How students fall out of compliance

An F-1 student may fall “out of compliance/status” for violation of federal government regulations governing students in F-1 visa classification.

There are many reasons why a student may fall “out of status/compliance,” including:

  • Letting the program end date on the I-20 expire without requesting a program extension in a timely manner
  • Taking too many online courses and not enough on-ground courses
  • Working without authorization
  • Taking a leave from school without permission from his or her college and the Office of Global Services
  • Not making continuous progress towards the completion of their program
  • The Office of Global Services must terminate the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record of a student who is “out of compliance/status” in order to comply with Federal government regulations

Discovery of the violation

After the violation is discovered, the Office of Global Services and the academic advisor or SEVIS contact will work with the student to attempt to remedy the violation if possible. If there is no possible remedy, the student’s SEVIS record will be terminated. The student may seek to regain F-1 status provided that he or she is academically and financially qualified to continue and/or complete the degree program to which he or she was accepted. A student who is dismissed from his or her program is not eligible for reinstatement. A student who has violated employment related regulations may have limited options.

When the student meets an Office of Global Services advisor regarding the reasons for falling “out of compliance/status,” the Office of Global Services advisor will determine if reinstatement and/or readmission is possible and provide further information about the process.

Two ways to regain status

In order to resume studies in proper F-1 status, a student must seek to regain status in one of the following ways:

  • Readmission: Depart the USA and regain status through readmission to the USA with a new initial I-20
  • Reinstatement: If eligible, seek reinstatement while remaining in the USA by filing an application for reinstatement with USA Citizenship and Immigration Services

If you wish to consult with an attorney, please see Immigration Attorneys and Pro-Bono Legal Services for information.

Related Articles:

Unlawful Presence

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) new policy directed to F, J or M visas. The policy guidance holds that unlawful presence will begin accruing the day after a student stops pursuing a course of study or otherwise violates his or her immigration status.

Completing Your Program (J-1 Scholar)

Completing your academic assignments as a J-1 scholar. Leaving the USA. Change of status. Find out how to handle these situations and a whole lot more.


The Office of Global Services is required to take action once we have been notified of your dismissal by your academic program at Northeastern University.