Office of Admissions
International Student Services

Out of Status
The Reinstatement Process

Students who fall out of status due to violation of the regulations will result in termination of F1 visa status.  The action to terminate an F1 student's status is not taken lightly by the international student advisors at UHV.  When a DSO terminates a record, the student must apply for reinstatement (if eligible) or immediately depart the United States.  Students terminated for Authorized Early Withdrawal have 15 days to depart.  Terminated records stay in SEVIS and may be used in making determinations for many years. 

In most cases a reinstatement application is sent to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Service Center and the student enrolls in the current semester while the application for reinstatement is pending a decision.  If the student is not currently in violation of status, and attending class to pursue a full course of study, the application may be approved.  However, there is no guarantee of approval for the reinstatement.

Reasons For Terminating the F1 Visa Status

  • Absent from the United States for five months or more
  • Students authorized for less than full time for one semester and did not enroll in full-time next term
  • Authorized early withdrawal
  • Death of student
  • Expulsion or suspension that results in no enrollment
  • Unauthorized drop below full course of study
  • Unauthorized employment
  • Unauthorized withdrawal
  • Otherwise failing to maintain status


The Reinstatement Process - Steps to Take

Step 1 - Contact the DSO by email to and let them know what your situation is.  The DSO will determine your options. The DSO may find it is possible to resolve the problem without termination of your status.  If not, the DSO will give you a Student Checklist for Reinstatement that you must complete to begin the reinstatement process.

Step 2 - Submit the required documents for the reinstatement and make an appointment with the DSO to begin the process.

Step 3 - Rectify the circumstances of the violation.  For example, if you did not pay your tuition from the previous term, make payment and complete registration for the nearest available term. 

Documents for the Reinstatement Process

  • USCIS Form I-539 Application to Extend/Change nonimmigrant Status:  Find at --> FORMS (Green tool bar) -- Scroll down list to I-539
  • SEVIS fee payment (I-901 payment receipt) - You do not have to pay the SEVIS fee if you have not been out of status for more than 5 months
  • A detailed letter of explanation stating why you are currently out of status, addressed to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Reinstatement Officer
  • Original I-94
  • Original I-20 (New one with reinstatement request)
  • $290 check or money order payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Your application for reinstatement will be sent to the USCIS Service Center for processing.  If the application is approved, USCIS will notify the DSO of this approval.  If the reinstatement is denied, notice will be sent with an explanation about the decision.  This will usually be mailed to either the DSO or to the student.  The denial cannot be appealed. 

A denial for reinstatement will have the following effect as of the date of the denial:

  • The visa that you used to enter the United States will be automatically cancelled.
  • In the future, you may apply for nonimmigrant visas only in your country of citizenship or permanent residence.
  • You will begin accumulating days of "unlawful presence."  If you remain in the United States after the denial for over 180 days you will be barred from returning to the United States for three years;  if you remain after the denial for one year or more, you will be barred from returning to the U.S. for ten years.
  • An official record of the violation of status will remain on your record that may have future impact on eligibility of immigration benefits such as adjustment of status.