F-1 or F-2 international students who violate the terms of their immigration status may get back into status by leaving and returning to the US on a new SEVIS record and a new visa, or by applying for reinstatement by application to USCIS.
Students who have violated their status must work closely with an international student advisor to choose the option that better suites their circumstances and to make sure they properly proceed with the process for getting back into status.
Students who are out of F-1 status will have a hold placed on their student record until action has been taken by the student to resolve their status. Once a student files for reinstatement or leave the US to seek a new visa, the hold will be lifted.
Download the Instructions for Reinstatement to F-1 Status for a list of requirements for filing for reinstatement.
To apply for reinstatement as student must:
- Be out of status for less than 5 months
- Exceptions will only be considered if there is documentable evidence that the delay was unavoidable
- Be currently enrolled full-time
- Not actively violating any terms of his or her status
- Not have a petition for permanent residency or other change of status pending
Notes for seeking reinstatement:
- An approved application changes only your status. The next time you travel outside the U.S. you are to use the I-20 approved by USCIS to apply for the appropriate F-1 visa from the U.S. Consulate office.
- F-1 employment eligiblility begins upon receipt of the approved change of status and is subject to F-1 regulations for employment authorization.
Applying for Reinstatement
- Meet with international student advisor to review your situation and determine eligibility for reinstatement
- Complete I-539 using the Instructions for Reinstatement provided by advisor
- Complete G-1145
- Write a letter to USCIS explaining the violation and requesting reinstatement
- See Instructions for Reinstatement for a recommended outline for letter
- Bring an electronic version of the letter to appointment with advisor for review and revision
- Check or money order for $290 payable to US Department of Homeland Security
- Check current fee information at http://www.uscis.gov/forms
- Proof of SEVIS Fee payment
- Download from from www.fmjfee.com
- Proof of financial support in amount of current Estimated Cost of Attendance
- Latest I-94
- Downloaded from www.cbp.gov/i94
- Copy of all immigration documents
- Passport identity page
- Visa page(s)
- Previous Forms I-20
- Other immigration documents
- Official academic transcript
- Available through the Office of Records
- Additional letters of support from academic department or supporting parties (optional)
- New I-20 recommending you for reinstatement
- Received at final appointment with international advisor