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Reinstatement of F-1 Status

If you have failed to maintain status, you may request that the Department of Homeland Security/USCIS “reinstate” your F-1 status. You must prove the following:

  • You have not been out of status for more than five months. If the violation occurred more than five months ago, you would need to prove that there were exceptional circumstances that prevented you from filing before five months. After five months, you may also be required to pay an additional $200 SEVIS fee (not listed in the template letter).
  • You do not have a record of repeat violations.
  • You are or will be pursuing a full course of study for the next available term. You must be able to register full-time; therefore, there should not be circumstances preventing you from registering such as academic suspension/probation, business office holds, etc.
  • You have not engaged in unauthorized employment.
  • You can document sufficient financial resources to pursue a full-time course load.
  • You are not deportable on any grounds other than the F-1 status violation.
  • The F-1 status violation resulted from circumstances beyond your control.

Your reasons must be documented to explain how your F-1 status violation resulted from circumstances beyond your control. The letter below is only a “template” to help you write up your individual circumstances. You may also wish to include any reason that failure to maintain status would cause some extreme hardship to you. Note the areas in [brackets and italicized] must be tailored to fit your current situation. You must include a SEVIS I-20 produced by the MSU Office of International Student Services; therefore, please make an appointment with International Student Services to apply for reinstatement. J-1 students have a similar process but must apply to the Department of State for the reinstatement process.