UB statement on students in violation of F-1 status

Updated: October 19, 2021

Release Date: October 18, 2021

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For fall 2021, 37 international students are in violation of their F-1(visa) status and, as such, their enrollment in the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) program at the University at Buffalo has been terminated. It is not unusual to have anywhere from 15-30 students terminated from the program each year, for a variety of reasons.

“We are sorry that this has happened to our students, for we endeavor to support our international students and facilitate their success at UB,” said Nojin Kwak, UB vice provost for international education. “It is always very difficult to terminate a student’s immigration status, and we are working with the affected students to provide as much help as they need. They are receiving individualized advisement to address their specific situation and to help them make the best decision about their future studies. We will do whatever we can to assist them.” 

UB’s International Student Services (ISS) office followed federally mandated steps, and the terminations were carried out properly, after ISS’s extensive efforts to communicate with and educate students. A vast majority of students in this program are in full compliance with the regulations. This semester, 98.3% of the newly arrived students fulfilled the reporting requirements.

UB’s ISS office works diligently to avoid terminating students and has made many proactive attempts to educate new students about the process. Those students who were terminated did not attend pre-arrival webinars, read pre-arrival newsletters, e-forms and emails, or attend immigration sessions. All of these educational opportunities explain the process, and how to comply with these regulations.

ISS advisors are working with each student to review their case, consider their personal situation and work with them to find the best way to return to a valid F-1 status with the least disruption to their studies at UB.

Background information
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For many years, the University at Buffalo has been a national leader in attracting excellent international students from around the world. In fall 2021, UB has enrolled more than 4,500 students on F-1 (student) visas, including more than 2,000 newly arrived students. In order to maintain their student (F-1) visa status, students who have newly arrived in the U.S. are required to report to their Designated School Official, submit a valid U.S. address, pay any required fees and enroll full-time.

In accordance with federal regulations governing the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), UB is obligated to create an institutional standard for reporting this information to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) within 30 days from a student’s program start date (the start of classes). This includes proof of a valid F-1 entry into the U.S. (a completed “Arrival/Departure Record” from the DHS).

Without proof of this information, the university cannot report their valid presence in the U.S. ISS is not authorized to access the government website, where I-94 information can be accessed to retrieve records on a student’s behalf, as only that person's authorized representative or legal guardian may do so.

Media Contact Information

Media Relations (University Communications)
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Buffalo, NY 14260-7015
Tel: 716-645-6969
Fax: 716-645-3765
ub-news@buffalo.edu