What to Do if You Lose Status

If you do not maintain your F-1 status, there are two ways to try 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.
  2. If you are a current student, you can apply for reinstatement by completing the application. The steps to take are outlined on the Reinstatement Checklist. If you are not a current student this option will not work for you.

Events That Can Cause You to Lose Status

The most common reasons are:

  • Failure to enroll full-time
  • Failure to request an I-20 extension before your current I-20 expires
  • Failure to pay for your classes, meaning you are not enrolled
  • Failure to transfer schools on time
  • Working without authorization

Who Can Be Reinstated?

Not everyone is eligible. Here are the basic requirements. Please come to IPS to talk about your specific circumstances.

 Eligibility Requirements:

  • You have not been out of status for more than five months *
  • You are enrolled full time or plan to enroll full time as soon as possible
  • You have not worked illegally
  • You are not being deported,
  • You lost status for reasons beyond your control
  • You do not have a record of repeated or willful violations

* Students who have fallen out of status get five months to apply for reinstatement. If you apply after five months, your application is less likely to be approved. You will have to show that there were exceptional circumstances that prevented you from applying in a timely manner.