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

3.  Documents needed to USCIS for reinstatement application:

  • New I-20 marked for reinstatement
  • Paper form I-539 found at
    • 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 

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