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 USCIS as well as working beyond the 20 hours per week)
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.
If a student drops below a full course of study without prior approval from the DSO, that "event" would be reported to USCIS, via SEVIS, and he or she would be out of status. The student may apply to the USCIS 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 USCIS does not reinstate the student, he or she may not appeal that decision.
The USCIS is required to audit the college's compliance with immigration regulations every two years. Failure to comply with the federal regulations could result in the loss of the college's ability to accept international students.