A student who has failed to maintain F-1 student status and wishes to continue studying at (or transfer to) the University of Pennsylvania must regain valid status. One way to regain F-1 student status is to apply to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for reinstatement. Alternatively, students may leave the US and reenter using a new I-20 with a new SEVIS number. Either option to regain status should be discussed with an advisor at International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) in detail. (Those planning to transfer to another institution must apply for reinstatement through the new school using the I-20 from that school.)
Reasons why a student may fall out of F-1 student status:
- Failure to extend I-20 before the expiration deadline
- Failure to complete the F-1 transfer procedure in a timely manner
- Failure to take less than a full course of study without prior written authorization from ISSS for an excusable academic or medical reason under USCIS regulations
A student who has worked without authorization is also out of status, but is not eligible for reinstatement.
If you think that you may be out of status, please visit ISSS immediately. The longer you wait to address the problem, the more difficult it can become. Furthermore, only students in valid F-1 status are eligible for F-1 benefits from the USCIS (e.g. authorization to work on-campus, practical training work authorization).