Reinstatement To F-1 Status after a Violation
Immigration Regulations State: An F-1 student who has violated his or her status may be re-instated to lawful F-1 status at the discretion of USCIS and under the following limited conditions: student has not been out of status for more than 5 months, does not have a record of repeated or willful violations, is pursuing or intending to pursue a full course of study, has not engaged in unauthorized employment.
Actions that will violate status include: being enrolled in less than a full-course of study; not being enrolled at all; or not applying for a program extension of stay in a timely manner. If you are ‘out of status’ and qualify for reinstatement please follow the steps below:
1. Speak with an advisor in the International Student and Scholar Office
- If it is determined that an application for reinstatement is recommended, continue onto step 2 and 3 below.
- An alternative option may be to travel and re-enter the U.S. thereby beginning your F1 status again. Please note that you will not be eligible for benefits (such as CPT or OPT employment) until 1 full academic year following your re-entry to the U.S.
2. Documents needed to ISSO to apply for reinstatement: Please submit the items below to ISSO so a new I-20 marked for reinstatement may be issued:
- Updated financial support documents
- Academic Certification Form
- Both of the above items can be found at our web page about Maintaining Status
3. Documents needed to USCIS for reinstatement application:
- New I-20 marked for reinstatement
- Paper form I-539 found at www.uscis.gov/i-539
- Pay $370 application fee by cashier’s check or money order
- Attach the following scanned documents:
- previous I-20
- current I-94
- passport and visa page
- copy of transcripts showing full-time enrollment
- additional documentation or letters as advised by the ISSO
- If you’ve been out of status for more than 5 months, you will also need to pay a SEVIS fee of $200 and include a receipt of payment www.FMJfee.com
For your convenience, you can print our Handout for Reinstatement Instructions
Processing times are inconsistent and can change frequently. Currently I-539 applications are taking anywhere from 6 to 12 months to process. You can check processing times at https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplayInit.do.