Regulations permit some individuals who fall out of status to file for reinstatement within the United States under certain conditions. The information below is provided to give you guidance on the process to apply for reinstatement if you are in F-1 status. All students must consult with an International Center adviser to learn about the process and determine eligibility.
In order to apply for reinstatement to F-1 status, you must meet the following conditions:
- The violation of status must be a result from circumstances beyond your control
- Failure to receive reinstatement will result in extreme personal hardship
- You are currently pursuing or intend to pursue a full course of study at the school that issued form I-20
- You have not been in violation of your status for more than five months, unless substantial reason can be provided for the delay
- You have not engaged in unauthorized employment
- You are not deportable on any other grounds
You are not eligible to work on campus or apply for off-campus employment authorization (OPT/CPT) if you are out-of-status. Employment on campus may only resume after the reinstatement is approved. Employment off campus may only resume after reinstatement is approved and you have the appropriate work authorization (OPT/CPT).
You must meet with an adviser to discuss your situation. If you are eligible to apply for reinstatement, the adviser will schedule a follow-up appointment or ask you to drop off the documents listed below. We will process the I-20 and review the documents. The International Center adviser will contact you when your documents are ready for pick up. Processing time is approximately two weeks.
You must mail your reinstatement application to the appropriate United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) address, per the instructions on the I-539.
Processing times vary for USCIS. Upon receiving your response, you must come in to the International Center so that your file can be updated, and if reinstatement is approved, your SEVIS record registered.
To apply for reinstatement to F-1 status, you must submit the following to USCIS:
- New form I-20 from the International Center
- A $370 fee via check or money order that is payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; always verify current fees on I-539 instructions
- Completed I-539 form; you can download the form on the USCIC website by clicking on “Immigration Forms” on the top menu (please see the USCIS website for instructions)
- Beginning on March 11th, 2019, all applicants for a change of status must also pay an $85 biometrics fee
- Completed Form G-1145
- A letter from you to the USCIS explaining the circumstances surrounding your failure to maintain legal status; the letter should contain the following:
- Your name, address, and telephone number
- Information about why you need to reinstate your F-1 status
- A statement that you are pursuing or intend to pursue a full course of study at Illinois Institute of Technology
- A statement that you have not engaged in unauthorized employment and that you are not deportable on any grounds other than failing to maintain your status
- A sentence to indicate that failure to receive reinstatement to lawful F-1 status would result in extreme hardship to you
- Financial documentation
- Original transcripts from all universities attended in the U.S.
- Copies of all previously issued I-20s
- Copy of passport pages (identity, visa, and passport expiration pages)
- Recent I-94
- Receipt from your SEVIS Fee payment, if you have been out of status for more than five months