How to file for reinstatement

If eligible, you may remain in the USA and file an application for reinstatement (I-539) with USA Citizenship and Immigration Services. A student who is filing for reinstatement must work with his/her college or graduate school to rectify the violations that have caused him or her to fall “out of compliance/status.” If a student has a financial hold or is withdrawn for financial reasons from the university, the student must pay the balance owed in order to be permitted to continue full-time enrollment and be eligible to obtain an I-20 for reinstatement from the Office of Global Services. The student must follow the required procedures and submit the reinstatement application to the USA Citizenship and Immigration Services once it is completed (documents for a reinstatement application are listed below). While a reinstatement application is pending, the student should not leave the USA and will be required to maintain their F-1 status.

While applying for reinstatement, NO on-campus employment, co-op or internship assignments are permitted.

Reinstatement steps

1 Reinstatement process - prepare documents.

  1. Letter written by you requesting reinstatement (your letter will be reviewed by the Office of Global Services advisor). For assistance with writing your letter, please refer to the “Reinstatement letter format guide” at the end of these instructions.
  2. Form I-539, available at: (gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-539.pdf). Please write the word “REINSTATEMENT” at the top of the I-539.
  3. $370 filing fee in the form of a personal check or money order payable to “USA Department of Homeland Security.”
  4. I-94 (showing most recent date of entry into the USA) printout available at (https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov).
  5. Financial support documentation (originals only).
  6. Copies of all previous I-20s (pages 1 and 3 of older version(s); pages 1 and 2 of new version) NOTE: Please sign the bottom of all I-20s if you have not already done so.
  7. Copy of passport identification page(s).
  8. Copy of most recent F-1 visa stamp page in passport.
  9. Letter of support from an academic advisor or graduate school on college. See “reinstatement letter format guide – advisors” at the end of these instructions.
  10. Official transcript from the Registrar’s Office.
  11. Reinstatement I-20 to be provided by the Office of Global Services to obtain the I-20, see STEP 2.
  12. The Office of Global Services Academic Advisor/Student and Exchange Visitor Information System Contact Confirmation of Program End Date Form.

2 Reinstatement process - fill out the Office of Global Services e-form.

Fill out the “I-20 Request for reinstatement/readmission” form using one of these links:

3 Reinstatement process - appointment with the Office of Global Services.

Schedule an appointment with an Office of Global Services advisor to receive the reinstatement I-20 and review the process/documents. You can do this by calling our office at 617-373-2310.

4 Reinstatement process - mail documents to the USA Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Submit the complete application materials to the USA Citizenship and Immigration Services by mail. Please refer to the “reinstatement application checklist” tab below for the list of application materials. A mailing method that provides a tracking number is strongly recommended.

Where to mail: Once all required forms, documentation and filing fee are assembled, mail the application to one of the following lockbox facilities:

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

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

Writing a reinstatement letter

While your letter will be reviewed by the Office of Global Services advisor handling reinstatement application, you are required to bring a completed letter requiring little or no edits to your meeting with the advisor. Please remember that if the letter does not clearly explain why you fell “out of status” and how you are remedying this problem, you will not be reinstated. Simply state the facts of what happened. Your letter does not have to be long, but it should be clear, organized, and accurate. Please see the reinstatement letter format guide – students that follows for guidance on writing your letter.

Reinstatement letter format guide - students

You should format and address the letter as follows (the letter should be addressed to the Vermont Service Center even though you will be mailing it along with the entire application to one of the Texas lockbox facilities listed previously in “Where to mail” your reinstatement application:

Date: (month/day/year)

USA Citizenship and Immigration Services Vermont Service Center
Attention: I-539
75 Lower Weldon Street
Saint Albans, VT 05479

Regarding: Request for reinstatement to F-1 student status; Student and exchange visitor information system (SEVIS) identification number (enter the SEVIS identification number which starts with the letter “N” at the top of your Student and Exchange Visitor Information System I-20.)

Dear Sir/Madam:

In the first paragraph of the letter, you should introduce yourself. State when you first came to the USA in F-1 status and indicate the name of your home country. Mention what you are studying and what school you are attending (for example: Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies).

In the second paragraph, you should explain how you came to fall “out of status.” Explain what was beyond your control that made this happen. You must state how you will remedy this problem. For example, if you failed to enroll for part of one term, you should explain that you are now enrolled full-time or will be enrolled full-time for the next term.

In the third paragraph, you should explain that you understand and regret your error and are now requesting to be reinstated and allowed to remain in the USA to complete your program. You should be courteous in asking for this favor. Explain what would happen to you if you could not complete your program and how this would make you and perhaps your parents feel.

In the last paragraph, you should state that you are including supporting documentation and paying the requisite filing fee and hope for a favorable response. Don’t forget to thank them for reviewing your case.

Sincerely,

(Write your signature here)

(Type your name below signature)

Reinstatement letter format guide - advisors

Academic advisors or SEVIS contacts

[department letterhead]

Date: (month/day/year)

USA Department of Homeland Security

USA Citizenship and Immigration Services

Regarding: Confirmation of Academic Standing

Student: SEVIS identification number: N

Date of Birth: 00/00/0000

Country of Citizenship:

Dear Sir/Madam:

The above-referenced student and reinstatement applicant is currently enrolled at Northeastern University’s graduate school/college. He/She is pursuing a XXXXX degree in major and we anticipate that he/she will complete his/her academic program on (date). (Please provide academic program information of relevance or merit pertaining to the student’s academic standing, progress towards completion of educational objectives, achievements, etc.)

We respectfully request Mr./Ms. XXXXXXXX be reinstated to F-1 nonimmigrant visa status so that he/she may continue his/her studies and successfully complete his/her academic program at Northeastern University. We appreciate your attention to this matter and if we can provide you with any further information to aid in adjudication please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,

(Name and Title)

Reinstatement application checklist

  1. Letter written by you requesting reinstatement.
  2. Form I-539, available at: (gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-539.pdf). Please write the word “REINSTATEMENT” at the top of the I-539.
  3. $370 filing fee in the form of a personal check or money order payable to “USA Department of Homeland Security.”
  4. Financial support documentation (originals only).
  5. I-94 (that shows most recent date of entry into the USA) printout available at (https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov).
  6. Copies of all previous I-20s (pages 1 and 3 of older version(s); pages 1 and 2 of new version) NOTE: Please sign the bottom of all I-20s.
  7. Copy of Reinstatement I-20. NOTE: Please sign the bottom of the I-20.
  8. Copy of passport identification page(s).
  9. Copy of most recent F-1 visa stamp page in passport.
  10. Letter of support from academic advisor or graduate school on college letterhead.
  11. Official transcript from Registrar’s Office.

Related Articles:

Unlawful Presence

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) new policy directed to F, J or M visas. The policy guidance holds that unlawful presence will begin accruing the day after a student stops pursuing a course of study or otherwise violates his or her immigration status.

Completing Your Program (J-1 Scholar)

Completing your academic assignments as a J-1 scholar. Leaving the USA. Change of status. Find out how to handle these situations and a whole lot more.

Dismissals

The Office of Global Services is required to take action once we have been notified of your dismissal by your academic program at Northeastern University.