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Loss and Reinstatement of F-1 status

Loss and Reinstatement of F-1 status

All students are expected to maintain their status and make normal progress toward their degree while studying at Arizona State University. Ultimately, maintaining status is the responsibility of the student. The loss of F-1 status will result in the resetting of eligibility for any F-1 benefits, such as Curricular Practical Training and Optional Practical Training.

Reasons for loss of status

While students may fall out of status for any number of reasons, the most common are:

How to correct status

If a student falls out of status, there are generally two ways to correct a terminated F-1 record.

  1. Travel with a new initial I-20
  2. File a reinstatement application with USCIS without traveling

Both types of status correction have risks, and therefore students will be required to speak with an international student advisor prior to action.

Travel with a new initial I-20 

To travel with an initial I-20, students have the option to leave and re-enter the U.S. This process is called Traveling to Assume status. 

Student must: 

  1. Meet with an advisor regarding the process of traveling to assume status.
  2. Meet the requirements of the returning student website, which includes providing proof of funding for a new initial I-20.
  3. Depart the U.S. and re-enter. The student is required to obtain a new I-94 arrival record after their re-entry to the U.S.  
  4. Submit their new I-94 to the ISSC and ISSC will issue a continuing registration I-20, correcting the student's record. 

This process will reset the eligibility requirements for CPT/OPT. After this process, you will need to participate in two consecutive academic terms of study to be eligible to apply for CPT/OPT. Please review our webpages for CPT and OPT eligibility requirements.


Filing a reinstatement

An F-1 student is only eligible for reinstatement with USCIS if conditions 1–5 and 6 or 7 apply:

  1. The student has not been out of status more than five months at the time of filing the request for reinstatement.

  2. The student does not have a record of repeated or willful violations of regulations.

  3. The student is not deportable for any reason other than failing to maintain F-1 status.

  4. The student is currently pursuing or intending to pursue a full course of study in the immediate future semester at the school which issued the Form I-20.

  5. The student has not engaged in unauthorized employment.


  6. The student is able to establish to the satisfaction of the USCIS that the violation of status resulted from circumstances beyond the student’s control. Such circumstances might include serious injury or illness; closure of the institution; a natural disaster; or inadvertence, oversight or neglect on the part of the DSO.


  7. The student fell below a full course load for a reason the DSO could have used to authorize a reduced course load, and the student would experience extreme hardship if they fail to get reinstatement.

Reinstatement procedure

  1. Meet with an international student advisor to assess your eligibility for reinstatement. 

  2. Provide a Financial Guarantee so the ISSC can issue a Reinstatement I-20.

  3. Complete the ISSC Reinstatement eForm. To do so, you will need to upload all of the following documents to the Reinstatement eForm:

    • F-1 Reinstatement Checklist (provided by ISSC).

    • Form I-539.

    • Electronic I-94

    • Personal statement (the student will write a reason for losing F-1 status).

      • Indicate personal information — name, date of birth and SEVIS ID.

      • State in your letter the reason(s) for being out of status (provide details and/or evidence why it happened).

      • State why you are eligible to apply for reinstatement. Make a case for why you being out of status was beyond your control.

      • State a reason why failure to receive reinstatement would result in extreme hardship (i.e., you will not complete your degree, which is your primary reason for being in the U.S.).

      • End your statement with a request to reinstate you to student status.

    • USCIS Memorandum (provided by ISSC).

    • Supporting documents: if applicable, any document that supports the application for reinstatement (i.e., medical records).

    • Copies of all previously issued Form I-20s.

    • Copies of all passport pages (every page) in numerical order.

    • Official transcripts from ASU, and any previous U.S. institutions, if applicable.

    • Recommendation letter from DSO (provided by ISSC). 

    • Copy of the new reinstatement Form I-20 signed by the student (issued by the ISSC).

  4. Meet with an international student advisor to finalize your reinstatement application
  5. Mail your application.
      • Photocopy your complete application for your personal records.

      • Send your completed application by certified mail to:

        PO Box 660166
        Dallas, TX 75266

  6. Upload your mailing receipt through the reinstatement eForm.
  7. Upload your I-539 Receipt Notice through the reinstatement eForm.

Final considerations

  • A decision to reinstate your F-1 status is at the discretion of the USCIS.
  • Processing time at USCIS can take 8–10 months or longer. Please check your status on the USCIS website periodically in case a Request for Further Evidence is issued to you. 
  • If approved, USCIS will endorse your Form I-20 and return it to the mailing address listed on your Form I-539. 
  • The ISSC will contact you if we receive any updates on your behalf. 
  • Any F-2 dependent statuses are automatically reinstated with the reinstatement of the F-1 student.
  • If denied, it is suggested that you leave the U.S. immediately, as you will begin to accrue days of unlawful presence in the U.S. Accrual of more than 180 days of unlawful presence could subject a person to a three- to 10-year ban from re-entering the U.S. If you wish to file an appeal with the USCIS, please consult with an experienced immigration attorney.

Important notes

  • You must be enrolled full time while your reinstatement is pending.
  • It is not recommended to work an on-campus job while a reinstatement application is pending adjudication
  • You should not travel outside the U.S. while your reinstatement is pending. It may be considered an abandonment of the application. If you need to leave the U.S., meet with an ISSC advisor prior to travel.
  • Any additional communications from USCIS must be shared with ISSC upon receipt, including Receipt Notice and Confirmation/Denial of application.