Depending on the actual circumstances, when a student is determined to be "Out of Status," the usual consequence is that the I-20 is terminated (or canceled) in the SEVIS system. Once the I-20 is terminated, if the student is eligible, he or she should file a request to be "reinstated to F-1 status" so that they may legally remain in the U.S. and continue their studies. Reinstatement should be done as soon as possible after the status violation to avoid any problems with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Reinstatement is costly and it stays on the immigration record permanently and does affect eligibility to apply for certain immigration benefits such as being authorized to work. The PDSO/DSO will advise you and provide you with the proper forms. In very serious cases, you may need to contact an immigration attorney.
A non-immigrant alien who has failed to maintain status may apply for reinstatement to lawful status at the discretion of DHS, but only under limited conditions specified by federal regulations. An application for reinstatement may be considered if the following can be documented:
- You have not been out of status for more than 5 months
- You do not have a record of repeat violations
- You are pursuing, or will be pursuing in the next available term, a full course of study
- You are not engaged in unauthorized employment
- You are not deportable on any grounds other than the status violation
- The status violation was beyond your control
- You failed to submit a Program Extension before your I-20 expiration
- You failed to seek approval for below full-time enrollment
How To Apply
Please make an appointment with the PDSO and bring the following documents with you to your appointment:
- Form I-539
- Fee $370 (current*: subject to change)
- All previously issued I-20s
- I-94 card
- A copy of passport and F1 visa
- Proof of financial support
- Dependent’s documentation: passport, I-94, I-20 (if applicable)
- Personal letter explaining your situation and the basis of your request for reinstatement
- Copy of academic transcripts (unofficial copies are acceptable)
- If you have been out of status for more than 5 months, a receipt for the payment of a new SEVIS Fee ($200) is required. www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/ Copies of your original documents will be made at your appointment and a new I-20 for Reinstatement will be issued.
For more detailed information, please contact your PDSO/DSO.