Violation of F-1 visa regulations results in the loss of legal status in the U.S.
Consequences include, but are not limited to:
- Ineligibility to work on campus
- Ineligibility to apply for or pursue curricular or optional practical training
- Ineligibility to apply for or pursue off-campus work permission
- Ineligibility to receive a Transfer Recommendation to attend a new school
- Ineligibility to apply to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for a change of visa status
Regaining F-1 Legal Status
It is important that students discuss legal status issues with an ISSS advisor. There are two ways in which a student may be able to regain legal F-1 status:
- Submit a Reinstatement of Legal Status Application to DHS
- Re-enter the U.S. with a new “initial attendance ” I-20.
Students who re-enter with an “initial attendance” I-20 will be required to enroll as a full-time student for at least one academic year before becoming eligible to apply for off-campus work permission and/or curricular or optional practical training. Students entering on an "initial attendance" I-20 may enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the start date on their I-20.
DHS Declaration of Unlawful Presence
If an DHS official or an immigration judge declares an individual to be unlawfully present in the U.S., the unlawful presence will begin the day after the DHS decision – not the date the individual violated their status.
Unlawful presence will have an effect on future eligibility for entry into the U.S.:
- Individuals who have been unlawfully present in the U.S. for more than 180 continuous days but less than one year are barred from admission to the U.S. (under any visa type) for a period of 3 years from the date of departure.
- Individuals who have been unlawfully present in the U.S. for one year or longer are barred from admission to the U.S. (under any visa type) for a period of 10 years.