A Out of Status is when a nonimmigrant lost his or her lawful status due to a violation of the visa terms.
United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issues every visa with a specific purpose and with specific restrictions. Visitors must follow and maintain the the requirements from his or her visa classification. For example, if a student comes on an F-1 OR M-1 visa, he or she must maintain the student status by attending classes and by enrolling in enough credits to account for the visa’s terms. Another example is that tourists who enter on a B1/B2 must keep his or her activity within the purposes of travel of a visit. Finding yourself out of status happens once you violate your visa terms, even if you are not overstaying.
The most common activities causing nonimmigrant visa holders to become out of status are:
- Working without authorization
- Being unemployed with a work visa like H-1B or L-1
- Not being enrolled at school or not attending classes with a student visa like F-1 or M-1
- Failing to marry the visa petitioner with a K-1 fiance visa