Students or scholars facing immigration problems should speak with an IS Advisor to explore options and clarify regulations. Some issues and inquiries will require the assistance of an immigration attorney. In these cases, an IS Advisor will recommend the assistance of legal counsel. If you wish to speak with a lawyer only for guidance, make it very clear that you only want to pay for a consultation. You are under no obligation to use the lawyer's services after the consultation meeting unless contracts have been drafted, agreed upon and signed.
Abiding by U.S. Law
Everyone present in the United States is subject to U.S. law. While the laws of the United States may be quite different from laws in other countries, international visitors should note that ignorance of the law is not a valid excuse for breaking the law. An IS Advisor will provide basic advice about legal rights and help contact a lawyer if ever necessary.
According to U.S. law, any person arrested including non-immigrants must be informed of their rights by a police officer and be allowed at least one telephone call. Additionally, anyone arrested has the right to consult a lawyer free of charge before making any statements to the police. If you have been arrested and/or charged with a crime, please immediately report the incident to your dedicated IS Advisor to determine the impact on your immigration status.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
An educational institution may not refuse to report information concerning an F-1 non-immigrant student or a J-1 non-immigrant Exchange Visitor on the basis of FERPA. This waiver of FERPA both authorizes and requires an educational institution to report information concerning F-1 or J-1 non-immigrants via SEVIS to the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State. If you have any questions about what information OGS is required to report, please contact your dedicated IS Advisor.