Law Cite CFR § 214.2(f)(16) “Reinstatement”

Common Violations of Status

List of Violations

  • Failure to report to the school for SEVIS registration
  • Failure to enroll for a given academic term
  • Failure to make normal progress
  • Failure to attend the authorized school
  • Failure to complete the transfer out and transfer in processes
  • Failure to file a timely change of status
  • Failure to obtain a program extension prior to program end date
  • Failure to notify an address change in a timely way
  • Failure to depart from the U.S. in timely manner
  • Unauthorized employment
  • Out of Status for more than 5 months, unless student shows exceptional circumstances
  • Remaining in the U.S. after ceasing, terminating, or interrupting studies before the completion of the program
Conditions for Approval of Reinstatement

The district director may consider approving the student’s reinstatement if the student can provide the following information:

  • Has not been out of status for more than 5 month prior to filing for reinstatement
  • Does not have a record of repeated violations
  • Is pursuing a full course of study
  • Has not engaged in unauthorized employment
  • Is not deportable on any grounds other than the status violation for which reinstatement is being requested
  • The status violation resulted from circumstances beyond the student’s control
  • If the violation relates to a reduced course load, it must have been within the DSO’s authority to have approved, if in a timely manner
  • Must provide evidence of extreme hardship if not approved

Reinstatement Denial

Advisors should be careful to explain to a student the consequences of a reinstatement denial; the regulations on reinstatement have been restricted to exclude minor technical violations. A denial of the application for reinstatement would be considered a finding of a status violation by BCIS. Under current BCIS interpretations, this would likely subject the alien to INA 222(g) and begin the clock on unlawful presence under INA 212(a)(9)(B), as of the date of the denial of the reinstatement petition. The effects are as follows:

  • F-1 Visa is automatically cancelled.
  • Student will always be required to apply for a non-immigrant visa in his/her country of citizenship or permanent residence.
  • The Student will begin to accrue days of unlawful presence. If the student remains in the United States over 180 days after the denial, then he/she is subject to the three-year bar; if the student remains for more than one year after the denial then he/she is subject to the ten-year bar.
  • Additional consequences could include a student’s eligibility for future immigration benefits such as Adjustment of Status.
  • There are instances when a student is ineligible to apply for reinstatement or very unlikely to be reinstated. Since the DSO is required to terminate the student record in SEVIS, that student may want to consider departing the U.S. It is advisable that the DSO discusses the ramifications of the action with the student. In such cases, the student may also wish to consult an immigration attorney.
Application for Reinstatement

A reinstatement application should include the following items and submitted to the local district office:

  • Form 1-539 with “REINSTATEMENT” written on the top of the form
  • A check or money order made payable to “BCIS” (See the BCIS website for the most current fees)
  • An I-20 with a recommendation for reinstatement from the school the student is attending or plans to attend (If student is accompanied by one or more dependents, be sure to include an I-20 for each dependent)
  • Letter from the student explaining the reason for falling out of status, and why this resulted from circumstances beyond his/her control
  • Original Form I-94 (Some district offices may only require a photocopy)
  • Passport information

It is also advisable to include:

  • Proof of financial responsibility
  • Copies of previously issued I-20’s
  • Transcripts
  • DSO letter of support

The DSO may choose (not required) to write a letter of support in which he/she summarizes the facts and recommends reinstatement