F1: Reinstatement


General Information

An F-1 student who has overstayed his or her authorized period of stay or has otherwise failed to maintain F-1 student status may be reinstated to lawful F-1 status at the discretion of a United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) District Director.

The USCIS director may reinstate the student to lawful F-1 status, if he or she:

  1. Establishes to the satisfaction of the USCIS director that the violation of status resulted from circumstances beyond the student's control or that failure to receive reinstatement to lawful F-1 status would result in extreme hardship to the student
  2. is currently pursuing, or intending to pursue, a full course of study at the school that issued the Form I-20
  3. has not engaged in unauthorized employment
  4. is not deportable on any ground other than section 241(a) (1) (B) or (c) (i) of the Act {overstaying or failing to maintain status}. {8 CFR 214.2(f) (16) (i)}

What do I need to do?

Schedule a meeting with an advisor or come by during walk-in advising and bring the following to OISS:

  1. Form I-20 (be sure to sign at #11)
  2. Completed Form I-539 (click here for form) with $370 fee (check or money order made payable to Department of Homeland Security)  
  3. Original Form I-94
  4. Copy of passport "data" pages
  5. Copies of previously issued Form I-20 (if available)
  6. Verification of financial support as indicated on Form I-20
  7. Written statement explaining your situation and why you failed to maintain valid F-1 status (also confirm that the above four statements are true).

Additional Information

If the reinstatement application is approved, USCIS endorses Form I-20 and returns the Form I-20 to the student. Although there is no formal appeal from a denial, the applicant may seek reconsideration through a motion. Speak with an OISS adviser for more information about a "motion to reconsider."