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:
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 not in the United States, please contact your international student advisor to find out how to renew your status by travel.
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.
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.
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.
Your status violation did not result from the drop of your enrollment due to unpaid balances at NDSU.See special financial requirements below.
You do not have a history of repeated or intentional status violations in the past.If you have been out of status before, visit with your international student advisor to find out if reinstatement is still an option for you.
You can demonstrate that the status violation happened because of something beyond your control.Reinstatement is not an option for every student who loses their immigration status. Eligibility is determined in close consultation with your international student advisor in the ISSAS office. Also please review this page regarding Unlawful Presence and international students.
Special financial requirements -
Finances for 1 year of study
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.  If you have questions about your options, schedule an appointment with your international student advisor to discuss Reinstatement.
STEP 3.  Provide the following documents Office of International Student and Study Abroad Services (ISSAS)
  1. Letter from you explaining the situation (why you are out of status, why you want to regain your status and how this violation was beyond your control)
  2. Financial documentation showing the equivalent of at least 1 year of study
    • If your financial sponsor is located in the U.S., and is someone other than your own parent or spouse, it is recommended you provide a signed letter of support from your sponsor.
  3. Reinstatement Agreement
    • This agreement will be e-mailed or given to you by your international student advisor. Please sign and submit this to your international student advisor immediately after receiving it.
STEP 4.  The OIP will print you an I-20 for "Reinstatement Requested"

Please sign the new I-20 and then your international student advisor will then mail your entire Reinstatement application to USCIS, along with a copy of your "Reinstatement Requested" I-20.

STEP 5.  Submit your reinstatement application to USCIS

Please sign the new I-20 and then your international student advisor will then mail your entire Reinstatement application to USCIS, along with a copy of your "Reinstatement Requested" I-20.

  1. Form I-539: Instructions and the form located on the USCIS website -
    1. If filing on paper, include Form G-1145 (to receive electronic notification that USCIS received your application). This form is also located on the USCIS website.
  2. Fees - checks or money orders issued to "U.S. Department of Homeland Security" (fees can be done separately, or together in one money order/check)
    • $370 Filing Fee
    • $85 Biometrics Fee
    • If you have dependents included in your application a separate biometrics fee must be paid for each additional person.
  3. Photocopy of passport
  4. Copy of your previous I-20
  5. Your I-94 departure record
  6. Provide proof of payment of all tuition and fees for current semester (print balance from your student account in CampusConnection)
  7. Official transcript


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 approval notice with new I-94 card/number) is received, you are required to notify us of your approval. Bring a copy of these documents to the OIP so that we can retain them for your file. 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 record.
  4. Do not leave the U.S. during the time while your reinstatement application is pending. Leaving the U.S. will cause your reinstatement application to be abandoned and cancelled.
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