An F-1 student who has overstayed his/her period of stay or has otherwise failed to maintain F-1 student status may be reinstated to lawful F-1 status at the discretion of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Reinstatement to lawful F-1 status may be granted to a student if he or she:
- Has not been out of status for more than 5 months at the time of filing the request for reinstatement (or demonstrates that the failure to file within the 5 month period was the result of exceptional circumstances and that he/she filed the request for reinstatement as promptly as possible under these exceptional circumstances;
- Does not have a record of repeated or willful violations of USCIS regulations;
- Is currently pursuing, or intending to pursue, a full course of study in the immediate future at Central Michigan University;
- Has not engaged in unauthorized employment; and
- Is not deportable on any grounds other than what Federal Regulations stipulate in 8 CFR 237(a)(1)(B) or (C)(i); and
- Establishes to the satisfaction of USCIS that:
- The violation of status resulted from circumstances beyond the student's control; or
- The violation relates to a reduction in the student's course load that would have been within an OIA advisor's power to authorize and that failure to approve reinstatement would result in extreme hardship to the student.
Failure to maintain lawful immigration status is a serious issue and any student who finds him/herself out of status should consult with an immigration attorney for advice on options for resuming valid status.
Students who have fallen out of valid F-1 status and would like to file for Reinstatement should schedule an appointment with an OGE advisor to review their application. After the appointment, complete the following steps:
- Visit the USCIS website for Form I-539. Follow the steps to file online.
- Submit the following documents with the form:
- I-20 generated for reinstatement (received from an OGE advisor; this is a special I-20 for reinstatement);
- Form I-94 (DOWNLOAD HERE)
- Copies of previously issued Form I-20's (if available);
- Verification of funding
- Written statement explaining the situation, why he or she failed to maintain valid F-1 status and confirming that the above statements are true.
- Photocopies of visa and passport pages.
- Any additional documents required to support the request for reinstatement.
- A filing of $370 plus $85 for biometrics is also required. Payment instructions will be provided at the time of filing.
Following submission of the application, USCIS will contact you by mail with your biometrics appointment date, time, and location. Biometrics appointments generally take place at the USCIS field office in Grand Rapids. Additional information on what to bring to the appointment will be provided in the letter.
If the reinstatement application is approved, the OGE will receive notification through SEVIS and inform the student of USCIS's decision. If the application is denied, the student should consult with an OGE advisor regarding their immigration status.