Regulations permit some individuals who fall out of status to file for reinstatement within the United States under certain conditions. The information below is provided to give you guidance on the process to apply for reinstatement if you are in F-1 status. All students must consult with an International Student Advisor to learn about the process and determine eligibility.
In order to apply for reinstatement to F-1 status, you must meet the following conditions:
- The violation of status must be a result from circumstances beyond your control, and
- Failure to receive reinstatement will result in extreme personal hardship, and
- You are currently pursuing or intend to pursue a full course of study at the school that issued form I-20, and
- That you have not been in violation of your status for more than five months unless substantial reason can be provided for the delay, and
- That you have not engaged in unauthorized employment, and
- That you are not deportable on any other grounds.
You are not eligible to work on-campus or apply for off-campus employment authorization (OPT/CPT) if you are out-of-status. Employment on-campus may only resume after reinstatement is approved. Employment off- campus may only resume after reinstatement is approved AND you have the appropriate work authorization (OPT/CPT).
You must meet with an advisor to discuss your situation. If eligible to apply for reinstatement, the advisor will schedule a follow up appointment or ask you to drop off the documents listed below. We will process the I-20 and review the documents. The IC advisor will contact with when your documents are ready for pick up. Processing time is approximately two weeks.
You must mail your reinstatement application to the appropriate USCIS address per the instructions on the I-539.
It may take 3–4 months to receive a response from the USCIS. Upon receiving your response, you must come in to the International Center so that your file can be updated, and if reinstatement is approved, your SEVIS record registered.
To apply for reinstatement to F-1 status, you must submit the following to the United States Citizenship and
Immigration Services (USCIS):
- New form I-20 from the International Center
- $370 fee in check or money order payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Always verify current fees on I-539 instructions.
- Completed I-539 form. Download at www.uscis.gov. Click on Immigration Forms on the top menu. Starting from March 11th, 2019, USCIS will only accept the latest version of this form. The form must have an edition date of 02/04/2019 on it. The new form will be published on March 11th, and not sooner.
- Starting from March 11th, 2019 all applicants for a change of status must also pay an $85 biometrics fee.
- Completed Form G-1145.
- A letter from you to the USCIS explaining the circumstances surrounding your failure to maintain legal status.
The letter should contain the following:
- Your name, address, and telephone number
- Information about why you need to reinstate your F-1 status
- A statement that you are pursuing or intend to pursue a full course of study at IIT
- A statement that you have not engaged in unauthorized employment and that you are not deportable on any grounds other than failing to maintain your status
- A sentence to indicate that failure to receive reinstatement to lawful F-1 status would result in extreme hardship to you
- Financial documentation
- Original transcripts from all universities attended in the U.S.
- Copies of all previously issued I-20s
- Copy of passport pages (identity, visa, and passport expiration pages)
- Recent I-94
Receipt from your $200 SEVIS Fee payment, If you have been out of status for more than five months
(more information on paying the fee is available online at www.fmjfee.com