Group of students representing different countries


A student who has failed to maintain status may be reinstated to lawful F-1 status at the discretion of the USCIS under limited conditions.



  • The student has not been out of status for more than 5 months prior to filing for reinstatement (unless he or she can show that there were exceptional circumstances that prevented the student from filing during the 5-month period).
  • The student does not have a record of repeated violations.
  • The student is pursuing, or will in the next term be pursuing, a full course of study.
  • The student has not engaged in unauthorized employment (if done so, advised to leave US)
  • The student is not deportable on any grounds other than the status violation for which the reinstatement is being requested.
  • The status violation resulted from circumstances beyond the student’s control
  • Failure to apply in an immigration benefit in which the International Admission Specialist would have authorized.
  • The student would experience extreme hardship if the application were not approved.



Make an appointment with the International Admissions Specialist. Bring with you all the documents that are listed below.

  • Letter written from the student addressed to USCIS stating:
    The reason for violating F-1 status; the effect on the student of failure to receive reinstatement; a statement that he or she is currently pursuing or is intending to pursue a full course of study; and specifically request USCIS to reinstate him or her to F-1 status.
  • Complete and sign Form I-539
  • $290 check or money order payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Original I-94 card
  • Copies of passport (biographical and expiration pages)
  • Copies of Visa
  • Financial documents (less than 6 months old)
  • Original transcripts from all schools attended
  • Any other evidence that might help explain the nature of the violation
  • New I-20 for Reinstatement- obtain from International Admissions Specialist (IAS)
  • If out of status for more than 5 months, pay $200 SEVIS fee online at and include a copy of the receipt.


Once you receive a response from USCIS, you must bring those documents to IAS to update the system. Please note there is no guarantee of approval of change of status. Denial means you must leave the US. 

Contact Us

portrait of female
Patricia J. Higgins, PDSO

International Admissions Specialist
Tennessee Consortium for International Studies
Fax: 865-539-7660
Goins Administration Building, Room 106
Hardin Valley Campus