Reinstatement of F-1 Status

General Information

If an international student fails to meet F-1 regulatory requirements, the student’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) immigration record is terminated and the student is “out of status.”

All F-1 benefits cease and the student is required to leave the U.S., file for reinstatement, or be eligible for deportation.

If you are out of status and take action in a timely manner, you may be able to return to valid F-1 status. After reading the following, discuss your options with an International Student Advisor or immigration attorney.

The following general information is provided to assist students who wish to resolve a status issue. It is not meant as legal advice. Students are encouraged to consider obtaining the services of an immigration attorney who has experience assisting F-1 students with reinstatement.

You have two options to correct your F-1 status:

  • File for reinstatement:
    • Keep in mind this can take at least a year for reinstatement to be complete. For more information about the process, please visit the most recent Study in the States webpage.
    • *If you do not maintain F-1 requirements, such as full-time enrollment, your reinstatement I-20 and application will be cancelled.
  • Leave and reenter the US with a new SEVIS record:
    • You will have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee again ($350).
    • You cannot re-enter the U.S. more than 30 days before the Program Start Date on your Form I-20.
      • If the visa in your passport has expired, you will have to go through the visa process at a U.S. consulate/embassy.

When to Apply

It is in your best interest to file the petition for reinstatement soon after the violation. Regulations limit eligibility to five months after the violation unless you can demonstrate extraordinary circumstances causing a delay. After reading this reinstatement information, contact your International Student Advisor and/or Immigration Attorney. USCIS processing times are highly variable and can take a year or more.

Eligibility Requirements to Obtain a Form I-20 (travel or submission)

To apply for reinstatement of F-1 status, you must

  • Be academically eligible to begin/continue study at UT Tyler.
  • The violation resulted from either:
    • Circumstances beyond your control or
    • Failure to apply in a timely fashion for a reduced course load authorization from your International Student Advisor.
  • The violation did not occur more than five months ago.
  • You have not engaged in unauthorized employment.
  • You can provide proof of sufficient finances for at least one year of study.

Bank Statements

  • Dated within the last six months, showing bank’s name and address on company letterhead.
  • Funds must be liquid assets, not investments.
  • If funds are not in U.S. dollars, include a printout of currency conversion.

While You Wait for a Decision

You will be expected to follow F-1 regulations while your application is pending. This includes full-time enrollment each Fall and Spring semester. If you do not maintain enrollment, your reinstatement I-20 and application.


  • Meet with your International Student Advisor or Immigration Attorney to review the process and your questions.
  • Submit materials for an I-20 to your International Student Advisor.
    • Reinstatement Request Form
    • Certification of Financial Responsibility
    • Proof of funding for at least one year of study (dated within the last six months)
    • Complete an I-539 form. Your advisor or attorney can assist you with some of the questions on the form.
      • Optional – Complete a G-1145 Form from (request for text/email notification in addition to regular mail.)
      • Pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee, if required. Print a receipt.
      • Pay the biometrics fee.
      • Mail the application to USCIS with a check or money order.  In 2-4 weeks, you will receive a receipt notice from USCIS with your case number. You can check the status of your case using that number on
      • You will likely get a notice to appear at service facility for your biometrics (fingerprints, photo, etc) to be checked. The nearest facility is just south of Dallas.
      • You may receive a Request for Further Evidence that must be answered by the deadline noted on the letter.
      • Months later - You will receive a letter indicating approval or denial of your petition. Provide a copy to your International Student Advisor so your record can be updated.


  • Meet with an International Student Advisor and/or Immigration Attorney.
  • Submit materials for an I-20 to your International Student Advisor
    • Reinstatement Request Form
    • Certification of Financial Responsibility
    • Proof of funding for at least one year of study (dated within the last six months)
  • Pay SEVIS I-901 fee and print receipt. Online payment is possible at For more information about the I-901 SEVIS fee see:

If you will be applying for a new visa, also:

  • Obtain an appointment at a U.S. consulate/embassy.
  • Attend the visa appointment with all necessary documents. (Canadian Students do not require this step.)
  • If approved, re-enter U.S. in new F-1 status no more than 30 days before the I-20 start date.
  • Provide copies of your F-1 visa and I-94 to your International Student Advisor.

Required Documents to Take as You Travel

  • Passport
  • Initial I-20
  • SEVIS I-901 fee receipt
  • Proof of financial support
  • Proof of maintaining F-1 status prior to termination
  • Transcripts and future class enrollment
  • Miscellaneous supporting documents (optional)

A denial letter will be mailed with instructions. Usually it indicates you must leave the U.S. or File a Motion to Reconsider within a certain time period.  Your reinstatement denial would cancel your visa used to enter the United States.

  • Check, Money Order or credit card form allowing  fion fee ($370)
  • Check, Money Order or credit card form (I-1450) for biometrics fee ($85)
  • Letter of explanation: Your letter should be written in as much detail as possible as this will be your only opportunity to explain your situation to the USCIS.
    • Explain how/why the violation occurred.
    • Did it result from circumstances beyond your control?
    • Was it because you worked without CPT authorization?
    • Was it because you didn’t file a timely request for a reduced course load authorization?
    • Describe why failure to receive reinstatement would result in extreme hardship
    • Include a statement that you have never been employed off-campus without USCIS authorization and that you are currently pursuing or intend to pursue a full course of study in the next long semester
  • I-539
  • Reinstatement I-20
  • Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR)
  • Bank statement, current within 6 months, showing funds for at least one academic year.
  • Copy of passport identification page
  • Copy of your current F-1 visa or I-797 Change of Status Approval Notice
  • I-94
  • Copies of all academic transcripts from your studies in the United States
  • Copies of all I-20s from all institutions you have attended
  • Any other documentation that might help establish the nature of the violation

You will mail all the above to the designated USCIS collection address. In about two weeks you will receive a receipt. Notify your immigration advisor whenever you receive correspondence about your application.


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