Reinstatement & Re-Entry

It is essential to remember that you must take full legal responsibility for maintaining your status with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You are responsible for finding out, understanding, and following any pertinent regulations.


After you have met with an international student advisor and it has been determined that you are eligible for re-entry, apply here.


If you have lost your F-1 status, you must immediately make an appointment with an International Student Advisor to begin your immigration reinstatement process. You may apply to regain your F-1 status while remaining in the USA, or you may travel to do so. If you remain in the USA, and USCIS decides that you may be permitted to regain your status, then it is if you never and you also regain all of the benefits of F-1 status. If you choose to travel outside of the USA and re-enter the USA on a new I-20/status, then you will lose certain benefits of your F-1 status, like the ability to work with prior authorization from the International Advisor. You will receive a packet of information from the International Student Advisor. Once you have gathered all of the necessary documentation, make another appointment with an International Student Advisor to finalize your application that you will send to USCIS.

Applying For Reinstatement while Remaining in the USA

Student’s Responsibilities:

Student must provide these items to the DSO by uploading documents in the F-1 Reinstatement Application.

  • Complete Form I-539
  • Cashiers Check or Money Order for US $455.00, made out to U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Copy of ALL previous I-20s, if any, and copy of current I-20
  • Current MCC class registration receipt-copy for the semester
  • Official transcripts from all schools attended in the U.S. in sealed envelope
  • Copy of passport (biographical page with picture, and your Visa page)
  • Printout of I-94 electronic arrival/departure record
  • Original bank statement proving balance of US $30,219. Bank statement must be no more than 6 months old.
  • An affidavit of support, if you are not self-sponsored (if someone else is paying for your education). Your sponsor must provide a letter of sponsorship along with the bank statement.
  • A personal letter/statement explaining your violation, why you think you should be reinstated, and supporting documents if any.

You will only be considered for reinstatement with USCIS as an F-I student if your letter can establish that:

  • The violation of status was due solely to circumstances beyond your control or that failure to reinstate you would result in extreme hardship
  • You are pursuing or will pursue a full course of study (12 credits minimum)
  • You have not been employed without authorization
  • You are not in removal proceedings

Please keep copies of all documents.

DSO's Responsibilities:

  • SEVIS I-20 from DSO for reinstatement must be issued
  • A letter from DSO recommending reinstatement

Final Considerations:

  • A decision to reinstate an individual to F-1 student status is at the discretion of the USCIS.
  • Processing times at USCIS vary greatly. Expect to wait 4-6 months or longer before receiving a response.
  • You are NOT eligible for any F-1 student benefits, such as practical training employment authorization or working on campus, unless the USCIS reinstates you to F-1 student status.
  • Travel outside the US while a reinstatement application is pending may be considered an abandonment of the application. If you need to leave the US while your application is pending, you must meet with an International Advisor prior to travel.
  • If the application is approved, USCIS will endorse the new I-20 form and return it to the mailing address listed on the I-539 form. ISS will contact you if we receive any updates on your behalf. Please also contact ISS when you receive information from USCIS. (F-2 dependent status is automatically reinstated with the reinstatement of the F-1 student.)
  • If the application is denied, you will begin to accrue days of unlawful presence in the US (accrual of more than 180 days of unlawful presence could subject a person to a 3-year or 10-year bar from re-entering the US.). Students who are denied reinstatement have the option to file and appeal with the USCIS, but we strongly encourage these students to hire a competent immigration attorney.
  • Every co-applicant included on the primary applicant’s Form I-539 must submit and sign a separate Form I-539A. Parents or guardians may sign on behalf of children under 14 or any co-applicant who is not mentally competent to sign.
  • Every applicant and co-applicant will receive a biometric services appointment notice, regardless of age, containing their individual receipt number. The biometric services appointments will be scheduled at the Application Support Center (ASC) closest to the primary applicant’s address.

Applying For Reinstatement Through Travel (Re-Entry)

If you DO NOT need a new Visa - Travel home with the following documents:

  • Your new initial I-20 that you received from an International Advisor
  • Receipt from your paid SEVIS fee of $350:
  • All of your original I-20s, all three pages
  • Current MCC class registration receipt
  • An official MCC transcript
  • Your passport


If your Visa is not yet expired, then you will go through your reinstatement when you re-enter the USA upon your return, at the border.

If you DO need a new Visa - Make an appointment at the US Embassy in your home country, and bring the following documents with you to your appointment:

  • Your new initial I-20 that you received from an International Advisor
  • Receipt from your paid SEVIS fee of $350:
  • All of your original I-20s, all three pages
  • Current MCC class registration receipt
  • An official MCC transcript
  • Your passport
  • Your financial documents: a bank statement proving a balance of at least $30,219 and an affidavit of financial support, if you have a sponsor.

Upon Your Return to the USA

Please report to the International Education Office and see an international advisor IMMEDIATELY upon your return to campus.