Restore F-1 Status

Students who are out of status:

  • Are not eligible to work.
  • May be contacted by Homeland Security agents.
  • May be subject to deportation.

It is in your best interest to restore your visa status as soon as possible. The two methods are listed below. You may want to consult with an immigration attorney.

Option 1: New Status by Travel

Eligibility

  • No academic or financial holds preventing you from enrolling.
  • Can show sufficient proof of funds to obtain a new Form I-20
  • You are not inadmissible for any other reason, such as a criminal conviction.

Process

  1. Read the UT Dallas ISSO Reinstatement Guide carefully and note any questions.
  2. Schedule an appointment with an international student advisor to review the process.
  3. Submit materials for a Form I-20 to the International Student Services Office (ISSO). The processing time is 5 business days after submission of all required documents.
  4. When notified by the ISSO, pick up and sign the I-20.
  5. Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee, if required, and print the receipt.
  6. Obtain an appointment at a U.S. consulate or embassy.
  7. If approved, re-enter the U.S. in a new F-1 status. You cannot enter more than 30 days before the program start date.
  8. Provide copies of the new stamped I-20, stamped I-94 card and F-1 visa to the ISSO. Your SEVIS immigration record cannot be reactivated, completing your reinstatement, until these copies are submitted.
  9. Because this is a new status you must be enrolled for two long semesters before becoming eligible for off-campus employment, even if you already met this requirement prior to the violation.

Option 2: Reinstatement by Petition

Eligibility

According to federal immigration regulations, you are eligible for reinstatement by petition if you meet the ALL of following conditions:

  • You are in the United States and have violated your F-1 status due to circumstances beyond your control or for a failure to apply in a timely fashion for a reduced course load authorization from your International Student Advisor.
  • The violation did not occur more than five months ago.*
  • You have not engaged in unauthorized employment.

Process

  1. Read the UT Dallas ISSO Reinstatement Guide carefully and note any questions.
  2. Schedule an appointment with an international student advisor to review the process.
  3. Submit materials for a Form I-20 to the International Student Services Office (ISSO). The processing time is 5 business days after submission of all required documents.
  4. When notified by the ISSO, pick up and sign the I-20. Mailing instructions will be provided.
  5. Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee, if required, and print the receipt.
  6. Assemble the required documents and mail to USCIS. USCIS must receive the application within 30 days of the I-20 issue date.
  7. USCIS will mail a receipt 2-3 weeks after submission. ISSO staff will send an email to your UT Dallas address when the receipt is received.
  8. Continue to enroll as a full time student while you wait for the USCIS decision. You must not leave the U.S. while the petition is pending or your request could be canceled by USCIS.
  9. USCIS will send a decision letter. USCIS processing times vary widely. A common wait time is 3-4 months after submission. ISSO staff will send an email to your UT Dallas address when the letter is received.
    1. If the petition is approved you may start/resume on-campus employment, if applicable, as soon as you receive the written approval. If you have been full-time enrolled at least one academic year prior to the violation you are eligible for off-campus employment. You do not have to re-qualify.
    2. If the petition is denied you will likely be instructed by USCIS to leave the U.S. and the visa you used to enter the U.S. is automatically canceled. If you want to pursue further options in the U.S. you can do so by contacting an immigration attorney.
  10. You may start/resume on-campus employment, if applicable, as soon as you receive the written approval. If you have been full-time enrolled at least one academic year prior to the violation you are eligible for off-campus employment. You do not have to re-qualify.

* USCIS officials have the discretion to determine if a student warrants reinstatement even if the violation occurred more than five months ago.

It is highly recommended that you speak with an international student advisor about your options.

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