How Students Fall Out of Status

An F-1 student may fall out of status for a violation of F-1 federal regulations.

There are many reasons why a student may fall out of status, including but not limited to:

  • Dropping below full-time enrollment without prior authorization
  • Enrolling in too many online courses
  • Not maintaining on-ground presence
  • Letting the I-20 program end date expire without requesting a program extension in a timely manner
  • Working without authorization from the Office of Global Services (OGS)
  • Taking a leave of absence without permission from the college and OGS
  • Not making normal and continuous progress towards the completion of their program

The Office of Global Services must terminate the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record of a student who is out of status in order to comply with Federal government regulations.

OGS advisors will work with students to attempt to remedy the violation. Please schedule an appointment with an advisor at OGS by calling 617-373-2310.

Two Ways to Correct F-1 Status

In order to resume studies in valid F-1 status, a student must seek to regain status of one of the following ways. Use the drop-down buttons below to learn about the different types, and then call OGS to schedule an appointment to discuss how to move forward.

If you wish to consult with an attorney, please see this List of Personal Immigration Attorneys and Pro-Bono Legal Services.

F-1 Reinstatement

You may be eligible if you have been out of status for less than five months and are currently in the U.S.

To correct your visa status through reinstatement, students must obtain the support of OGS and a reinstatement I-20 from the OGS and file an application for reinstatement with the U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services (USCIS). Not all students who are out of status are eligible to go through reinstatement.

If reinstatement is your best option, once all required forms, documents and filing fee are assembled, mail the application to one of the following lockbox facilities:

For U.S. Postal Service:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
P.O. Box 660166
Dallas, TX 75266

For Non-U.S. express mail & courier service such as FedEx:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service
Attn: I-539
2501 S. State Highway
Business Suite 400, Lewisville, TX 75067

F-1 Readmission

This process is for eligible students with a terminated SEVIS record who have departed or plan to immediately depart the U.S.

In order to correct your visa status through readmission, students must obtain a new initial I-20 with a new the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record, leave the country, and re-enter using the new initial I-20.

Useful Links

Government Resources

List of Personal Immigration Attorneys

Finishing Your Program from Abroad (e-form)

Reinstatement/Readmission Instructions and Request Form

Confirmation of Program End Date for Reinstatement/Readmission I-20 Request