Student Status Reinstated After I-20 Termination Due to Poor Performance Over 12 Months Ago
August 30, 2023

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We would like to share another successful case of our firm with you today. The client's academic grades were lower than the school's minimum standard requirements, and his student status was therefore terminated by his school. He stays in the United States without legal status for more than half a year. Finally, we helped the client successfully reinstated his student status.

Because the client missed part of his final exams, his scores were lower than the school's minimum requirement. So, the school refused to issue a new I-20. After the old I-20 expired for more than five months, the client found a new school. The client contacted us, hoping to reinstate his student status.

International students holding an F-1 visa after a U.S. school terminates their I-20 may apply to reinstate their F-1 status. After being admitted and getting a new I-20, students can submit a Reinstatement Request to USCIS. If USCIS approves the application, the student will remain an F-1 student and continue to study in the U.S. legally.

According to U.S. Immigration Law, to be eligible for reinstatement, the student must:

  1. Not be out of status for more than five months at the time of filing or show the exceptional circumstance that prevented filing in that time frame.
  2. Not have a record of repeated or willful violations of regulations.
  3. Not have worked without authorization.
  4. Must be pursuing or intend to pursue a full course of study in the immediate future at your school.
  5. Must not be deportable for any reason other than failing to maintain F-1 or M-1 status.
  6. Establishes to the satisfaction of USCIS, by a detailed showing, either that:

The violation of status resulted from circumstances beyond the student's control, or the violation relates to a reduction in the student's course load that would have been within a DSO's power to authorize. Failure to approve reinstatement would result in extreme hardship to the student. The difficulty in this case was:

  1. The student received the school's warning about low grades a few months before the school stopped the I-20, but the student failed to solve the issue.
  2. The student did not apply for reinstatement until five months after the I-20 expired. To prove exceptional circumstances, the student must provide extremely detailed and credible reasons and evidence.
  3. ​The student had illegally stayed in the United States for over 180 days at the time of filing. If the student chose to leave the country, he would face the three-year bar and the possibility of visa refusal in the future.

For these reasons, the client visited and consulted a number of immigration lawyers but was only told that there was no hope.

After knowing further details about the client's situation, we believed that we could provide sufficient evidence to USCIS to prove that the delay in the client's reinstatement application was caused by reasons that were beyond the student's control.

We submitted a Reinstatement Request and the supporting evidence for the client. Five months later, the case was approved, and the client regained his student status.

If you, or somebody you know, find yourselves in a similar situation, and you need immediate assistance, our offices are here to help.

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