An F-1 international student who fails to maintain status is required to apply to USCIS for reinstatement back to lawful status. Students who have lost their non-immigrant status may be subject to deportation under the law (I.N.A. 237 (a) (1) (c) (i)). J-1 Exchange visitors must apply to the Department of State.
A reinstatement from within the U.S. may be considered if the student can prove the following:
- The student has not been out of status more than 5 months prior to filing for reinstatement. Exchange visitors can not be out of status more than 270 days to apply.
- The student does not have a record of repeated violations.
- The student has been pursuing a full course of study and will continue if reinstated.
- The student has not worked without employment authorization by the Department of Homeland Security.
- The student is not deportable for any reason other than the status violation noted in the reinstatement request.
- The status violation was a result of circumstances beyond the student’s control.
Falling out of status is a serious situation. Students are not eligible for immigration benefits of any kind and may be subject to deportation. The application process to be reinstated is expensive and it can take several months to hear a decision. There is also no guarantee that the application will be approved. If the reinstatement application is denied, you will be required to leave the U.S. with no grace period.
*****Remember: It is illegal to work anywhere when out of legal status*****
If you need more information on applying for reinstatement, please call the Center for International Education to set up an appointment at 325-674-2710.
Disclaimer: The CIE makes every attempt to provide accurate immigration advice for J-1 and F-1 students. The information on our website is general and should not be taken as legal advice. Please contact an immigration attorney if legal advice is needed. It is your responsibility to understand and follow the rules given by DHS and the University.