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Immigration Overview

The United States has developed a set of laws and regulations that govern non-citizens who are temporarily residing within the countries borders.  The policies that govern your being able to remain in this country are called immigration regulations.  These regulations are administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and are subject to change; therefore, it is important that you stay in contact with the international student advisor to make sure you remain in status. The consequences of not maintaining your status are severe and the DHS will not consider ignorance of the law a legitimate reason for failing to obey the statutes and regulations.

If you have any questions regarding your immigration status, please ask the international student advisor. Do not rely on advice from a friend.  The student advisor is familiar with the rules and regulations and is available to act as your advocate.  In this role, as directed by the Department of Homeland Security, we are required to keep copies of your signed I-20, passport, I-94 and any other immigration related material.

Maintaining Status begins when you enter the United States and continues until your final departure. To ensure that you are in status, follow these directives:

  • You must report to the international advisor immediately upon arrival at Fayetteville State University.
  • Entry only allows you to enroll in classes at Fayetteville State University.
  • You must carry a full academic course load and be making normal academic progress towards completing your degree.
  • You must maintain your enrollment. If you leave the United States or take an academic break of more than 60 days your immigration status will be terminated.
  • You must refrain from unauthorized work.  As an F-1 student you have a range of work opportunities that are campus based.  Working off campus without permission is a violation of your immigration status, making you ineligible for continuing your studies or reinstatement.
  • When traveling abroad, please keep your current immigration paperwork up to date and do not attempt to return to the United States in another visa category.
  • You must keep the passport from your home country current.
  • You must report any change of address to the international advisor with 10 days of the change.
  • As a guest in this county, you must obey all state and federal laws.
Student and Exchange Visitor Information System: SEVIS

As of August 1, 2003, all students entering the United States are required to be entered in the SEVIS computer system.  This system monitors the activities of non-immigrants to this country whose entry was facilitated by an F, M, or J visa status. The information is shared between the Immigration Service, Department of State, educational institutions and other government agencies.  SEVIS is updated by "reportable event" information supplied by the university.  Reportable events include:

  • Registration for classes
  • Withdrawal from classes
  • Changes in course load
  • Change of major
  • Changes in financial support
  • Change of address
  • Practical training

The SEVIS system is also used by Fayetteville State University to manage requests for employment authorization, transfer to another institution, and application for reinstatement.

Special Registration in SEVIS

The Department of Homeland Security has developed a “special registration” procedure which  involves interviews, fingerprints and photographs to be taken at the U.S. Port of Entry.  If you are selected for “special registration,” you will be required to complete a departure procedure, prior to leaving the United States, at your departure location.

Individuals from any country can be subject to “special registration” at the discretion of the Port of Entry officials.  Please be advised that if you are from one of the following countries, it is likely that you will be asked to “special register”: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordon, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia,  UAE, and Yemen.  

Please be advised that the Department of Homeland Security can notify you, at any time, to “special register” and request that you go through a series of interviews.  If you arrived in the United States prior to December 2, 2003, and failed to appear for a 30-day re-registration interview or an annual registration interview, you are held accountable by the laws that were in effect at that time.

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