F-1 Visa Rules

Students on F-1 Visa status at Metropolitan State must comply with the following rules:

  • Possess a valid passport and unexpired I-20 at all times.
  • Maintain full-time student status with 2.0 GPA. Undergraduate students must enroll for 12 credits per semester; graduate students must enroll for eight credits per semester. International students at Metropolitan State must be registered for fall and spring semester. A student may choose to be enrolled for summer semester. Students under special circumstances who cannot take a full-time course load must contact the international student advisor at 651-793-1219.
  • Covered by adequate medical insurance. Metropolitan State's policy is that: "All international students and visiting scholars engaged in educational activities are required to purchase the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities international student accident and illness insurance plan, unless they can provide written verification that their government accepts full responsibility for any medical claims that might occur."

    The only exception to this regulation is proof that the student is from a country that has national health insurance. A letter from the Embassy is required. Metropolitan State reserves the right to require all students from a particular country to purchase the university's student health plan, if, in Metropolitan State's sole discretion, that country or its Embassy is unable or unwilling to provide comparable, consistent, comprehensive and timely coverage and payment. See the complete policy.
  • On-Campus Employment. An international student on F-1 visa status is eligible to seek on-campus employment (20 hours/week) upon enrollment. The university has limited on-campus job opportunities. Permission to work off-campus is given by BCIS only for certain restricted reasons and only after nine months of full-time status.
  • Compliance with F-1 visa rules and regulations.

I-20 Requirements

  • A completed Affidavit of Financial Support Form I-34 (original and notarized) with supporting documents must be submitted with admission application.
  • Download the Affidavit of Financial Support form from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office.
  • For transfer students, Metropolitan State requires additional information. Contact the international student advisor.

F-1 Status Reinstatement Procedure

The following information and application procedure should only be used in the following situations:

  • An international student who failed to maintain F-1 status at another institution which issued the I-20.
  • A student who was issued an I-20 by Metropolitan State, but failed to register for full course load and did not maintain F-1 status.

Important Reinstatement Advice

It is a student's responsibility to complete application materials and apply for reinstatement after consultation with the international student advisor.

If you have been involved in any unauthorized off-campus employment, your application will be denied. In this situation, the International Student Office advises you to return to your home country, at which time a new initial I-20 will be issued to you to return as a new student.

Please consult with us before you make a decision.

Documentation Needed For Reinstatement

USCIS does not accept any incomplete, inaccurate or false documentation and, in such cases, the reinstatement application has been denied. Students must complete and submit the following documentation:

  • A SEVIS I-20 issued by Metropolitan State with the notation: "Pending Reinstatement." Student must sign and date the I-20.
  • Complete Form I-539 accurately and answer all questions and enclose attachments and supplements if needed. Supplements are completed only if you have F-2 dependents (spouse and children). The form is available from international student advisor or from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  • $290 fee (it is for one applicant and dependents, if applicable). Make a check payable to USCIS and in memo write "Fee for I-539."
  • Effective September 1, 2004, students must complete Form I-901 and pay a $200 SEVIS fee. The SEVIS fee must be paid before you request reinstatement from USCIS. If the fee is not paid, your application will not be processed by immigration. The Form I-901 is found at www.FMJfee.com. The $200 SEVIS fee is separate from the reinstatement application fee of $300.
  • A letter to USCIS requesting reinstatement to F-1 student visa status. This letter should include the date you entered the United States on F-1 visa, the circumstances which resulted in falling out of status and how these circumstances were beyond your control. Attach documents to support your statements in your letter. Also, include in your letter a statement that you understand the importance of maintaining F-1 status.
  • Original Affidavit of Support. Enclose all applicable supporting documents such as bank statements, sponsor's letters and employment letters.
    Photocopies (do not send the originals).
    • Passport picture and number page with expiration date
    • Visa page from passport
    • I-94 (both sides of arrival/departure entry card)
  • If you have dependents (spouse or children), complete the supplement section of I-539 form and also send photocopies of each passport, Visa page and I-94.
  • For those students with a previously issued valid SEVIS I-20, please include a copy of your course registration (12 credits for undergraduate, eight credits for graduate students) at Metropolitan State for the current or upcoming semester. Students without a previously issued SEVIS I-20 cannot be enrolled until reinstatement has been approved by USCIS.

Important Note: Please make two copies of all the documents which you plan to send to the USCIS as a part of your application for reinstatement. Submit one copy to the International Student Services Office, Metropolitan State. Keep one copy in your files in case documents are lost in the mail or at USCIS office, you will have documentation demonstrating you applied on time, and your stay in the United States is legal.

USCIS Address

Please send complete application with all the documents to:

California Service Center
P.O. Box 10539
Laguna Nigel, CA 92607-1053

Students Waiting for Reinstatement

Applicants for the reinstatement must follow F-1 visa regulations while they wait for approval from USCIS. These include:

  • Take and complete full-time course load at Metropolitan State (applies only to students with a current SEVIS I-20 from Metropolitan State);
  • Keep your health insurance valid and unexpired;
  • Have your passport valid at all times;
  • Refrain from any employment or any illegal activity.

USCIS Processing Time for Reinstatement

It takes approximately 3-5 months for USCIS to process applications.

USCIS will send a receipt of student's application directly to the student. If you use a personal check, USCIS will stamp the back of the check with date received and receipt number. It is the student's responsibility to ensure the checking account has sufficient funds for payment. If USCIS has any further questions on documentation, the student will receive a letter from USCIS specifying needed documentation.

The International Student Services Office has no authority to expedite your application processing or communicate with USCIS unless they directly receive a letter of inquiry from USCIS. Students can track the status of their application by using the number listed on their application receipt mailed by the USCIS.