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At Kasturi Law, LLC, our Naperville immigration and nationality law attorney knows an F-1 student immigration status is a nonimmigrant status in the United States that allows foreign nationals to enter the country to pursue an entire course of study at a Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)-approved educational institution.

Students must maintain their status by complying with program requirements, attending required check-ins with the Designated School Official (DSO), and adhering to other regulatory obligations. When they do not fully comply with their F-1 requirements, they can violate the terms and potentially revoke their status, jeopardizing their stay in the U.S.

Violate the Terms of their F-1 Status

How Students Violate the Terms of Their F-1 Status

Students in the United States on an F-1 visa must adhere to specific terms and conditions to maintain their status.

Common ways in which F-1 students may violate the terms of their status include:

  • Failure to Maintain Full-Time Enrollment

F-1 students are typically required to maintain full-time enrollment at their designated school during the academic year. Dropping below a full course load without authorization or failing to enroll in required courses can lead to a violation of status.

F-1 students are typically allowed to drop below full-time enrollment during official school breaks and vacation periods, but they must receive authorization from their DSO in advance. Doing so without proper authorization during these periods can lead to status violations.

  • Unauthorized Employment

F-1 students are generally allowed to work on campus for a limited number of hours per week during the academic year. They may be eligible for certain types of off-campus employment with proper authorization — including Curricular Practical Training or Optional Practical Training.  Engaging in unauthorized employment can result in status violations.

  • Failure to Extend Program End Date

If a student’s program end date on their Form I-20 expires before completing their studies, they must promptly apply for a program extension. Failure to extend the program end date before it expires can lead to status violations.

  • Failure to Report Changes

F-1 students must report specific changes to their DSO, including changes in address, program of study, or financial support. Failure to report such changes promptly can result in status violations.

  • Engaging in Unlawful Activities

Any involvement in illegal activities, including criminal offenses, can lead to status violations and potential deportation proceedings.

  • Failure to Depart the U.S. After Completing Program or Optional Practical Training

F-1 students are generally required to depart the United States within a certain period after completing their program of study or optional practical training (OPT) unless they have obtained a change of status transfer to another school or another authorized basis to remain in the U.S.

Can a Student’s F1 Status Be Reinstated After a Violation?

If you have fallen out of F-1 status but seek to resume your studies, you can apply for reinstatement. The deadline to file for reinstatement is five months, so students must act quickly.

However, students CANNOT apply for reinstatement if their violation involved unauthorized employment.

Contact Our Immigration Attorney Today

If you have questions about securing an F-1 visa or want your F-1 status reinstated, contact us today to learn how our Illinois immigration attorney can help you. We provide in-office, phone, and Zoom consultations to help you understand your legal rights and options so you can make informed decisions about your immigration journey.