MAINTAIN YOUR STATUS
Status: You are given an immigration "status"
when you are admitted to the U.S. The type of
status is determined by the type of visa you hold.
Some people may change their status while they
are in the U.S., and then have a different status
than the type of visa in their passport. Most
international students attending BC academic
classes have F-1 status. Some may have M-1,
J-1, L-2, or H-4 status.
- You must follow all of the rules and
regulations associated with the type of visa you
have while you remain in the U.S. This is
called "maintaining status".
An F-1 (student) visa holder must do the following to maintain status:
- Attend school full time:
* Academic, credit students must take at least 12 credits each quarter.
* About Taking Online Classes:
If you take too many online credits in a quarter, you may be out of status. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) only allows a student to take the
equivalent of one online/distance education class per term. At BC, it is permissible to take 7 credits of on-campus classes and 5 credits of online
class per quarter. Below are some exceptions that must be approved by an ISP Advisor before class registration.
- If a student needs a required class that is only offered online, then the student needs to meet with an ISP Advisor to discuss their situation.
- On an authorized vacation quarter, a student is okay to take as many online classes as s/he wants. (Please note that the student must get an
approval from ISP Office for their authorized vacation quarter.)
* Intensive English/University Preparation students must attend at least 18 hours per week each quarter.
- Make good progress in school:
* Academic, credit students must maintain at least a 2.50 GPA each quarter.
* Intensive English/University Preparation students must pass to the next level the first or second time in any class.
- Attend the institution you are authorized to attend on your I-20.
- Keep your I-20 and passport valid.
- Notify the ISP office within 10 days if you change your address or telephone number.
- Not engage in unauthorized off-campus employment.
- If you do not follow all the rules and regulations, you are considered "out-of-status" and become an illegal alien.
If you do not successfully complete one quarter, you will be put on probation
for the following quarter. You need to meet with an international
student advisor bi-monthly to report your progress. Based on the
meetings, your advisor will take appropriate steps to help you get off
probation. If you follow all the above regulations, you will be taken off probation.
However, if you fail to maintain your status again, you will be asked to file for reinstatement.
If you do not pass your probation, you will be "out-of-status" and need to file for
reinstatement*. You will need to write a letter to the International Student Programs
Director and to the US-CIS explaining why you did not maintain your status. You will need
to e-file the I-539 form electronically and pay the fee of $290.00 online while filing the I-539 form.
Then print out this complete e-filed I-539 form and a Receipt Confirmation form and submit them with
an updated financial statement, photocopies of
your current I-20 form, visa and passport, and an original I-94 card. The ISP advisor will review
your documents and send the package to CIS for you.
The US-CIS will decide whether or not to reinstate you. If the US-CIS denies your reinstatement,
you will need to return to your home country immediately.
*Intensive English/University Preparation (UP) students who do not pass
probation will be terminated immediately from the UP program. See below for consequences
If you do not pass your probation, or under certain circumstances due to immigration regulations,
the ISP office can choose not to file for reinstatement. In this case, you will be
terminated from BC. In other words, you will have to immediately find another school which
is willing to accept you and help you file for reinstatement or return to your home country
- Visa Cancellation:
If you are "out-of-status", US-CIS may cancel your visa even if it is
still valid. You will need to file for reinstatement through our
office or return to your home country to apply for a new visa. This regulation
went into effect as of April 1, 1997.
- Visa Overstay/Unlawful Presence:
If you are "out-of-status" and remain in the U.S. for more than six months but less
than 12 months, US-CIS may cancel your visa and you will need to return to your home
country immediately. You may not be able to come back to the U.S. under any visa category
for three years.
If you are "out-of-status" and remain in the U.S. for 12 months or more, US-CIS
may cancel your visa and you will need to return to your home country immediately.
You may not be able to come back to the U.S. under any visa category for 10 years.