International students in F-1 status must follow all rules and regulations pertaining to their status in order to maintain it throughout their time at Emory. If a student violates the conditions of F-1 status, he or she has fallen out of status. In some cases, it may be possible to apply for reinstatement in order to regain legal status from within the United States. Please note: A student who has a history of repeated violations, has engaged in unauthorized employment, and/or is deportable on other grounds is automatically ineligible for reinstatement.
Eligibility for Reinstatement
In order to be eligible for reinstatement, the period of time spent out of status must be less than five months unless the student can demonstrate that exceptional circumstances prevented filing within the five month period. Additionally, the student must continue to pursue a full course of study. Finally, the student must provide a detailed letter describing the nature of the status violation. To be considered for reinstatement, the status violation must be the result of one of two circumstances:
1. The violation resulted from circumstances beyond the student's control (ex: serious injury or illness, closure of the institution, natural disaster) OR
2. The violation was an unauthorized drop below full-time study that would have been permissible under the provisions of Reduced Course Load Authorization. In this scenario, the student must also prove that failure to approve reinstatement would result in extreme hardship.
If you have fallen out of status, meet the conditions for reinstatement listed above and wish to apply, you should make an appointment with your International Student Advisor to discuss your situation. Please bring the following documents to this meeting:
After your International Student Advisor has reviewed your documents and confirmed your eligibility for reinstatement, he or she will create the new I-20 within five business days. After you have returned to ISSS to sign the new I-20, the entire application will be mailed to USCIS.
Alternatives to Reinstatement
A student may decide to depart the country and re-enter with a new I-20 rather than applying for reinstatement. This alternative is preferable for students who do not qualify for reinstatement or who have imminent travel plans. In this case, the advisor must create a completely new SEVIS record (with new SEVIS ID #) rather than reinstating the current record.
A student who chooses to re-enter the country under a new record is seen as a new F-1 student. Therefore, he or she must pay the SEVIS fee again and, potentially, obtain a new F-1 visa. The student must also spend one academic year in F-1 status before becoming eligible for practical training or economic necessity employment authorization.