To apply for a reinstatement:
- Carefully review the information listed below;
- Gather the items listed on this page;
- When you have the materials together, submit them to the ISSS;
- You will be contacted by ISSS within 3 to 5 business days after you submit the materials and will be asked to schedule an appointment;
- When you come your appointment with the advisor, the advisor will have reviewed your application, created your Form I-20 for Reinstatement, and prepared a letter of support; and
- You will then send the application packet to the USCIS.
- You should continue to maintain full-time studies, and
- You should not depart the U.S.
Reinstatement to Nonimmigrant Student (F-1) Status
A student who has failed to maintain Nonimmigrant Student (F-1) status and wishes to continue studying at (or transfer to) Temple University must regain valid status as described below.
Reasons why a student may fall out of Nonimmigrant Student (F-1) status include, but are not limited, to the following:
- Failure to extend Form I-20 before the expiration deadline;
- Failure to complete the F-1 SEVIS transfer procedure in a timely manner; and
- Failure to take a full course of study without authorization from ISSS.
N.B.: A student who has worked without authorization is also out of status, but is not eligible for reinstatement.
If you were not able to maintain Nonimmigrant Student (F-1) status, there are two ways to regain your status:
- Submitting to the US Citizenship and Immigration Service an Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-539; see details below), or
- Leaving the U.S. and re-entering using a new Form I-20 with a new SEVIS number (see details below).
Eligibility to Apply for a Reinstatement:Under federal USCIS regulation 8 CFR 214.2(f)(16), an F-1 student is only eligible for reinstatement if all of the following conditions apply:
- Student has not been out of status for more than 5 months at the time of filing the request for reinstatement (or the failure to file within the 5 month period was the result of exceptional circumstances and the student filed the request for reinstatement as promptly as possible under these exceptional circumstances);
- Student does not have a record of repeated or willful violations of [USCIS] regulations;
- Student is currently pursuing or intends to pursue a full course of study in the immediate future at the school which issued the Form I-20;
- Student has not engaged in unauthorized employment;
- Student is not deportable on any ground other than section 237(a)(1)(B) or (C)(i) of the Act;
- Student establishes to the satisfaction of the [USCIS] showing, either that:
- The violation of status resulted from circumstances beyond the student’s control. Such circumstances might include serious injury or illness, closure of the institution, a natural disaster, or inadvertence, oversight, or neglect on the part of the DSO, but do not include instances where a pattern of violations or where a willful failure on the part of the student resulted in the need for reinstatement
- The violation relates to a reduction in the student’s course load that would have been within a DSO’s power to authorize, and
- Failure to approve reinstatement would result in extreme hardship to the student
ISSS can assist students with reinstatement petitions only if all of the conditions above apply. Students who do not meet the above eligibility requirements will need to consult with a US immigration attorney.
Reinstatement to Nonimmigrant Student (F-1) Status Application in the U.S (Form I-539
- Gather materials and submit them at the ISSSS. The documents should be submitted at the front desk of ISSS:
- Completed USCIS Form I-539, available on the USCIS web site at:http://www.uscis.gov/forms.
- In Part 2, question 1, check "C".In Part 3, question 1, write “D/S”
- In part 4, question 3e, check “Yes”.
- A cover letter from you requesting reinstatement to F-1 status and explaining your circumstances. You should explain in detail the circumstances beyond your control that resulted in the violation of F-1 status resulted from circumstances and express that the failure to be reinstated would result in extreme hardship. Attach documents that support any claim you make in your letter.
- A new SEVIS I-20 issued by Temple University for purposes of reinstatement. The I-20, which will be created after you drop off your documents at ISSS, must be signed by you and an ISSS advisor.
- Copies of Pages 1 and 3 from ALL previously issued Forms I-20, including those from Temple University and any other institution you have attended in the United States.
- A photocopy of your financial support documents to show evidence of continued funding—documents should be recent (no more than 6 months old).
- Photocopies of your passport biographical page and all pages with U.S. visa and entry stamps. (Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the submission date of the reinstatement application.)
- Your original I-94 card (if last entry was prior to May 2013) or CBP electronic I-94 (if last entry was during or after May 2013).
- Original transcripts from all from Temple University and any other institution you have attended in the United States.
- I-539 Application Fee (http://www.uscis.gov/forms), in the form of check or money order made payable to the US Department of Homeland Security.
- Submit all materials to ISSS Front Desk.
- The materials will be reviewed by an advisor, who will then contact at your Temple University e-mail account with additional directions, including, but not limited to, the following:
- You are responsible for reviewing your application after it has been compiled by the ISSS advisor and you and for mailing it to the USCIS.
- Mailing your application:
- Before mailing, photocopy your complete application for your personal records.
- Send your completed application byU.S. Postal Service Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requestedor by courier service/express mail (such as United Parcel Service or Federal Express).
- Check the correct mailing address in the instructions for the Form I-539 application, available at http://www.uscis.gov/forms.
- Be sure to add “ATTN: F-1 Reinstatement” on the envelope address label.
- A decision to reinstate an individual to Nonimmigrant Student (F-1) status is at the sole discretion of the USCIS, and ISSS advisors have no authority to approve such a request or to intervene if the USCIS denies an application.
- Processing times at USCIS vary greatly, but you can expect to wait no less than three (3) to four (4) months before receiving a response.
- You areNOTeligible for any F-1 student benefits, such as practical training employment authorization or on-campus employment,until the USCIS reinstates you to Nonimmigrant Student (F-1) status.
- Travel outside the U.S. while a reinstatement application is pending may be considered an abandonment of the application. If you need to leave the U.S. while your application is pending, you must meet with an ISSS advisor prior to travel.
- If the application isapproved, USCIS will endorse the new Form I-20 and return it to the mailing address listed on the Form I-539 form. ISSS will contact you if we receive any updates in your case.
- You are responsible for contacting ISSS when you receive information or documentation from the USCIS regarding your application.
- F-2 dependent status is automatically reinstated with the reinstatement of the F-1 student, so additional applications for F-2 dependents are not required.
- If the application isdenied, you will begin to accrue days of unlawful presence in the U.S.; accrual of more than 180 days ofunlawful presencecould subject a person to a 3-year or 10-year bar from reentering the U.S. Students who are denied reinstatement have the option to file an appeal with the USCIS, but we strongly encourage these students to hire a competent immigration attorney.
Regaining Nonimmigrant Student (F-1) Status by Travel
In cases that have a poor likelihood of success, you might decide to depart the country and re-enter with a new Form I-20 rather than applying for reinstatement. This would require the creation of a new SEVIS record and SEVIS ID number, issuing a new Form I- 20, paying the SEVIS fee for the new record, and (possibly) applying for and successfully receiving a new visa for re-entry in Nonimmigrant Student (F-1) status.
You should be aware that traveling outside the U.S. to re-gain status carries some risk. Specifically, a SEVIS record termination may show up in the Consolidated Consular Database (CCD) and the Interagency Border Inspection System (IBIS) and may be used as grounds for ineligibility for a visa or admission to the U.S. If such a "hit" appears when you apply for a visa or admission to the U.S., the consular officer or CBP officer would have to resolve that “hit” before granting the benefit.
If your F-1 visa is still valid, then you can return to the U.S. port of entry and ask to be admitted in F-1 status. If your F-1 visa is no longer valid, you will need to apply for a student entry visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate before you try to reenter the U.S. You should check with the embassy or consulate regarding appointment and citizenship policies. You can find contact information for most U.S. embassies and consulates online at http://usembassy.state.gov/.
If you chose to try to travel to Canada or Mexico, you need to find out if you need a visa to enter the respective country. To do so, you can visit the following websites:
- Embassy of Canada in Washington, D.C. http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/washington/index.aspx?lang=eng
- Embassy of Mexico in Washington, D.C.
Benefits of traveling and re-entering the U.S.
It may be faster to travel and reenter if you already have a valid visa or if you will be issued one fairly quickly. If you re-enter in Nonimmigrant Student (F-1) status, you are entitled to the benefits of that status immediately, including on-campus employment.
If you apply for an entry visa in Canada or Mexico, it is our understanding that the security check is processed before you arrive at the embassy or consulate. Please note that this does not guarantee the visa will be issued.
Disadvantages of traveling and re-entering the U.S.
- Some applicants must go through administrative processing (a.k.a., a security check) before obtaining a visa. There is no way of knowing who will be subject to a security check, nor is there a way to expedite its progress. A security check can take weeks or months to be processed.
- Upon re-entry to the U.S. you would not be eligible for any off-campus employment until you complete one academic year.
- Your visa application could be denied. In that case, you would not be permitted to re-enter the U.S. in Nonimmigrant Student (F-1) status. You may, if you have another valid entry visa, enter in another non-immigrant status, but you would not be in F-1 status, nor would you be entitled to any of the benefits of Nonimmigrant Student (F-1) status.
- Since you will be issued an "initial" Form I-20, you will not be allowed to apply for a new visa until 120 days before the program start date. Also, you will not be eligible to enter the U.S. until 30 days before the program start date.
- Travel may have a negative impact on other applications pending with the USCIS. For example, if you have a green card application pending, we do not advise that you travel.
- There is no guarantee that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer will admit you at the U.S. point of entry even if you are issued a new visa. While this is highly unlikely, it is always a possibility (in fact, it is a possibility even if you have never fallen out of status).