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Keep Your F1 Status

Losing your F1 status could lead to arrest and deportation by U.S. immigration officials as well as denial of other visa requests in the future.

During new international student orientation, you will learn what you must do to maintain your F1 status. The International Admissions Office sends out regular email reminders, so check your TCC email regularly.

The International Admissions Office wants to help in any way we can, but it is your responsibility to maintain F1 status.

Common visa status violations

To make sure you keep your visa status, do not do any of the following:

  • Work without authorization from the International Admissions Office/USCIS
  • Drop/withdraw from classes without authorization from the International Admissions Office
  • Fail to extend the I-20 if you do not graduate on time
  • Have very poor academic performance, such as failing all classes in a semester or being placed on academic suspension
  • Fail to report changes of address to the International Admissions Office within 10 days
  • Fail to transfer to another school, depart the United States, apply for OPT training post-completion, or apply for another visa category within 60 days of completing studies at TCC
  • Fail to report a change in employment status, if you are on OPT
  • Commit a crime that results in a conviction

How do I reinstate my visa?

If you have been out of status for more than 5 months, you need to show compelling reasons for not applying sooner, such as medical emergencies.

Incomplete reinstatement applications will not be processed. We reserve the right to recommend against reinstating an F1 student.

If you have lost your F1 status, you must:

  1. Submit these required forms and documents to the International Admissions Office as soon as possible:
    • Completed USCIS Form I-539 for reinstatement to F1 status (Link will open in a new window)
    • Money order for the filing fee (Link will open in a new window)
    • Two copies of each of these: your passport ID page, I-94 card front and back, F1 visa stamp, and all I-20s issued to you including I-20s issued from previous U.S. institutions you may have attended before coming to TCC. If you do not have a paper I-94 card, we will help find an electronic copy.
    • Copies of official transcripts from all U.S. schools you have attended
    • Letter from you addressed to USCIS explaining why you lost your F1 status and that it was due to reasons you could not control
  2. The F1 advisor will review your reinstatement documents and check to make sure you are still enrolled full-time at the College.
  3. Mail the packet provided by the International Admissions Office to USCIS.
    • It is your responsibility to mail the packet.
    • USCIS should issue a receipt within 4 weeks. You can use the receipt to check your status online at the USCIS website (Link will open in a new window).

Review our reinstatement of status checklistListen (PDF will open in a new window) to make sure you have everything completed.

When will I know if my visa has been reinstated?

Current USCIS processing times for reinstatement applications range from 10-14 months. In the meantime you cannot travel out of the United States, and you must maintain full-time enrollment at TCC.

Sometimes USCIS requests more information about your reinstatement. If this happens you should thoroughly review the letter requesting more information and respond immediately. Failure to respond may result in USCIS denying your reinstatement.

If your F1 status is approved, we will notify you immediately.

If your request is denied, we will also notify you immediately. The International Admissions Office can discuss the denial and your options. You will be required to leave the United States as soon as possible, and you will be in danger of arrest and deportation. It is important that you make arrangements to leave the United States as soon as possible after a reinstatement application has been denied. You do have the option to consult a board certified U.S. immigration attorney to discuss your situation.

The TCC International Admissions Office is not responsible for reinstatement decisions made by the United States government.

Updated April 20, 2018