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Reinstatement to F-1 Status

It is every student's responsibility to maintain legal immigration status with USCIS while within the United States. Students who violate their F-1 status for various reasons are not eligible for benefits such as study, work authorization, and I-20 extensions. Common reasons that students lose their status include unauthorized employment, dropping below the minimum credits required, and failing to extend their I-20 before the program end date. 

If you have lost legal F-1 status, please read this page thoroughly and consult with your international student advisor before applying for reinstatement. To be eligible to apply for reinstatement, a student should fit into all of the following basic categories:

  1. You are currently within the United States.
    If you are not in the United States, please contact your international student advisor to find out how to renew your status by travel.
  1. You are currently eligible to be a student at NDSU.
    Reinstatement allows you to remain a student while the application is being filed. The application actually requires you to show proof of registration. Students who have been terminated due to a suspension, dismissal or expulsion are not eligible for reinstatement because they are not eligible at the current time to be a student at NDSU.
  2. It has been less than 5 months since your status violation.
    If it has been more than 5 months, you should prepare to depart the United States and make a new entry using new immigration documents if you wish to continue as a student at NDSU. Please consult your international student advisor if you find yourself in this situation so we can provide you with more information.
  3. You did not engage in any unauthorized employment. USCIS does not grant reinstatement if a student has worked illegally. If this is the reason for your termination, you are advised to make a new entry to the U.S. Your international student advisor will provide you with more information on this process.
  4. Your status violation did not result from the drop of your enrollment due to unpaid balances at NDSU.
  5. You do not have a history of repeated or intentional status violations in the past.
  6. You can demonstrate that the status violation happened because of something beyond your control.
  7. Special financial requirements. You must be able to provide original financial documents for at least one year of study and can show evidence that you have paid your current semester's NDSU bill in full. 

Steps to File for Reinstatement


STEP 1.  Ensure that you are registered full-time at NDSU.
STEP 2.  Schedule an appointment with your international student advisor to discuss Reinstatement.

A "Reinstatement Agreement" will be e-mailed or given to you by your international student advisor.

STEP 3.  Provide financial documentation and the Reinstatement Agreement to the Office of International Programs (OIP). 

You must show at least 1 year of finances. Please see the Expenses section of the Undergraduate and Graduate pages of our website for details. 

STEP 4.  The OIP will print you an I-20 for "Reinstatement Requested" and will return your financial documents to you.
STEP 5.  Immediately Collect the following materials and mail them to USCIS (California Service Center) to apply for Reinstatement.
  1. Your new “Reinstatement Requested” I-20 and financial documents (given back to you in Step 4)
    • If your financial sponsor is located in the U.S., and is someone other than your spouse, please have your sponsor fill out USCIS Form I-134, "Affidavit of Support," and submit this form along with the rest of your application materials to USCIS (form is located here:
  2. Form I-539: Instructions and the form located on the USCIS website. 
  3. Form G-1145 (to receive electronic notification that USCIS received your application)
  4. $290 check written out to "U.S. Department of Homeland Security"
  5. Photocopy of passport
  6. Copy of your previous I-20
  7. Your original I-94 card
  8. Provide proof of payment of all tuition and fees for current semester (obtain print-out from BisonConnection)
  9. Official transcript
  10. Letter from you explaining the situation (why you are out of status and why you want to regain your status)

Mail application to the appropriate address as listed in the "Where to File" section of the I-539 instructions, also located at the USCIS website. Most students will mail their application to the California Service Center (use the "Dallas Lockbox" address - this lockbox forwards mail to the California Service Center)

Also, do not leave the U.S. during this time. Leaving the U.S. will cause your reinstatement application to be abandoned and cancelled.

STEP 6.  Provide the OIP with your receipt number and a copy of the receipt notice that you get from USCIS. This receipt notice will confirm that USCIS received your Reinstatement application.

While you are waiting for your reinstatement decision:

  1. You must remain a full-time student
  2. You are not eligible for any on-/off-campus employment.
  3. When your approval (including new I-20 and I-94 card) is received, please bring a copy of these documents to the OIP for review. After documents have been reviewed by the OIP, you may then resume on-campus work - notify your department you can resume work and provide NDSU Payroll with a copy of your new I-20 and I-94 card.

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Office of International Student and Study Abroad Services
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7895 - Fax: +1 (701) 231-1014
Campus address: Memorial Union 116
Physical/delivery address: 1401 Administration Ave / Memorial Union 116, Fargo, ND  58102
Page manager: International Student and Study Abroad Services

Last Updated: Thursday, March 13, 2014 10:19:32 AM