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Status Information

What does “fail to maintain status” mean?

“Failure to maintain status” applies to both students and research scholars. Some examples of failure to maintain status for students include (i) dropping from full-time to part-time enrollment without prior approval from an International Student Advisor, (ii) attending a school other than the one the student was authorized to attend, (iii) failure to complete a timely school transfer procedure or program extension or change of educational level, (iv) unauthorized employment, or (v) failure to report a change of address. For J research scholars, failure to maintain status means failure to comply with the original terms agreed to and listed on the J-1 document. Examples include failure to report a change in title, name, salary, funding source or job description.

What are the consequences if a student or research scholar fails to maintain status?

The student’s or research scholar’s record will be updated regularly on SEVIS. Students or research scholars who fail to maintain status may become subject to deportation. Other consequences may include denial of future re-entry to the U.S., inability to move from undergraduate to graduate status, denial of requests for Practical Training, denial of requests to change visa status, and possible denial of all future visa applications.

Can a student or research scholar who is “out of status” regain legal status?

If a student drops below a full course of study without prior approval from an International Student Advisor, that “event” will be reported to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) via SEVIS, and the student will be out of status. The student may apply to the INS for reinstatement if the violation resulted from circumstances beyond his or her control. Reinstatement is intended to be a rare benefit for exceptional cases. The student may not apply for reinstatement under any circumstances if (s)he is out of status longer than five months. If the DHS does not reinstate the student, (s)he may not appeal that decision.

These circumstances and penalties also apply to research scholars who have failed to maintain the original terms of affiliation with their J-1 U.S. sponsoring institution.


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