Regain your status

Loss of status for an international student results in your immediate termination of eligibility for such immigration benefits as employment, extension, transfer, or travel signature recertification. Once out of status, you must take prompt action to get back into lawful status in order to regain eligibility for immigration benefits. Any delay in doing this could result in serious, possibly permanent immigration consequences for you.

In addition to using the Office of Global Services as a resource, we encourage you to consult with NYU's Immigrant Defense Initiative and with a qualified immigration attorney. OGS has an attorney list we could provide to you as a resource for further expert guidance.

The information contained on this page is for general information purposes only. Due to frequent government updates, NYU OGS may make additions, deletions, or modifications to the contents on this page at any time without prior notice.

Please note, these directions are meant to help you in completing your application but should not be considered legal advice. The US Department of State ultimately provides the decision on your visa application, and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services ultimately provides the decision on your reinstatement application.

F-1 Students

How to regain F-1 Status

There are two options to regain F-1 status: (1) travel outside of the US, or (2) apply to be reinstated while in the US. To be eligible for either option, you must have approval to continue in your program and have adequate funds. Both options have positive and negative aspects but you will need to decide which works best for your needs. Remember, you must cease all on-campus or authorized off-campus employment until you regain F-1 status, and you must act quickly to increase the likelihood of a positive outcome.

OPTION 1 - Travel outside of the US:

Step 1

Meet with an OGS advisor to obtain a new I-20.

You must bring the following documents:

  • Updated financial documentation, and
  • Supporting letter from the academic advisor, undergraduate dean, or director of graduate studies 

With your new I-20, you would have to pay the SEVIS fee again.

Step 2

Leave the US and use the new I-20 to reenter with a new I-94.

This will allow you to start your F-1 status anew.

  • If your F-1 violation occurred five or more months ago, you may need to apply for a new US entry visa. The US Department of State (the government agency issuing visas) Consulate Field Advisory Manual states that students should get a new visa. In practice, however, US Customs and Border Protection (the government agency you interact with when traveling into the US) has not indicated that this will be a problem and remain consistent in admitting students who are in this situation into the United States without issue. If you have concerns, confirm with the US Consulate or Embassy at which you would apply for your student visa.
  • Your legal F-1 status begins when you use your new I-20 to enter the US successfully with a new I-94 record. Because of this, you will NOT be eligible for off-campus work authorization right away. You must have two semesters of academic work remaining after reentering the US in your new F-1 status in order to again be eligible for off-campus work. Discuss any concerns you have about employment with an OGS advisor before you request an I-20 for travel outside of the US.

OPTION 2 - Reinstatement within the US:

To be reinstated students must:

  • be pursuing or intend to pursue a full course of study at NYU
  • have sufficient financial resources to register for a full course of study
  • document that loss of status was due to circumstances beyond your control or that failure to be reinstated would result in extreme personal hardship
  • document that the violation took place less than 5 months ago from the date of reinstatement application or that if it took place more than 5 months ago provide detailed explanation of why you did not apply for reinstatement sooner

Step 1

Meet with an OGS advisor to obtain a new I-20. 

You must have the following documents at your meeting:

  • a letter detailing the nature of and reasons for the violation of F-1 regulations
  • updated financial documentation, and
  • supporting letters from the academic advisor, undergraduate dean, or director of graduate studies, if necessary

If you are eligible to pursue reinstatement, the OGS will produce a new I-20 issued for this purpose.

Step 2 

Submit the following to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services:

  • I-94 record
  • a completed USCIS Form I-539
  • a check or money order made payable to US Department of Homeland Security in the amount of $370
  • a check or money order made payable to US Department of Homeland Security in the amount of $85 (for biometric fee)
  • copy of your passport
  • copy of your visa
  • the new NYU I-20
  • copies of financial documents
  • letter of explanation requesting reinstatement to F-1 status

If you have been out of status for more than five months, you also need to pay the SEVIS fee and include proof of payment with your reinstatement application.

The application is mailed to the USCIS. Review your F-1 documents with an OGS and seek the assistance of a knowledgeable immigration attorney to review your Form I-539 prior to sending your Reinstatement application off.

USCIS will determine your eligibility for reinstatement and notify you of the decision in writing, returning the I-94 information and new I-20. If your application is denied, you must see an OGS advisor immediately.

You may not work while out of status.

J-1 Students

J-1 students may apply to reinstate their legal status only if the violation occurred as a result of circumstances beyond their control. Application approval is not guaranteed. 

To apply for reinstatement, submit the following to the OGS:

  • a written statement explaining the circumstances beyond your control that necessitates the request for reinstatement,
  • financial documentation,
  • copies of all previously issued forms DS-2019, and
  • a check for $246 payable to "NYU"

If we are in support of your application, we will write a supporting letter explaining the violation and requesting your reinstatement, and will mail off your application to the U.S. Department of State on your behalf. If the application is approved, we will then issue you a new DS-2019.

You may not work while out of status.