F-1 Reinstatement

If you have failed to maintain F-1 student status and wish to continue studying at (or transfer to) Penn, you must regain valid status.

There are two ways you can be reinstated:

  1. Apply to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for reinstatement. 

  2. Leave the US and reenter using a new I-20 with a new SEVIS number.

Either option should be discussed with an advisor at 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 F-1 regulations

  • A student who has worked without authorization is also out of status, but is not eligible for reinstatement.


If you think you may be out of status, please visit ISSS immediately.

The longer you wait to address the problem, the more difficult it can become to fix. Furthermore, only students in valid F-1 status are eligible for F-1 benefits from the USCIS (e.g. on-campus employment or OPT authorization).