Request for Reinstatement

General Information: A student who has failed to maintain status may be reinstated to lawful F-1 status at the discretion of the USCIS under limited conditions.


  • The student has not been out of status for more than 5 months prior to filing for reinstatement (unless he or she can show that there were exceptional circumstances that prevented the student from filing during the 5-month period).
  • The student does not have a record of repeated violations.
  • The student is pursuing, or will in the next term be pursuing, a full course of study.
  • The student has not engaged in unauthorized employment (if done so, advised to leave US)
  • The student is not deportable on any grounds other than the status violation for which the reinstatement is being requested.
  • The status violation resulted from circumstances beyond the student’s control
  • Failure to apply in an immigration benefit in which CIS would have authorized
  • The student would experience extreme hardship if the application were not approved.

Bring the following documents to meet with a CIS advisor:

  • Letter written from the student addressed to “To Whom It May Concern” stating:
    • The reason for violating F-1 status; the effect on the student of failure to receive reinstatement; a statement that he or she is currently pursuing or is intending to pursue a full course of study; and specifically request USCIS to reinstate him or her to F-1 status.
  • Complete and sign Form I-539
    • USCIS uses special scanners to read forms submitted during immigration application processes.

      Handwritten forms often result in errors as these scanners are not able to read them accurately. In order to reduce the occurrence of errors, which may result delays in processing and adjudication of your reinstatement application we now require that you download form I-539, type in the required information, print out the form, and sign using blue ink.

      Please note that the scanners will not read information that is greyed out, highlighted, or corrected using correction fluid or tape.

  • $370.00 check or money order payable to the Department of Homeland Security (subject to change)
  • Original I-94 card or print out
  • Copies of passport (biographical and expiration pages) and visa
  • New original financial documents recommended or copies required (financial document guidelines)
  • Original transcripts from all U.S. schools attended
  • Any other evidence that might help explain the nature of the violation
  • Copy of I-20 for Reinstatement - obtain from CIS
  • If out of status for more than 5 months, pay $200 SEVIS fee online at and include a copy of the receipt.

After meeting with an advisor the student should send the application packet to:

For U.S. Postal Service (including US Postal Service Express Mail)


P.O. Box 660166

Dallas, TX 75266




For Express mail and courier deliveries (e.g. UPS, Fed Ex, DHL, etc.)


ATTN: I-539

2501 S. State Highway 121

Business Suite 400

Lewisville, TX 75067

While you are out of status or your reinstatement application is pending, you are not eligible for any type of employment or for the ACSS. Once you receive a response from USCIS, you must bring those documents to CIS to update the system. Please note there is no guarantee of approval of change of status. Denial means you must leave the US.

If you have questions, please contact us.