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Post image for F-1 Reinstatement Approval after Successful Response to RFE for Beninese Client in Cleveland, OH

CASE: F-1 Reinstatement / Response to RFE

CLIENT: Beninese

LOCATION: Cleveland, OH

Our client has been on F-1 status for many years and has studied in the United States. However, in 2011, he was arrested by an immigration officer while at a bus station to New York and was told that his F-1 status was terminated. Our client went back to his home country for the Spring Semester of 2010 due to his family’s medical emergency. Prior to his departur from the U.S., he consulted with the school’s international student officer and was advised that he could go and come back without any problem. Nevertheless, unbeknownst to him, his F-1 status was terminated by the school.

Our client immediately talked to his school’s ISO officer right after his “arrest” incident. The school’s ISO apologized to our client and told him that they will take care of the mistake. Our client went with his schooling and never encountered the issue again for the next few years. He even graduated his school and applied for the OPT which was later approved by the USCIS.

In 2014, our client decided to take another program, but he was informed by the International Student Officer that his “terminated F-1” status was never resolved, and that he would not be eligible for further studies until he gets his F-1 status reinstated.  Our client immediately prepared necessary documents for the reinstatement, and filed an F-1 reinstatement request to the USCIS. However, on May 11, 2015, the USCIS issued a Request for Evidence. After the issuance of RFE, our client contacted our office and retained us on May 21, 2015.

Once retained, we helped our client obtain supporting documents for the F-1 reinstatement and prepared a response brief for the RFE. We fully explained why he had to go back to Benin, the circumstance of his F-1 termination, his financial ability to pursue his studies in the U.S., and reasons for his studies. On June 3, 2015, we filed the Response to RFE for his F-1 reinstatement with an extensive response brief and numerous supporting documents.

On June 27, 2015, the F-1 reinstatement was approved. Our client’s F-1 student is now valid and he now has retained valid non-immigrant status.


F-1 Reinstatement for an Indian Student in California

by JP Sarmiento on January 18, 2011

CASE: F-1 Reinstatement


LOCATION: Los Angeles, California

Our client came from India in 2009 to pursue his Master’s in Computer Science degree in California. Unfortunately, extreme and exceptional hardships related to his family caused him to drop a course in his third semester which caused him to fail to maintain his 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 F-1 reinstatement if they meet the requirements. It starts by talking to the 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 courseload.

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 early September of 2010, our client contacted our office to do his F-1 reinstatement application. Our office promptly prepared his application with various supporting documents to demonstrate that he became out of status due to circumstances beyond his control and that he 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.

On January 12, 2011, our office was notified by the USCIS that our client’s F-1 reinstatement is granted.  Now, our client has a chance to finish his Master’s Degree.


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