If you have failed to maintain your F-1 status, you have two options in order to get your status back:
1) Depart and re-enter the United States with a new I-20 (issued by either the school where you lost your status or a new school):
Current Students: In order to get a new I-20 from Kennesaw State, you will need to provide the SEVIS Compliance Office with new financial information and be enrolled full time for the current semester. For more details, come to our office to speak with an advisor about the process and risks involved.
New Students: In order to get an I-20 from Kennesaw State, you will need to be fully accepted into a program of study and enroll full time in classes. For more details, come to our office to speak with an F-1 Admissions advisor or a SEVIS administrator about the process and risks involved. See Our Team for contact information.
2) Apply for reinstatement of status:
This option is available only to current students. In order to apply for reinstatement, you will have to complete a reinstatement application (see Step Two of the Reinstatement Info Document). Please come to the SEVIS Compliance Office to speak with an advisor who will walk you through the process.
Events that Can Cause You to Lose Your Status
There are several reasons students can lose their status. Among the most common are:
- Failure to enroll full-time (see enrollment requirements)
- Failure to request an I-20 extension before your current I-20 expires
- Failure to pay for your classes, thus no enrollment
- Failure to transfer schools in a timely manner
- Working without authorization
Eligibility for Reinstatement
According to immigration regulations, not everyone is eligible for reinstatement. Below are the eligibility requirements. Make sure you come to the ISSS Office to discuss your particular circumstances with an F-1 Admissions Advisor or a SEVIS Administrator.
- You have not been out of status for more than 5 months *
- You are enrolled full time or plan to enroll full time as soon as possible
- You have not worked illegally
- You are not in deportation procedures
- You fell out of status for reasons beyond your control
- You do not have a record of repeated or willful violations
* Students who have fallen out of status have a period of 5 months to apply for reinstatement. If you apply beyond the 5-month period, your application is less likely to be approved because you will have to demonstrate that there were exceptional circumstances which prevented you from applying in a timely manner.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do if I believe I’m out of status?
If you believe that you have lost your status, you should come to the SEVIS Compliance Office to speak with an advisor immediately.
Can I go to Canada or Mexico in order to re-enter the U.S. in F-1 status?Yes, it is possible in some cases. Please come to the SEVIS Compliance Office to discuss your situation with an advisor.
How long does reinstatement take?The time period is very unpredictable, but from past experience reinstatement processing ranges from 2 months to one year.
What if I don’t apply for reinstatement and stay in the U.S.?If you don’t apply for reinstatement and don’t re-enter the U.S. in order to regain your status, your status will be illegal, possibly subject to deportation. In addition, you will not be eligible for any of the benefits available to F-1 students, including employment.
Can I study if I am out of status?Yes, but you cannot work on (or off) campus.
Can I apply for CPT or OPT while my reinstatement application is pending?No. (Please see Employment in F-1 Status).
Can I work if I don’t apply for reinstatement?No. If you are out of status you are not eligible for any of the benefits related to F-1 status.