If you violate your immigration status, you will either need to file for a reinstatement with USCIS or travel/re-entry to regain your F-1 status. We recommend that you speak with an OISS advisor to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of each to best make your decision about how to get back into a valid F-1 status.

Reinstatement application requires the following:


  • The student has not been out of status for more than 5 months prior to filing for reinstatement (unless he or she can show that there were exceptional circumstances that prevented the student from filing during the 5-month period).
  • The student does not have a record of repeated violations.
  • The student is pursuing, or will in the next term be pursuing, a full course of study.
  • The student has not engaged in unauthorized employment (if done so, advised to leave US)
  • The student is not deportable on any grounds other than the status violation for which the reinstatement is being requested.
  • The status violation resulted from circumstances beyond the student’s control
  • Failure to apply in an immigration benefit in which OISS would have authorized
  • The student would experience extreme hardship if the application were not approved.
  • The student is able to prove the violation was beyond their control.

Bring the following documents to meet with an OISS advisor:

  • Letter written from the student addressed to “To Whom It May Concern” stating:
    • The reason for violating F-1 status; failure to receive reinstatement would result in extreme hardship; a statement that he or she is currently pursuing or is intending to pursue a full course of study; and specifically request USCIS to reinstate him or her to F-1 status.
    • Provide a detailed explanation of the circumstances that led to the violation of your status and explain why the circumstances were beyond your control.  Provide documentary evidence of your claims, if applicable.
  • Complete and sign Form I-539
  • $370 check or money order payable to Department of Homeland Security
  • Copy of I-94
  • Copies of passport (biographical and expiration pages) and visa
  • New original financial documents translated in English (dated less than 6 months old).  Please submit official bank statements from your sponsor (not bank letters).  If bank statements are coming from someone other than you, make sure that that person writes an official letter of support that their funds can be used for your educational expenses at St. Thomas. The U.S. dollar equivalent must be shown for all foreign currency amounts with evidence of how the equivalency was determined (website printouts, etc).
  • Original transcripts from all schools attended in the U.S. in sealed envelopes.
  • A letter from Registrar or your academic advisor stating that you’re pursuing a full course of study, which courses and the number of credits you’re currently taking.  If you’re not full-time, the letter should explain the reason why not and that you intend to pursue a full course of study in the immediate future.
  • Any other evidence that might help explain the nature of the violation
  • New I-20 for Reinstatement- obtain from OISS
  • If out of status for more than 5 months, pay $200 SEVIS fee online at and include a copy of the receipt.
  • For the option of receiving an email and/or text message information that USCIS has accepted your application or petition, please complete G-1145

Failure to comply with these regulations will result in the loss of your student status and subject you to deportation.

Failure to comply with these regulations will result in the loss of your immigration status and will subject you to deportation.