Falling Out of Status

FALLING OUT OF STATUS

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FALL “OUT OF STATUS”?
To fall “out of status” means that you have broken an immigration regulation pertaining to your particular immigration status (F-1, J-1, etc.). If this occurs, you may lose the benefits of your status in the US. You are at risk of violating your status for any of the following reasons:

  1. You are not attending the school that you are authorized to attend, that is, the one that issued the Form I-20 or DS-2019 you used to enter the United States US most recently.
  2. You do not follow the correct procedures for transferring from one school to another, or for continuing from one educational level to another. This applies for students returning to Pace for a second degree.
  3. You drop below full-time in any semester without first obtaining permission from an International Student Advisor
  4. You do not attend school during the fall or spring semester (during the academic year).
  5. You work off campus without proper authorization.
  6. You work on or off campus for more than 20 hours per week while school is in session.
  7. Your program completion date on your I-20 or DS-2019 has passed and you have not filed for a program extension.

REINSTATEMENT TO VALID STUDENT STATUS
If you violate the terms of your F-1 or J-1 status as indicated above (intentionally or unintentionally), you lose your legal status and must depart the U.S. immediately. Reinstatement requires an application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service with an explanation of the circumstances, as well as the recommendation of the Office of International Programs and Services. Please be aware that if you have worked without proper authorization, you are ineligible for reinstatement inside the US.

TRAVEL AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO REINSTATEMENT
If you are ineligible for reinstatement, or your application for reinstatement is denied, you may be able to travel outside the US and reenter with a new I-20 in order to regain F-1 status. Although this option is often much faster than reinstatment, it can also be considered less favorable. If you wish to engage in Curricular or Optional Practical Training, you would need to complete one academic year after reentry before becoming eligible - even if you had completed one academic year prior to falling out of status.

If you have violated F-1 or J-1 status and suspect that you may be out of status for any reason, please make an appointment to speak with an international student advisor immediately. Failure to regain F-1 status can result in grave immigration consequences, including possible deportation and future denial of visas to the US.