F-1 Reinstatement


According to Immigration regulations, students fall out of F-1 status for any of the following violations:

  • Failure to pursue a full course of study at the school last authorized to attend.
  • Failure to enroll at U.B. in the first term which began after leaving a previous school.
  • Failure to complete the school transfer procedure with the International Affairs Office within 15 days of the date school began.
  • Failure to complete a program update within the grace period time when moving from one program to another at U.B.
  • Failure to apply for and receive an extension of stay prior to the I-20 expiration.
  • Unlawful employment. Please note that this violation of status does not qualify for reinstatement.
  • Failure to receive permission to reduce your full-time course load prior to the start of the term or the withdrawal date.

Eligibility for reinstatement

F-1 students are eligible to apply for reinstatement if all the following apply:

1. You have not been out of status for more than 5 months at the time of filing the request for reinstatement.
You demonstrate that failure to file within the 5 month period was the result of exceptional circumstances and that you filed the request for reinstatement as promptly as possible under these exceptional circumstances. The $200 SEVIS fee will be required prior to applying for reinstatement. Instructions for paying the SEVIS fee will be stapled to your new I-20 form.

2. You do not have a record of repeated or willful violations of immigration regulations.

3. You are currently pursuing or intend to pursue a full course of study in the immediate future at the school that issued the I-20 form.

4. You have not engaged in unauthorized employment.

5. You are not deportable on any other grounds.

6. You establish to the immigration office that the violation of status resulted from circumstances beyond your control. Examples may include:

  1. Serious injury or illness
  2. Closure of the school you were attending
  3. Natural disaster
  4. Inadvertence, oversight or neglect by your International Student Advisor
    The violation relates to a reduction in your full-time course load that would have been within your International Student Advisor’s power to authorize and that failure to receive an approval of reinstatement would result in extreme hardship.

If you have violated your F-1 status and will be staying in the United States, may choose to file a reinstatement application to your local United States Citizenship and Immigration Service office. If you reinstatement application is approved, then you may continue to stay in the U.S. as an F-1 student for the remainder of your program. Be sure that you do not repeat any violations of your status, as it is very unlikely that a student may be reinstated twice.

If you apply for F-1 student reinstatement and it is denied, there is no appeal process and your F-1 visa will be canceled. You will be asked to leave the United States immediately (meaning within 30 days of receipt of the denial letter). This is called “Voluntary Departure”. If you do not depart within the specified time period, a deportation case may be started against you by the U.S. immigration service.

If you are traveling overseas, you may re-enter the U.S. legally by presenting a new I-20, valid visa, and your passport. The $200 SEVIS fee will be required prior to your F-1 visa application. Instructions on paying the SEVIS fee will be stapled to your new I-20 form. There is no guarantee that an F-1 visa will be issued to a student who has violated his/her status. Travel overseas restarts your F-1 student status and you must re-fulfill the requirements for work authorizations, such as Optional Practical Training, by completing one full-time academic year of study before being eligible.

1. Must fill out this form to obtain a new I-20 from the International Services. You must also submit a current financial statement with it.

2. Mail to USCIS:

  • All three pages of your new I-20 and copies of all previous I-20’s
  • Form I-539
  • A fee of $290.00 for form I-539. Make a check or money order payable to “US Department of Homeland Security”. Do not send cash! A fee of $290.00 for form I-539. Make a check or money order payable to “US Department of Homeland Security”. Do not send cash!
  • Original form I-94 for all people included in the application
  • Bank statements for the past 3 months (savings or checking account only); For non- personal funds, an ORIGINAL affidavit of support is required. If you don’t have a notarized affidavit of support (because notary is not readily available in your country), you may download the form
  • Letter (see sample)
  • Copy of passport information page and expiration date
  • Support letter from the International Student Advisor
  • Proof of current registration
  • Proof of payment to Bursar
  • Proof of paying the $200 SEVIS fee if you have been out of status for more than 5 months
  • Other proof as it relates to your violation of status: ______________________________

*Please be advised to send out your application as soon as possible and do not wait too long to prepare it because any delay may impact immigration’s decision on your application*