The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)
SEVIS is the database used by the US Department of Homeland Security for collecting information on international students. In order to be able to host international students Saint Peter’s University is legally required to use the SEVIS system to continually report the enrollment status of each international student attending the University.
The International Student Coordinator, as a P/DSO, is mandated by law to update every student’s record to reflect registration in SEVIS within 30 days of the add/drop period AND any subsequent changes within 21 days of the change. As you know, a condition of your F-1 status is that you remain a full-time student.
For example, if an undergraduate registers for 12 credits during the registration period (prior to add/drop deadline) he will be registered as full-time in SEVIS. If he then withdraws from a class and is now only enrolled in 9 credits his SEVIS record will be “terminated” because he has dropped below full-time without authorization.
Once a SEVIS record is “terminated” immigration is aware that you are out of status and you may face consequences of deportation, denial of re-entry to the US, inability to change degree level, denial of requests for Practical Training, denial of requests to change visa status, and possible denial of future visa applications.
You are STRONGLY ADVISED to speak to the International Student Coordinator BEFORE dropping any courses. Academic advisors are not trained in immigration regulations. Your status is your responsibility. There are very few circumstances in which you may be authorized in advance to register for less than a full-time course load.