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Office of International Programs

Reinstatement of F-1 Status

Students who are out of status:

  • Are not eligible to work
  • May be contacted by US Department of Homeland Security agents
  • May be subject to deportation

It is in your best interest to restore your F-1 status as soon as possible. The two ways to do this are described below. It may be advisable to consult with an immigration attorney.

Option 1: New Status by Travel


  • No academic or financial holds preventing you from enrolling.
  • Sufficient proof of funds to meet the expenses of one academic year.
  • Not inadmissible for any other reason, such as a criminal conviction.


  1. Read the Reinstatement Guide carefully and note any questions.
  2. Schedule an appointment with the international student advisor to review the process.
  3. Submit materials for a new I-20 to international student advisor. 
  4. Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee and print the receipt.
  5. Schedule a visa appointment at a US consulate or embassy, and depart the US.
  6. If approved, re-enter the US in a new F-1 status no more than 30 days before the program start date.
  7. Provide copies of the new I-20, I-94 stamp or electronic print-out, and F-1 visa to the      international student advisor. Your SEVIS record will be activated after these documents have been received and your reinstatement to F-1 status will then be complete.
  8. Because this is a new status, you must be enrolled for two long semesters before becoming eligible for off-campus employment, even if you already met this requirement prior to the violation.

Option 2: Reinstatement by Petition


  • You are in the US and have violated your F-1 status as a result of circumstances beyond your control or for a failure to apply in a timely fashion for a reduced course load authorization.
  • The violation did not occur more than five months ago.*
  • You have not engaged in unauthorized employment.


  1. Read the Reinstatement Guide carefully and note any questions.
  2. Schedule an appointment with the international student advisor to review the process.
  3. Submit materials for a new I-20 to international student advisor.
  4. Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee and print the receipt.
  5. Assemble the required documents and mail to USCIS. USCIS must receive the application within 30 days of the I-20 issue date.
  6. USCIS will mail a receipt. The international student advisor will notify you when the receipt arrives in the mail.
  7. Continue to enroll as a full time student while you wait for the USCIS decision. You must not leave the US while the petition is pending. Doing so will cancel your petition.
  8. USCIS will send a decision letter. USCIS processing times vary widely. A common wait time is 3-4 months after submission. The international student advisor will notify when the letter is received.
    • If the petition is approved, you may start/resume on-campus employment, if applicable, as soon as you receive the written approval. If you have been full-time enrolled at least one academic year prior to the violation you are eligible for off-campus employment. You do not have to re-qualify.
    • If the petition is denied, you will likely be instructed by USCIS to leave the US and the visa you used to enter the US will automatically be canceled. If you want to pursue further options for remaining in the US, you can do so by consulting with an immigration attorney.

* USCIS officials have the discretion to determine if a student warrants reinstatement even if the violation occurred more than five months ago.

It is highly recommended that you speak with the international student advisor about your options.