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F-1 Reinstatement Approval for a Senegalese Student in Ohio

by JP Sarmiento on June 30, 2014

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CASE: F-1 Reinstatement

APPLICANT: Senegalese

LOCATION: Ohio

Our client came from Senegal in 2013 to pursue her Bachelor’s Degree Program. She was first enrolled at an ESL program in the U.S. for a semester and she applied for a 4-year Bachelors program at a different school.  Unfortunately, extreme and exceptional circumstances occurred, due to school’s rejection of her admission based on her religious beliefs, which caused her to fail to maintain her F-1 visa status.

There are many reasons why some F-1 students fall out of status. In limited circumstances, they could still apply for what’s called an F-1 reinstatement if they meet the certain requirements. It starts by talking to the new potential school’s international student immigration representative. Upon providing all the necessary documentation, your immigration advisor should issue you a new I-20 with a reinstatement endorsement.  Each school has its own guidelines on what you need to show. Typically you should explain the exceptional circumstances which led you to not maintain full-time course load.

For the USCIS to grant reinstatement, the standards are as follows:

  • The student became out of status due to circumstances beyond the student’s control, or the student would suffer extreme hardship if not reinstated
  • The student intends to pursue full-time study
  • No other grounds of removability (criminal cases, for example) apply to the student other than the overstay or status violation
  • The student has not worked illegally off-campus
  • The period being out of status is not more than five months, or there were exceptional circumstances for being out of status longer and the application was filed as soon as possible
  • The student does not have a record of repeated immigration violations

In late March of 2014, our client contacted our office to do her F-1 reinstatement application. Our office promptly prepared her application with various supporting documents to demonstrate that she became out of status due to circumstances beyond her control and that she would suffer extreme hardship if not reinstated.  Moreover, our office explained that our client never had any status violations prior to this incident and never engaged in unauthorized employment. Our office filed her F-1 reinstatement application on April 21, 2014 to USCIS.

On June 25, 2014, our office was notified by the USCIS that our client’s F-1 reinstatement was granted.  Now, our client has a chance to pursue her Bachelor’s program in the United States.

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