•  Reinstatement of F-1 Status photo

    Reinstatement of F-1 Status

    A student who has failed to maintain status may apply to USCIS to be reinstated to F-1 under limited conditions. Conditions for approval of reinstatement:

    • You have not been out of status for more than 5 months prior to filing for reinstatement (unless you can show that exceptional circumstances prevented you from filing during the 5-month period).
    • You do not have a record of repeated violations.
    • You are pursuing, or will in the next term be pursuing, a full course of study.
    • The status violation resulted from circumstances beyond your control, and/or from failure to apply on time for an immigration benefit that would have been authorized by USCIS.
    • You would experience extreme hardship if the application were not approved.
    • You have not engaged in unauthorized employment and are not deportable on any grounds other than the violation for which reinstatement is being requested.
    • NOTE: As an alternative to applying for reinstatement with USCIS from within the country, some students choose travel/re-entry to attempt to regain F-1 status. This requires you to apply for a new F-1 visa at a US embassy or consulate abroad after receiving a new initial attendance I-20. Discuss your situation with GEC staff to determine which option is best for you.

    Reinstatement Application Process

    The GEC can assist you with your reinstatement application. After obtaining all documents listed below, schedule an appointment with us to review your documents prior to submitting the application to USCIS: 

    • A letter from the student explaining: why you are out of status (specify the violation), the reason for violating F-1 status, the hardship you would experience if reinstatement was denied, a statement that you are currently pursuing or intending to pursue a full course of study, and specifically request that USCIS reinstate you to F-1 student status.
    • Form I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status: see Instructions for Form I-539)
    • Check or money order for $370 payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
    • Original I-94 card or print out of I-94 from CBP website
    • Copy of biographical page of passport (with extension page, if applicable)
    • Copy of US visa
    • Original financial documents indicating availability of funds as listed on I-20 (must meet Requirements for Financial Documents)
    • Original transcripts from all U.S. schools attended
    • Any other evidence that might help explain the nature of the violation
    • Optional: Form G-1145 (E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance)
    • If you have been out of status for more than 5 months, pay the SEVIS fee online (www.fmjfee.com) and include a copy of the receipt.
    • Proof of enrollment in a full course of study (e.g. class schedule for next term and/or school transcript)

    After your appointment, we will provide you with other necessary documents to be included in your application packet:

    • Original I-20 issued from Hamline University (I-20 should state: Reinstatement Requested)

    You must mail ALL DOCUMENTS LISTED ABOVE to US Citizenship & Immigration Services. Failure to include any of the required documents may result in a delay of application processing.

    For US Postal Service (including US Postal Service Express mail), send documents to:
    PO Box 660166
    Dallas, TX 75266

    For Express mail and courier deliveries (including UPS, Fed Ex, DHL, etc.), send documents to:
    ATTN: I-539
    2501 S. State Highway 121 Business
    Suite 400
    Lewisville, TX 75067

    Information for Students Who Are Out of Status

    While you are out of status you are not eligible for any type of on-campus or off-campus employment. You will also be unable to renew documents such as your driver's license, because the DMV requires proof of legal status as part of the renewal process. There are significant risks to staying in the US without legal status, so we encourage you to consult with the GEC and/or an immigration attorney if you are unable to maintain the requirements of your visa status for whatever reason. 

    If you apply for reinstatement and your application is approved, your F-1 employment eligibility will be restored. Please bring your approval notification to the GEC immediately so that we can update your file. Please note there is no guarantee of approval of reinstatement. If your reinstatement application is denied, you must depart the United States.