Center for International Education and Programs at Elgin Community College | 1700 Spartan Drive, B105 | Elgin, IL 60123
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: +1.847.214.7809 | Fax: +1.847.931.4897
F-1 Reinstatement Application and Checklist
Reinstatement procedure for students wishing to regain F-1 status
What is reinstatement?
A student who has failed to maintain status may apply to USCIS to be reinstated to lawful F-1 status. Reinstatement is
only granted under the limited conditions specified at 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(f)(16) and at the discretion of USCIS.
What are the consequences of being out of status?
Falling out of F-1 status is a very serious violation of responsibility as an international student, and it can have long-term
consequences on a student’s immigration benefits in the United States. A student who is out of status is no longer
eligible for benefits such as practical training, on-campus employment, and travel signatures to re-enter the U.S. If a
student fails to rectify your status, you risk being deported and/or being unable to secure visas to enter the U.S. in the
What are the conditions for approval of reinstatement?
USCIS may consider reinstating a student to F-1 status if the student can prove the following:
The student has not been out of status for more than 5 months prior to filing for reinstatement (unless s/he can
show that there were exceptional circumstances that prevented the student from filing during the 5 month
The student does not have a record of repeated violations.
The student is pursuing, or will in the next available term be pursuing, a full course of study.
The student has not engaged in unauthorized employment.
The student is not deportable on any grounds other than the status violation for which reinstatement is being
The status violation resulted from either:
Circumstances beyond the student's control; or
Failure to apply in a timely fashion for a reduced course load authorization from the DSO, but only if the
violation relates to something that would have been within the DSO's authority to have approved, if it
had been timely done, and that the student would experience extreme hardship if the application were
What is the “five month rule”?
USCIS may consider reinstating a student to F-1 status if the student can prove the following, among other things, that
s/he has not been out of status for more than 5 months prior to filing for reinstatement (unless s/he can show that there
were exceptional circumstances that prevented the student from filing during the 5 month period). If a student is out of
status for more than 5 months from the date of the status violation, there is a presumption that the student is ineligible
for reinstatement, unless s/he can prove that there were exceptional circumstances that prevented filing within the 5
month period, and that s/he filed the request for reinstatement as soon as possible given those exceptional
Elgin Community College reserves the right to refuse to support any reinstatement application. Applications are
considered on a case-by-case basis. Students filing for reinstatement more than five months from the date of the status
violation will be considered by Elgin Community College, but any support for a reinstatement application in these
instances must be accompanied by the reinstatement application being facilitated by a U.S. licensed attorney. Elgin
Community College will require proof that an attorney will support the student’s application prior to issuing an I-20
requesting reinstatement. All fees related to the expense of an attorney are the responsibility of the student. Students