Skip to main content

F-1 reinstatement

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 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

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 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.  Send 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.

Send complete application with all the documents to:
California Service Center
P.O. Box 10539
Laguna Nigel, CA 92607-1053

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.

Processing time

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.