Reinstatement applications are submitted to and adjudicated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The process can take several months, and students are welcome to consult an immigration attorney for additional guidance on the application process.
First, resolve any issues that lead to termination of your F-1 status, such as unpaid balances or sponsorship problems. Submit financial documents to OISP for verification of sufficient funding and begin gathering all application materials. If you have dependent family members in F-2 dependent status, include their information and documents in your application. You will need to provide proof of sufficient funding for their stay, as well.
Once your financial documents have been verified, we will ask you to submit a request for a “reinstatement” I-20, indicating the term that you intend to resume F-1 status. You may need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee online; keep copies of the receipt, if so.
If you have any difficulties gathering application materials or completing forms, contact OISP can give you advice or point you to helpful resources. We recommend scheduling an appointment to review the application with your international student advisor.
Once you are ready to submit the application to USCIS, send your application file by certified mail or courier. You will receive a receipt number from USCIS, which you can use to track the status of your application online.
If you move before the reinstatement application is received or adjudicated, you must change your address online at https://www.uscis.gov/addresschange, or call 1-800-375-5283. Failure to update your address with USCIS can have serious effects on your status in the U.S.
Effective March 22, 2019 USCIS requires applicants filing Form I-539 and co-applicants filing Form I-539A to pay an additional $85 biometrics fee and attend a biometric services appointment that will be scheduled at a USCIS Applicant Support Center (ACS).
Once USCIS adjudicates your application, you and OISP will receive official notice. If your reinstatement application is approved, you will be expected to resume your studies in compliance with F-1 regulations. If your application is denied, there are numerous consequences, including limitations on future visa applications and notice to appear before an immigration judge. The decision cannot be appealed, but a motion to reopen or reconsider may be filed if warranted.