Frequently Asked Questions about Financial Holds

Will I be able to register for classes if I have a balance?

NO. Please refer to Outstanding Balances due for further information.

Is there anyone that can approve a release of my financial hold?

Yes. The Solution Center can remove the financial hold from your account only upon payment of the overdue balance.

How long will it take for my financial hold to clear?

If paying by wire transfer or other similar method, make sure payments are received at Student Financial Services by August 15 for fall, and December 15 for spring.

What if I know I will be unable to pay my balance by the above-mentioned deadlines?

Contact ISSO immediately and before August 15 if unable to pay your balance for fall semester or before December 15 if unable to pay your balance for spring semester to discuss other immigration options. The sooner you contact ISSO before these deadlines, the better to avoid immigration status violations. ISSO will be unable to assist in removing the financial hold.

Am I permitted to work off-campus on my F-1 or J-1 status with a financial hold?

NO.  All off-campus work authorization requires prior permission from ISSO and a new Form I-20 or Form DS-2019. Unauthorized employment results in an automatic termination of legal immigration status.

Will my legal F-1 or J-1 status be impacted if I’m unable to register for classes?

Yes. All F-1 and J-1 students must be enrolled full-time by the first day of the semester. ISSO processes F-1 and J-1 status terminations of international students that are not enrolled full-time during the Add/Drop period.

Will I be able to transfer my F-1 or J-1 SEVIS record to another school if unable to pay balance?

Yes. You will need to provide proof of acceptance to another school to ISSO by the Add/Drop period. Please familiarize yourself with the Transfer Out guide and eform. Your eligibility for post-completion work authorization may be impacted.

Please discuss this with the new international office of the school you are transferring to.

Please note: a transcript cannot be released with an unpaid, outstanding balance. Please see The Solution Center Outstanding Balances page for more information.

May I depart the U.S. if unable to pay my balance and register by the start of the semester?

Yes. You will have 15 days to depart the U.S. from the date we terminate your F-1 or J-1 status. Check with your UMass Lowell academic program to see if it will be possible for you to complete your degree requirements on-line from your home country, once you have cleared your financial hold. Please note that this will eliminate your post completion work authorization.

Please be mindful of the penalties to overstays. We urge you to read through the Unlawful Presence guidance. Feel free to consult with an immigration attorney with any status related questions. See out Immigration Resources page.

May I obtain a Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 to return and resume my academic program at a later date?

Only if you still have a minimum of one full semester of required academic work that you can fulfill with no more than one on-line course. You will need to repay the SEVIS fee and may need to apply for a new F-1 or J-1 visa to return to the U.S. You will only be eligible for post completion work authorization if you have two semesters of required academic work upon your return.

Will I be able to obtain an official transcript with a pending financial hold?

No. However, you are eligible to obtain an unofficial transcript at any time.