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Contact Information 

International Student and 
Scholar Services (ISSS)

Phone: (860) 832 - 2040

Fax: (860) 832 - 2047

Toyin Ayeni
Immigration Specialist

Hoa Do
Immigration Support

Henry Barnard Hall
Room 123

Monday - Friday
8:30 am - 4:30 pm


The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) permit students who have violated their F-1 student status to apply for reinstatement.  The decision to reinstate a student is based on the information provided by the applicant to USCIS during the reinstatement process.  The process may take a few weeks to several months depending on the how complicated the case is. There is no guarantee that your application for reinstatement will be approved.

Reinstatement can be processed by traveling outside the United States with a new I-20 and attempting re-entry or by applying for reinstatement within the U.S. through USCIS. Both options have some level of risk involved and none guarantees approval.

Reinstatement Options:

Reinstatement within the United States

  • As of May 22, 2012, the USCIS has moved from a paper-based application process to a secure online Reinstatement Processing system called the USCIS Electronic Immigration System (USCIS ELIS).


    Note:  During the processing time you are ineligible for any F-1 benefits such as work authorization, transfer, or travel outside the U.S.  It is recommended that you maintain a full course of study.

    Reinstatement Approved

    • If your application for reinstatement is approved, you will receive your I-94 and your Form I-20 back from USCIS with red approval stamp. 

    Reinstatement Denied

    • If your application for reinstatement is denied:
      • Your F-1 student visa is automatically cancelled.
      • You are required to leave the U.S. within 15 days unless you wish to work with an attorney to file a “motion to re-open” your case by presenting new and different information (within 30 days).
      • You will begin accumulating days of “unlawful presence”.  If you remain in the U.S. after the denial for over 180 days.  You will be barred from returning to the U.S. for 3 years; if you remain for one year or more, you will be barred for 10 years.
      • There is an official record of the violation of status in DHS files, which can have future impact on eligibility for immigration benefits.

Reinstatement outside the United States

  • A student may depart the U.S., apply for a new visa and attempt re-entry with a new Form I-20.  Consular officers may ask questions about prior time in the U.S. and can deny a new visa.
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