SEVIS Violations

It is your responsibility to remain compliant with immigration and university regulations. We are here to provide information and services to ensure that you are aware of these requirements and are able to remain compliant. Maintaining contact with OIA and reading your IUI email regularly throughout your time here will help ensure you stay in status. See Maintaining Status for more information.

If you are not compliant with regulations, we may be forced by law to terminate your SEVIS record. Termination of a SEVIS record is very serious and can have many negative consequences for you. It can end your ability to stay in the United States, attend school, and apply for work authorization. SEVIS termination means that you are not in legal status ("out of status") according to the Department of Homeland Security. If you are out of status, contact us to learn about your options.

Staying in the U.S. beyond your allowable grace period is also a violation of J-1 regulations.

If your SEVIS (or DS-2019) is terminated OR you overstay your grace period, you could be accruing unlawful presence. This can lead to arrest and deportation proceedings. Accruing unlawful presence may result in being barred from the U.S. for many years or even permanently.

Important Concepts

  • Unlawful Presence

    The period of time when you are in the U.S. without being admitted or paroled or when you are not in a "period of stay authorized by the secretary."
  • Barred from Entry

    Being barred from the U.S. means that you cannot enter the U.S. in any immigration status for a specified length of time. You can receive a 3-year or 10-year bar from the U.S. if you have more than 180 days or one year of unlawful presence, respectively.

  • Accrual of Unlawful Presence

    Accrual means adding to, accumulating, obtaining, or growing. This means you accumulate or grow days of unlawful presence each and every day beyond your status violation or end of your lawful grace period.

Reasons for the termination of a SEVIS Record include:

  • Unauthorized employment (employment without advanced authorization from OIA or USCIS)
  • Unauthorized withdrawal from classes (dropping all your classes without advance permission from OIA)
  • Unauthorized drop below full course of study (dropping below full time enrollment without advance authorization from OIA)
  • Expulsion and suspension
  • Failure to enroll in classes
  • Enrollment in online classes
  • Not maintaining health insurance that meets regulatory requirements

In most cases, the termination of your SEVIS record means that you must make plans to immediately depart from the United States. In other words, there is no grace period after termination. If your SEVIS record is terminated, contact us to schedule an appointment immediately. Days of unlawful presence begin when your SEVIS record is terminated, unless your international student advisor has indicated a grace period for departure from the U.S. Staying after any grace period will also result in days of unlawful presence.

If you have an J-2 spouse or children, they will also begin accruing days of unlawful presence if your SEVIS record is terminated. J-2 dependents can also violate status separately from your J-1 status. This will also result in your dependents accruing days of unlawful presence and perhaps a being barred from entry to the U.S.

We do not know what the future impact of even one or two days of unlawful presence will be if you wish to apply for a new visa stamp or submit an application or petition to USCIS (for example, if a future employer wishes to sponsor you for an H1-B status). Even a few days of unlawful presence could cause you to be ineligible for this type of future status.

The Best Ways to Ensure That You Stay in Legal Status 

  • Check your IUI email at least once per day
  • Always stay enrolled full time
  • Contact your OIA advisor before you drop any courses
  • Do not break any university rules or U.S. laws
  • Request authorization from OIA before you begin working (on or off campus)
  • Do not let your DS-2019 expire