Maintaining Your Status

Aside from attending classes and doing well in school, international students must ensure that they maintain their legal status. Several specific actions can cause a student to loose their legal status, causing a student to be “out of status”, and forcing them to return to their home country immediately.

Students with F-1 visas are allowed to enter to the United States for the sole purpose of studying. The F-1 visa has a set of requirements that the student must follow or maintain in order to remain legal. It is the student’s responsibility to become familiar with the requirements of remaining in status. Students should work with their DSO to ensure they meet these requirements and do not make decisions that can jeopardize their legal status.

Failing to Maintain Status

Failing to maintain status, or falling “out of status”, is a very serious offense with serious consequences. It is important that international students understand the importance of remaining in status and the potential consequences of being “out of status”.

Students “out of status” can be arrested or required to leave the United States. Failure to maintain status will almost always jeopardizes a student’s ability to remain or return to the United States as a student and can also result in the students being barred from legally entering the United States for several years.

Examples of Status Violations

While this is not a complete list of violations that can cause a student to be “out of status” it is a list of some of the most common reasons students lose legal status. Some examples of status violations for F-1 students include:

In an effort to help international students maintain legal status, the US Immigrations and Customs Office has provided this information in printable files below.

English (PDF)
Spanish (PDF)
Arabic (PDF)
Japanese (PDF)
Korean (PDF)
Chinese (PDF)