Resolving Status Problems

Resolving Status Problems

Obstacles to maintaining nonimmigrant status may arise, and you should consult the Office of International Students and Programs (OISP) to discuss options to avoid failing to maintain status. OISP, also, assists admitted applicants and current students with applications to reinstate to F-1 immigration status. 

Contact OISP

Importance of Maintaining Status

Failure to maintain nonimmigrant status puts your rights and benefits of being in the U.S. at risk.  If you violate regulations governing your F-1 status, your SEVIS record will be terminated, and you will lose federal and university benefits of F-1 status, such as lawful presence in the U.S., authorized employment, student employment position, and F-1 student insurance. Any depedents in F-2 status lose will be considered out of status, as well.

On August 9, 2018, USCIS published a revised policy memo (PM 602-1060.1) about “unlawful presence,” effective immediately. Essentially, this revised policy states that F-1 students and other nonimmigrants begin accruing unlawful presence the day after a status violation, such as remaining in the US: 

  • after your SEVIS record is terminated for failure to enroll in classes before the SEVIS reporting deadline, 
  • after your SEVIS record auto-completes after a grace period, or
  • after you are granted authorized early withdrawal but do not depart the country within the 15-day grace period.

One important reason to be mindful of unlawful presence is its impact on future travel to the US.  According to INA 212(a)(9)(B), overstaying for 180 days can result in a 3-year bar to readmission to the US, and overstaying for over one year can result in a 10-year bar to readmission. While these are serious consequences, there are some exceptions that OISP can discuss with you. For example, departing the U.S. ends the count of days of unlawful presence, and being reinstated by USCIS to legal F-1 status can “reset the clock” on unlawful presence.

Authorized Early Withdrawal

You are allowed to leave the U.S. prior to the completion of your studies. In certain situations, it may be best to consider authorized early withdrawal if you may not be able to maintain your nonimmigrant status.  If approved for authorized early withdrawal by OISP, your SEVIS record will be temporarily terminated. Submit an Authorized Early Withdrawal request to OISP, and we'll be happy to discuss approval requirements, returning to the U.S., and other details.

Reinstatement to F-1 Status