Non-immigrant students fall out of status if they do not comply with the conditions of their visa. Students can lose status for a variety of violations such as failing to enroll for a required session or working without authorization. Students who are currently out-of-status may request to apply for reinstatement.
You may be eligible for reinstatement if you:
- Intend to enroll for a full-time course of study
- Can establish that your violation of status resulted from circumstances beyond your control
- Have never engaged in unauthorized employment
- Have not been out of status for more than 5 months
- Can document current sufficient financial resources to pursue a full course of study
- Do not have a history of repeated violations
- Are not deportable from the US on any other grounds
Students who are eligible to apply for reinstatement must do the following:
- Step 1: Gather all documents required to apply for reinstatement
- Step 2: Meet with the Designated School Official to review your reinstatement request and application package
- Step 3: Mail your application to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
- Step 4: Receive an I-797 Receipt Notice from USCIS within 7 – 10 business days of submitting your application
- Step 5: Obtain a decision directly from USCIS regarding your reinstatement application within approximately 90 days of submitting your application
Before starting the reinstatement process, please gather the following materials. Be sure to keep a copy of all of your documents.
- Reinstatement I-20 Request Form
- Original personal/cashier’s check for U.S. $290
- Make checks payable to the “US Department of Homeland Security”.
- Completed original Form I-539 (available at www.uscis.gov)
- Original personal statement (typed not handwritten) from student
- This statement must include:
Chronological account of student’s history of education in the United States including every school ever attended with all dates of attendance, and detailing every time the student was previously out of status and why and the number of times the student was reinstated in the past.
- Full explanation of why the student is currently out of status and why being out of status was beyond the student’s control.
- This statement must include:
- Official transcripts
- One set of official transcripts from all schools attended in sealed envelope/s.
- NOTE: Unofficial transcripts will not be accepted.
- Original financial statement from student or sponsor
- Copy of visa stamp page in passport
- Copy of biographical information page in passport
- Passport page must include expiration date
- Copies of all Form I-20s issued to student from all schools attended in the U.S.
Meet with Designated School Official (DSO)
After gathering all items listed above, please schedule an appointment with your Designated School Official to review your documents.
Mail your original copy of the reinstatement application package to the USCIS Dallas Lockbox facility. Within 30 days of submitting your application to the USCIS Dallas Lockbox facility, you will receive an I-797 Receipt Notice. Bring the original receipt to the Designated School Official so we can make a copy for your file. Please keep the receipt in a safe place. If you receive a Request for Evidence (blue letter), please contact the Designated School Official immediately so we can assist you.
You should not travel outside the U.S. during this period. You may encounter problems reentering the US. Travel outside the US while a reinstatement application is pending may be considered an abandonment of the application.
Approval of Reinstatement
Applications are typically adjudicated within 90 days of submission. Once approved, you will receive an approval notice and your original I-20. Bring these original documents to the Designated School Official so we can make copies for your file and reactivate your SEVIS record.