Travel Outside the U.S.

To regain status, you also have the option of traveling instead of applying for reinstatement. When you travel to regain status, you are issued a new I-20 for "initial attendance" with a new SEVIS ID number. You then leave the U.S. and re-enter using the new I-20. When you enter the U.S. and receive an I-94 marked F-1 D/S, you will once again be in valid F-1 status.

You must discuss this procedure with an international student advisor before leaving the U.S. Your advisor can talk to you about the risks involved and the actions you should take to minimize those risks.

To Regain Status through Travel

  1. Provide financial documentation to show that funds are available to cover estimated expenses for at least one academic year.
  2. An international student advisor will then issue a new initial I-20 form.
  3. Pay a new SEVIS fee. See this DHS website and this Immigration website for more information.
  4. Leave the U.S. and reenter using your new I-20. Please note that you may also need to obtain a new U.S. entry visa if
    • Your visa has expired or has been cancelled,
    • Your visa has already been used for the originally specified number of entries, or
    • You have changed to a different visa status within the U.S. (e.g. F-2 to F-1), and you do not yet have an entry visa for your new status.
  5. Once you are approved for admission at a U.S. port of entry, the CBP inspector will stamp your passport with your immigration details (admission status, date of entry, and status end date).

Effect of Departure & New Entry on Employment Eligibility

When an F-1 student who has been out of status leaves the U.S. and makes a new entry to regain status, that student must maintain legal F-1 status for nine (9) months, or one academic year, before being eligible for employment benefits like CPT and OPT.