The importance of maintaining immigration status

The importance of maintaining immigration status

While studying in the United States, it is important to follow the rules and regulations for your visa category.

Your student status aligns with your primary purpose in the United States: to study. If you do not follow the regulations for your student status, you risk losing your student status in the United States (termination).

Actions that may lead to termination include, but are not limited to,

  • working without authorization;
  • taking less than full-time course load without authorization;
  • failing to make academic progress;
  • and failure to report a change of address;

Failure to maintain status can lead to serious consequences, such as accruing “unlawful presence.” The accrual of unlawful presence may lead to deportation, and a 3-10-year or lifetime ban on entering the United States.

On August 9, 2018, USCIS updated their policy regarding when “unlawful presence” begins to be counted. If you fail to maintain your student or exchange visitor status, you will begin to accrue unlawful presence immediately.

If you are an F-1 student, you have 60 days after the program end date on your Form I-20,  to leave the United States. Failure to depart within this grace period could adversely impact your ability to re-enter the United States.

Always remember to talk with your designated school official (DSO) if you have any questions about maintaining status while studying in the United States. The Office of International Affairs sends monthly reminders on maintaining status.

For more information, visit the Maintaining Status page on Study in the States website (https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/) for information and tips to help you maintain your status.

Additional information:

If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Emory at the Office of International Affairs:

k.Emory@chatham.edu  |  412-365-1388

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