U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently issued a press release that they had a student removed/deported, when they found out that he was not attending class, as is required with a student visa.

That student was enrolled in college as a nonimmigrant F-1 international student in an academic and cultural program.  As an F-1 student, he was “required to attend classes, which he did not.”  He was then placed in deportation/removal proceedings.

Eventually, in March 2018, the immigration judge ordered this student deported/removed because “he did not comply with the terms of his nonimmigrant status.”  As a result, he would not be allowed to return to the U.S. for at least 10 years.  But even after 10 years, it will be unlikely he will be able to gain another nonimmigrant visa.  I don’t think a consul would issue him another student visa, or even a visitor visa, especially since he violated his student visa and was deported because of it.

Although he was deported on the grounds he had violated his student visa status by not attending classes, it seems there were other underlying issues in this particular case.  The ICE press release indicated he was arrested “for being a security concern on campus.”  It was also noted that people around him “noticed a distressing change in this young man,” and alerted campus police.  He also purchased high-powered firearms.  Therefore, although he was deported/removed for not attending classes, it could be that U.S. government officials were concerned he had mental issues and may have eventually become a school shooter.

But the point remains that under the Trump administration, the government is being very strict about people’s compliance with their existing visa and visa status.  If they have a student visa, they should attend school.  If they have a visitor visa, they should visit and not work.   If they have an H-1B working visa, they should be working at the job and for the employer who filed the petition, and not moonlight.

Noncompliance could always come up when a person applies for an extension or change of non- immigrant visa status.  When an extension or change of status is filed, the Department of Homeland Security may question them, and ask them to document and prove they complied with their previous immigration status, either by attending school, working for the employer who petition them, etc.  If they did not, they may face the same consequences as this student — removal.

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Michael J. Gurfinkel has been an attorney for over 35 years and is licensed, and an active member of the State Bar of California and New York. All immigration services are provided by, or under the supervision of, an active member of the State Bar of California. Each case is different. The information contained herein including testimonials, “Success Stories,” endorsements and re-enactments) is of a general nature, and is not intended to apply to any particular case, and does not constitute a prediction, warranty, guarantee or legal advice regarding the outcome of your legal matter. No attorney-client relationship is, or shall be, established with any reader.

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Atty. Michael Gurfinkel
Atty. Michael Gurfinkel

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