Applying for Reinstatement While Overseas
Hopeful full-time students come to the United States each year to pursue their academic dreams under the F-1 Visa Program. An international student – typically a college or university student – who wishes to obtain an F-1 visa must first complete a Form I-20, which is a certificate of eligibility issued by the academic institution the student wishes to attend. Next, the student must submit the Form I-20, along with a nonimmigrant visa application and other supporting documents, to the United States consulate in their home country. A student who successfully obtains an F-1 visa can travel to the United States and apply at the border for admission.
Applying for Reinstatement from Within the United States
A student may be able to obtain a change of status from a nonimmigrant visa to an F-1 student visa. When completing the change of status application, the prospective student must demonstrate that they did not intend to study in the United States when they first entered the country. If an applicant develops an intent to study after entering the United States, he or she must wait 60 days before submitting a change of status application.
What Happens If I am Noncompliant?
A student who fails to comply with the terms of the F-1 visa is no longer in “valid status” and can be deported from the United States.
A student can lose their F-1 status by:
- Failing to maintain a full course load without proper authorization;
- Failing to maintain a certain grade point average;
- Failing to attend the academic institution that completed the Form I-20;
- Failing to extend their Form I-20 prior to expiration;
- Failing to properly transfer between schools.
An F-1 student in the United States who fails to maintain status but wishes to continue studying in the country can either petition the USCIS for reinstatement of their F-1 status or depart the United States and re-enter with a new F-1 visa. In either event, having an attorney by your side is critical in ensuring your best chance of visa renewal.
A student wishing to have their F=1 visa reinstated must act quickly for several reasons. First, a student has only 5 months to apply for reinstatement after losing their valid status – unless, of course, exceptional circumstances exist which prevent the student from pursuing reinstatement. Second, it takes the USCIS about 3-5 months to rule on a reinstatement request. Although F-1 students can continue their studies while their applications are pending, they are not eligible to work unless the F-1 status is reinstated by the USCIS.
Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Immigration Lawyer
The legal team at Yekrangi & Associates recognize that education is an important part of your life. Don’t let immigration challenges derail your plans for the future. We can deftly guide you through this challenging legal process and help you apply for reinstatement.
Call (949) 478-4963 or fill out an online form to arrange a consultation with our immigration attorneys.