How Schools Must Keep Track of International Student Status

Cambridge legal immigration lawyerWhen a foreign national enters the U.S. on an I-20 as an international student, USCIS is concerned that he maintains proper status and does not fall through the proverbial cracks. A Woburn immigration lawyer will work with you if your student status changes, but the following will provide an overview of what is expected of both students and schools.

SEVIS and Student Tracking

At such time a school issues an I-20 to a student, it must let the U.S. consulate in the student’s home country know. The consulate then approves the visa, after which it notifies USCIS. The school will then allow the student to take courses in accordance with the visa, and must keep tabs on the student via the database SEVIS.

As your Woburn immigration lawyer will tell you, any changes in your status must be reported to the school immediately. Among the matters pertinent to SEVIS and your visa status are:

  • Your personal identification information, such as your legal name, and date and place of birth.
  • Your residence while the visa is in force.
  • Whether you are a full- or part-time student.
  • Your major area of study, and when your studies began.
  • If your studies cease, and the reason.
  • Any certifications you possess for specialized or practical training.
  • Proof of financial responsibility.
  • Your progress, as measured by the number of credits earned each semester.
  • Any disciplinary actions related to academics, such as probation.
  • Any actions the school takes as a result of a criminal conviction.

Requirements for Schools to Report Changes in Student Status

The school must report a student’s status on a continual basis each semester, and no later than 30 days following the deadline for class sign-ups. This helps USCIS keep track of students who for whatever reason fail to register and maintain the status required by their I-20 visa. The school also must report changes in a student’s status within 21 days. Ultimately, if for any reason your status changes in such a way that you fear your visa may be in jeopardy, you should speak with a Woburn immigration lawyer right away.

If You Need Assistance with an Immigration Issue

If you are a student entering the U.S. to study on an I-20 visa, it is important to understand the importance of maintaining your status. Call a Woburn immigration lawyer at Ionson Law: (781) 674-2562.

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