College and university students will sometimes drop out for a variety of reasons. Someone may have health issues that they want to focus on, for example. They may not be sure if the educational path they have chosen is the right one, and they don’t want to invest more money in a degree they won’t use. They may simply need to earn more money and feel that they need to take a break from school so they can work.
For these reasons or others, you may find yourself thinking about stepping away from school. But if you’ve come to the United States specifically to go to college, will you be deported if you decide to leave that institution of higher learning?
Enrollment may be necessary
You could be deported, and it’s very important to understand that college enrollment may be a necessary stipulation based on the specific details of your visa.
For example, you may be using an F-1 visa. Under the requirements for the F-1 visa, you need to be a full-time student, and you must be enrolled at a college or university in the United States. If you are enrolled, your designated school official (DSO) will show that your status is “active.” But if you drop out, they will switch this to a status of “withdrawn.”
It takes roughly three weeks for the status to update, or 21 days. If yours is changed to withdrawn and you have not enrolled in another school that satisfies the requirements of the visa, then you do have to leave the United States. If you overstay your visa and fail to leave, then you could face deportation when you are caught.
Understanding your rights
Immigration to the United States can be complicated. Those working through this process need to be well aware of all their rights and obligations so that they can consider the legal steps to take to make things go as smoothly as possible.