You qualify for reinstatement if the following applies to you. Approval for reinstatement is at the discretion of USCIS. While in the reinstatement process, you are not eligible for benefits. These benefits include but not limited to, on-campus or off-campus employment, renewal of driver’s license, reduced course load, or be issued a letter of good standing.
- You have not been out of status more than 5 months
- You do not have a record of repeat violations
- You are pursuing or will be pursuing in the next available term, a full course of study
- You are not engaged in unauthorized employment
- You are not deportable on any ground other that the status violation
- The status violation was beyond your control
- You failed to let the DSO know a Program Extension before your I-20 expired
- You failed to seek approval before dropping below full course of study and reduction in the student's course load that would have been within a DSO's power to authorize, and that failure to approve reinstatement would result in extreme hardship to the student.
The regulations state that curricular practical training must be “an integral part of an established curriculum.” They define curricular practical training as “alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school.”
Preconditions – Students must have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis at a DHS-approved school for one full academic year before being eligible for CPT. Available only while student is in F-1 status, before completion of the educational objective.
For additional information see the Designated School Official. Documents to bring with you when you meet with your DSO:
Information necessary to process Curricular Practical Training CPT:
Cannot being CPT until approved by DSO and advisor or dean and listed on I-20.
- Job offer
- Description of job
- Number of hours
- Dates of Employment
- Transcript showing enrolled full-time for at least 1 year
- Degree and major listed
- Letter from academic advisor
OPT allows a student “with F-I status who have completed or have been pursuing their degree for more than nine months to work for one year on a student vise without needing to acquire a work H-IB visa.”
OPT is typically used after a completion of the course of study, or, for a student in a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree program, after completion of all course requirements for the degree (excluding thesis or equivalent). However, there are three types of OPT.
See Designated School Official for more information.
Failure to maintain F-1 status results in the termination of your I-20. You have the option to apply for reinstatement with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or depart the U.S. and seek a new admission to the U.S. in F-1 status.
A student who departs and attempts to reenter with a new Form I-20 will, if successful, be treated as a new student and will not be able to count time spent during the first I-20 on F1 status toward benefits such as eligibility for curricular practical training or OPT.
Leaving the US for Temporary Absence
(vacation, holiday, sickness, family emergency)
For re-entry into the United States, you must have the following:
- A valid student Visa. Be sure you have a Student Visa F-l. If you entered on a B-2 “Visitor- Prospective Student” Visa, YOU MUST OBTAIN A NEW F-1 Student Visa within 60 days of your original arrival date.
- Valid visa is either a multiple-entry or one with an expiration date.
Obtaining a valid Visa if yours is expired:
- The visa is obtained at an American Embassy or US Consular Office (ONLY OUTSIDE OF THE US)
- Bring I-20 with DSO travel signature with you when you travel outside the U.S.
- Current Affidavit of Financial Support
- Valid passport. A passport that is valid for AT LEAST SIX MORE MONTHS AFTER RE-ENTRY
- Your 1-20 form and 1-94 card. The International Student Advisor must endorse your 1-20 in the Admissions Office prior to your travel.
- Your 1-94 card will be taken when you leave the US. Be certain the 1-94 is taken. A new one will be issued upon your return.
To apply for reinstatement, download form I-539and complete form. Make an appointment with the DSO and bring with you the I-539 form along with the items listed below.
- your I-94 card (original, for you and any family members) OR if you entered after Form I-94 was automated, a printout of your online I-94
- copy of your passport identification page
- a fee of $370 (2019 figure; double check on the Forms page of the USCIS website). Pay by either check or money order payable to the Department of Homeland Security.
- proof of your continued ability to pay your tuition, fees, and living expenses; this will be the same type of financial information that you provided to get your visa in the first place
- your own statement explaining why you need and deserve to be reinstated, including:
- what circumstances caused you to fall out of status
- exactly how those circumstances were beyond your control or why not being reinstated would cause you extreme hardship
- that you are not deportable for any reason other than your violation of student status
- that you are currently pursuing, or are intending to pursue a full course of study
- that you haven’t been employed without authorization, and
- a specific request for USCIS to reinstate you to student status
Your DSO may choose to write a letter of support to include with your application. Ask your DSO to do this if the reason for falling out of status could have been prevented by the DSO. The student will also be required to satisfy USCIS that he or she would be able to comply with the requirements of F1 status after reinstatement.
<p>A student that is approved for reinstatement should remember that your pre-violation student time still counts to your benefit. If you will be applying for any benefits that require you to add up how much time you have been a student—such as a practical training work permit that requires one academic year of F-1 student status—you can count the months before you violated your status as well as the months after you were reinstated. The months in between, however, don’t count.</p>
<p>INA § 222(g) (overstay and visa cancellation) and § 212(a)(9)B) (unlawful presence) are two penalty provisions that can be activated if a request for reinstatement is denied. Since reinstatement by definition consists of a finding by USCIS that there has been a status violation, the denial of a reinstatement application would in all likelihood be considered a "formal finding of a status violation.., resulting in the termination of the period of stay authorized by the Attorney General." Under the most recent guidance on the applicability of INA 222(g) and § 212(a)(9)(B), the reinstatement denial would have the following effects, as of the date of the denial:</p>
<p>The visa that you used to enter the United States is automatically cancelled;</p>
<p>You are permanently limited to applying for nonimmigrant visas in the future only in your country of citizenship or permanent residence;</p>
<p> If reinstatement is denied, the student is considered to have lost F1 status, and his or her visa will be invalidated in accordance with section 222(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Accordingly, the student is required to immediately depart the United States.</p>
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