As an F-1 student, you are expected to comply with certain basic rules and regulations. Your ability to study, work, and travel in and out of the United States depends on your compliance with these rules. Failure to comply - whether intentional or not - will lead to your falling "out of status," which terminates your eligibility for benefits such as employment or travel re-certification. If you fall out of status, you must seek Reinstatement in order to return to lawful F-1 status.
Causes for Reinstatement
Reinstatement becomes necessary whenever it is determined that you have committed a violation of F-1 regulations and thereby have fallen out of status. Among the most common reasons that an F-1 student may fall out of status are the following:
- by not studying on a full-time basis or by failing to obtain prior CIP approval for part-time enrollment
- by not making normal, full-time progress toward degree completion
- by failing to apply for a program extension before the expiration of your I-20
- if transferring from another institution, by failing to obtain or activate your SJU I-20 within 15 days after the beginning of the semester and/or by failing to transfer to SJU within 60 days of your previous program or OPT end date
- if starting another degree level at SJU, by failing to obtain and activate a new I-20 reflecting your change of program or degree level within 15 days of beginning your new program
- working too many hours per week (during the school year F-1 students may not work more than 20 hours per week) or working off-campus without the appropriate authorization (in this case you are not eligible for a reinstatement)
Why Seek Reinstatement?
Reinstatement is necessary in order to obtain the following benefits of lawful F-1 status:
- on-campus employment and/or eligibility for off-campus employment, including optional practical training
- travel recertification
- program extensions
- authorization to transfer to another institution or undertake another program of study in the U.S.
Reinstatement is possible only if you meet the following criteria:
You are pursuing or intend to pursue a full course of study at SJU (you are ineligible to gain reinstatement if you have completed your program requirements)
- You have sufficient financial resources to register for a full course of study
- You can document that you fell out of status due to circumstances beyond your control, or that your failure to be reinstated would result in extreme personal hardship.
- You can document that the violation took place less than 5 months from the date of your reinstatement application - unless you can demonstrate that your failure to apply during this period was the result of exceptional circumstances and that you submitted an application as promptly as possible.