within the specified time as well
as the new expected completion date
- Proof of financial support (see OISS for amount)
The Role and Responsibility of International Students and Scholars
in Compliance with the Student and Exchange Visitor Information