A student who has failed to maintain F-1 student status and who wishes to return to or transfer to Yale, must apply for and be granted reinstatement to F-1 student status by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Maintaining F-1 student status means that you have been a full-time student and have not overstayed the authorized period of stay as identified on your I-20 form. If you have taken less than a full course of study, not extended your I-20 or not completed the F-1 transfer procedure, you are likely out of status and must apply for reinstatement before you can be granted any additional benefits from the USCIS (e.g. authorization to accept practical training.) 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 consult with OISS immediately. The longer you wait to address the problem the more difficult it can become.

The reinstatement application includes the following documents:

  • a completed I-539 form with the $290 filing fee (the check should be made payable to Department of Homeland Security.) Write the word REINSTATEMENT on the top of the form.
  • a newly obtained I-20 form issued by Yale University
  • your original I-94 form
  • a copy of your previous I-20 form
  • evidence of continued funding
  • a written statement requesting reinstatement which explains that the violation of student status resulted from circumstances beyond your control and/or that the failure to be reinstated would result in extreme hardship. Any documentation that supports your claim should be attached.

OISS will review your letter prior to your submitting the application. Do not apply for reinstatement without first speaking with an OISS adviser.

Applications for reinstatement are sent to the USCIS Service Center in Vermont. The address is:

USCIS Vermont Service Center
75 Lower Welden Street
St. Albans, VT 05479-0001

As with all immigration applications, you should keep copies of all documents submitted. A decision to reinstate an individual to F-1 student status is completely at the discretion of the USCIS. If the application is approved, USCIS adjudicates the new I-20 form, makes appropriate entry in SEVIS and returns the I-20 to you along with the I-94 form. F-2 dependent status is automatically reinstated with the reinstatement of the F-1 student.