Regaining status through travel

F-1 students who have not maintained status may depart and make a new entry to the U.S. to be restored to legal F-1 status. You must discuss this procedure with an international student adviser before leaving the U.S. Your adviser can talk to you about the risks involved and the actions you should take to minimize those risks.



  1. You must provide financial documentation showing the availability of funds to cover your estimated expenses for at least one academic year;
  2. An international student advisor will issue a new initial I-20 form;
  3. Pay a new SEVIS fee: and
  4. You will need to 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,
    • Your visa has already been used for the originally specified number of entries, or
    • You have changed to a different visa status within the US (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 US 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 and 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 be restored to legal 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.