Maintaining Legal Status

What does "Fail to Maintain Status" mean?

It means that you have violated or failed to comply with the terms of your non-immigrant visa. Some examples of failure to maintain status include dropping from full- time to part-time enrollment without prior approval from the DSO, attending a school other than the one a student is authorized to attend, failure to apply for a timely transfer from another U.S. school to MCC, failure to apply for an I-20 extension or change in level of study, unauthorized employment, and failure to report a change of address.

(Unauthorized employment refers to working without prior authorization by the DSO and/or the BCIS as well as working beyond the 20 hours per week)

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

The student's record will be updated with SEVIS every semester. Students who fail to maintain status lose the privileges of their student visa and become subject to deportation. Specific consequences may include denial of re-entry into the U.S., inability to move from associate degree level to bachelor's degree level, denial of request for Practical training, denial of requests to change non-immigrant status, and possible denial of future visa applications.

Can a student who is "out of status" regain legal status?

If a student drops below a full course of study without prior approval from the DSO, that "event" would be reported to BCIS, via SEVIS, and he or she would be out of status. The student may apply to the BCIS 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 re-instatement under any circumstances if he or she is out of status longer than five months. If the BCIS does not reinstate the student, he or she may not appeal that decision.

How will Monroe Community College help students comply with these immigration laws?

The college is committed to assist students in ways that prevent status violations from ever occurring. Accordingly, effective FALL 2003 Semester, these policies will take effect:

  1. Throughout the registration period the enrollment of international students will be monitored. Students who need to register part-time must bring a written excuse to the International Student Counselor (Audra Dion 110-k) prior to registration. Part-time students are invited to meet with Audra Dion at any time to discuss any problems with registering full-time. The International Student Counselor is responsible for reporting full and part-time registration to SEVIS.

  2. International Students must NOT drop below a full course of study after classes have begun without prior authorization from the International Student Counselor. "Full- time" means 12 credits per semester. A student who is authorized for a reduced course load must enroll in least 6 credit hours.

    Acceptable reasons for reduced credit load include:

    • Students who experience academic difficulties (for example: unfamiliarity with American teaching methods or English language difficulties). A student is allowed to drop below a full-time for academic difficulties only once during their degree program. Documentation from the academic advisor is required.

    • Students in their final term of study need only to register for the credit hours required to complete the degree. Documentation from the faculty advisor is required.

    • Students who have a medical problem can reduce their credit load or take the quarter off. Documentation from a licensed medical doctor or psychologist is required.

    Remember: Only the International Student Counselor has the authority to authorize a reduced credit load! This approval must be obtained before dropping below full-time status.

What happens if Monroe Community College fails to comply with the SEVIS regulation?

The BCIS is required to audit the college's compliance with these new requirements every two years. Failure to comply with the federal regulations could result in the loss of the college's ability to accept international students.

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