Loss of Status


An F-1 student may lose their legal ability to study in the U.S. if they fail to follow the guidelines for maintaining status. The following are examples of status violations:

  • Drop below full-course load without authorization
  • Failure to apply for a program extension in a timely manner
  • Off-campus work without prior authorization
  • Inability to enroll in classes due to unpaid university bills

F-1 students who have lost status and would like to continue their studies have one primary option for regaining status. Please be sure you understand the difference between visa and status before reviewing your options. Keep in mind that there is no “grace period” if you have fallen out of status. ISSS recommends that you take action to quickly regain status if you believe you have lost status.

Regaining Status via Travel

Students in the U.S. who have fallen out of F-1 status may depart and then reenter the country with a new I-20, effectively ‘resetting’ their status.  Students need to meet with ISSS to discuss their options for travel to regain status.

Students whose visa has expired will have to reapply for the F-1 visa prior to returning to the United States.  The consular officer has the right to deny the application if he/she feels that resumption of F-1 status is not warranted. Similarly, students who have fallen out of status, depart, and then return to the country may be denied reentry by Customs and Border Patrol, even if they are in possession of the required documents.

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Last modified: Jun 10, 2023