Violations of Status
International student advisors are required to report violations of status to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Department of State by terminating your SEVIS record. A termination cancels your authorization to study in the United States and effectively ends your immigration status.
Types of Violations
You may violate your status by failing to abide by the regulations and reporting requirements governing your immigration status. It is very important that you understand your responsibilities as an international student so that you do not violate your status, either intentionally or unintentionally.
Violations of status may include:
- Failure to report your arrival at the start of your program
- Failure to enroll full-time
- Failure to report a change of address
- Failure to maintain required health insurance coverage (J-1 students only)
- Engaging in unauthorized employment
Consequences of Violating Your Status
International student advisors are legally obligated to report all violations of status committed by students at their program or institution. Once your SEVIS record has been terminated, you will be expected to depart the country immediately - there is no grace period associated with a termination, although immigration guidance generally permits 15 days to prepare for departure.
Having a termination on your immigration record can:
- Result in denial of your application for a new F-1 or J-1 visa
- Result in denial of your application for another type of visa
- Result in denial of re-entry into the United States
- Result in denial of application for future immigration benefits, including off-campus employment authorizations
Termination of your SEVIS record also ends the immigration status of any dependents who are with you in the United States in F-2 or J-2 immigration status.
Returning to Valid Immigration Status
It can be very costly and time-consuming to return to valid immigration status after your SEVIS record has been terminated. You should speak to an international student advisor as soon as possible after a violation of status to discuss the options available to you for returning to lawful F-1 or J-1 status.
Petition for Reinstatement
You may be eligible to submit a petition for reinstatement to USCIS. If approved, the termination will be removed from your immigration record and you will be reinstated to lawful F-1 or J-1 status. To be eligible for reinstatement, you must demonstrate that the violation of status was due to circumstances beyond your control. The filing fee for reinstatement is $290, and petitions may take several months to process.To learn more, visit the Reinstatement section of our website.
Re-Enter the United States on a New SEVIS Record
If you are ineligible to apply for reinstatement, you may be issued a new I-20 or DS-2019 based on a new SEVIS record, which you can use to exit and re-enter the United States. Making a valid entry using the new immigration document effectively returns you to valid immigration status. Traveling is faster than reinstatement and gives you greater control of the timing of the process, but airfare to another country - especially on short notice - can be very expensive.
Before re-entering the United States, you must pay the SEVIS fee again and ensure you have a valid U.S. visa. Since the termination will still be on your immigration record, there is a higher risk for denial of your visa application, especially if you apply for a new visa in Canada or Mexico. If your visa is denied in one of these border countries, you must return to your home country or another third country before attempting a new entry into the United States.