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Office of International Services

Reinstatement to F-1 Student Status

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The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services recognizes that students may encounter difficulties while pursuing their educational objectives in the U.S., and, therefore, established a procedure for reviewing the circumstances surrounding your violation of status. This process is called Reinstatement to Student Status.

Eligibility Requirements for Reinstatement to F-1 Student Status

You may not apply for reinstatement if:

  • You have been in violation of status for more than 5 months. Only individuals who can demonstrate that their failure to apply for reinstatement in a timely manner was due to extraordinary circumstances will be considered for reinstatement.
  • You have a history of repeated violations of status.
  • You have been unlawfully employed in the U.S. Individuals who have accepted employment without prior authorization from the OIS or the USCIS are ineligible for reinstatement.
  • You are in removal proceedings from the U.S. If you are engaged in deportation procedures, you are not eligible to apply for reinstatement.

You may apply for reinstatement to the USCIS, if you can demonstrate that:

  • The violation resulted from circumstances beyond your control. Such circumstances  would include, but are not limited to:
    1. Serious illness or injury
    2. Closure of school
    3. Natural disaster
  • If you are not granted reinstatement to F-1 status and have to interrupt or terminate  studies, it would result in extreme hardship.

You may show that you fulfill at least one of these requirements by completing a Request for Consideration for Reinstatement and the form 1-539 and submitting it with the supporting documentation to the Office of International Services.

Instructions for writing the Request for Consideration for Reinstatement to Student Status

This is the most important part of your application! You must write a clear explanation of the circumstances, which caused you to violate your F-1 status. Remember that you are seeking to convince the immigration officer that you have a valid or understandable reason for the violations, that s/he will “forgive” it and reinstate you F-1 status. If this is your first violation of F-1 status and/or you have always been a full-time student, state that in your request.

You must have evidence to support your request. You may have a transcript or grade report to show that you were going to school full-time; or proof that you were taking or preparing for professional or entrance examinations; or a person who could write a supporting letter of explanation; or newspaper articles. If you have any such evidence, mention it in your “Request for Consideration” and attach it to that form.


To apply for reinstatement to the USCIS, complete and submit all of the following documents to the Office of International Services (OIS):

  1. Form G-1145
  2. A completed form I-539. Read the I-539 Instructions carefully.
  3. Attachment to Form 1-539 – Request for Consideration for Reinstatement to the  Student Status. Click here.
  4. Proof of financial support. This documentation may be no more than 3 months old.
  5. Photocopies of all previously issued I-20 forms, including those issued by another institution of higher education.
  6. Original Form I-94.
  7. $370.00 fee in the form of a check or money order payable to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services.
  8. Photocopies of your dependents passport, visa, I-94 card and I-20 forms.

A Designated School Official in the Office of International Services will review you application prior to submitting it to the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services.

The Immigration Service will take approximately 4-6 months to process your application. Their answer will be sent to our office. When it is received, you will be contacted immediately.

Suspension of F-1 Benefits Pending USCIS Review

Your F-1 benefits are suspended until an answer has been received from the USCIS. During this period, you are not eligible for on or off-campus employment, including graduate assistantships and practical training.

Travel and Re-entry to U.S.

If you wish to travel while your application is pending with the USCIS, a new form I-20 must be issued to you for re-entry. You must contact the OIS at least 2 weeks prior to your intended departure date.



Copyright 2013, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.
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