An F-1 student who is not in lawful F-1 status due to an immigration violation of some kind may seek 'reinstatement' to F-1 status. Reinstatement is an application that a student makes to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services requesting permission to remain in the U.S. to continue studies. While the reinstatement does not remove the violation, it effectively allows the student to resume full-time studies and apply for any immigration benefits permitted F-1 students in good standing.
An F-1 student may fall out of lawful F-1 status for a number of different reasons, some more serious than others. Some of the common reasons why a student may need reinstatement are the following:
An F-1 student who is not in lawful F-1 status may be eligible to seek reinstatement provided he/she meets certain eligibility requirements.
The OIS will work directly with any student who is not in lawful status regarding reinstatement or other immigration options. The reinstatement application requires a substantial fee and can takes several months to adjudicate. The student may not seek any employment benefits until the reinstatement application has been adjudicated, and only if the decision is favorable. If the application is not favorable, then the student will need to depart the U.S. and apply for a new F-1 visa on the basis of a new Form I-20.