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International Student Services: Current Students

Reinstatement

What is reinstatement?

Students who have been admitted to the United States in F-1 status have certain obligations that must be met in order to maintain lawful immigration status. Failure to do so results in your being "out of status" or "in violation of status" and the need to be "reinstated" to lawful F-1 status by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

When is reinstatement necessary?

Reinstatement is necessary when any of the conditions of maintaining status have been violated. To maintain status, you must:

  • Keep your passport valid
  • Register Full time every semester
  • Not work without authorization
  • Limit authorized employment (both on and off campus) to a total of 20 hours per week while school is in session
  • Apply for a program extension before the completion date on your I-20, if you need extended time to complete your current program
  • Follow specific USCIS procedures to authorize your change of educational program or level.
  • Follow specific USCIS procedures to authorize your transfer to another school in advance of registering at the new school.
  • Notify the International Student Adviser of any change of address within 10 days.

Who is eligible to be reinstated?

Reinstatement will be possible only if you:

  • Are pursuing or intend to pursue a full course of study
  • Have always had proper authorization while being employed
  • Have not been out of status for more than 5 months
  • Can establish that the violation of status resulted from circumstances beyond your control or that failure to be reinstated would result in extreme hardship, and you are not deportable on any other grounds

Reinstatement Procedure

The reinstatement application is sent to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The International Student Adviser does not have the authority to approve applications for reinstatement but will be happy to review your application and confirm that it is complete. Please hand in or mail the following documentation to the International Student Programs office-attention International Student Adviser:

  • Completed Form I-539
  • Complete Form G-1145 (optional)
  • Original Form I-94
  • Copy of your current I-20 and any other I-20s you have
  • Current financial documentation
  • Written request for reinstatement, explaining the circumstances of your being "out of status"
  • If you have been out of status for more than 5 months, you also need to submit the receipt of payment of the I-901 SEVIS fee

If you are eligible for reinstatement, the International Student Adviser will issue a new SEVIS I-20 for reinstatement and will contact you to let you know the application is ready to be picked up and mailed by you.

Make a copy of the application and mail the following documents to the USCIS:

  • Completed Form I-539
  • Completed Form G-1145
  • Copy of I-20 for reinstatement ( and copies of past I-20s)
  • Original Form I-94
  • Current financial documentation
  • Written request for reinstatement, explaining the circumstances of your being "out of status"
  • Fee of $290, a check or money order made payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. NOTE:  Spell out U.S. Department of Homeland Security; do not use the initials "USDHS" or "DHS".  The USCIS does not accept cash.
  • If you have been out of status for more than 5 months, you also need to submit the receipt of payment of the I-901 SEVIS fee.

 

Mail your application to: USCIS Dallas Lockbox:

For U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Deliveries: USCIS, PO Box 660166, Dallas, TX 75266 (use certified mail and ask for a return receipt)

For Express mail and courier deliveries: USCIS, Attn: I-539, 2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business Suite 400, Lewisville, TX 75067

DO NOT SEND YOUR PASSPORT!

If the reinstatement is approved, the immigration adjudicator will update your record in the SEVIS system, endorse your I-20 to indicate that you have been reinstated, and return it to you with your I-94 card. If your application is denied, you may be required to leave the United States. Please bring the response you receive from the USCIS to the International Student Adviser so that your file may be updated.

Special Considerations

Processing time for reinstatement cannot be predicted; it may take as long as 6 months. Although you may continue to study while waiting for a response from the USCIS, you are not eligible for any privileges associated with F-1 status, such as on-campus employment or practical training, while your application is pending. Please direct all questions to the International Student Adviser.