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My SEVIS automatically terminated 2.5 years ago for a long leave(>3yrs) to my home country. Can I re-enter US for new I-20 & F1?

Miami, FL |

I was a graduate student and I left US 3 yrs ago for a vacation to my home with proper permission on I-20 and valid F1 visa. Due to some family issues, I couldn't go back to US to continue my studies. University emailed me a number of times but I didn't respond as I was not sure of withdrawing myself. I now wish to return to US and I have new I-20 from different and better university. The DSO from my last university just told me that my SEVIS must have been automatically terminated.
My query is:
1) Did I violate any immigration law because of SEVIS and F1 termination?
2) Will this be counted negative while applying for new F-1 visa?
3) Will I be deported at Port of Entry for SEVIS termination? (This Q really concerns me)

In short, does SEVIS termination affect re-entry in US?

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Attorney answers 2


Foreign students must maintain their status while they are in the United States. Failure to do so could result in prohibitions on future visas. In your case, however, there is no indication that Immigration or an Immigration Judge determined that you had violated your status.

It should also be satisfying to know that you will not be deported at the port of entry. At worst, you will be asked to appear before an Immigration Judge for a future hearing.

Most likely, the Dept. of State will simply refuse the visa if they think you are not eligible for one. In order to avoid delays in your case, including delays occurring because of confusion at the consulate, I strongly suggest that you consult an immigration attorney.
This attorney is Board Certified, speaks Spanish and French, and has an office in South Florida. For more information, click through to the Blog or web site.

Elizabeth R. Blandon


i agree that you should be fine as you were never out of status while in the U.S. Just be sure to carry all documentation with you to your visa interview to show you left after you stopped attending classes -- perhaps the old school can confirm the date you stopped attending and put together with your passport stamps showing your departure and entry into your home country yu will prove this point.

Lynne R. Feldman, Attorney at Law
Concentrating in Immigration and Nationality Law
2221 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 201
San Diego, CA 92108
phone: (619) 299-9600, facsimile: (619) 923-3277

Formerly Adjunct Professor -- Immigration law
University of Illinois College of Law

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