While an F-1 Academic Student visa classification allows foreign nationals to attend a full course of study at colleges, universities, conservatories, or academic high schools in the United States, an M-1 Vocational Student visa classification allows foreign nationals to enroll in other non-academic programs such as language training. Many of these students may inadvertently fail to maintain their student status due to numerous reasons.

In this case, if the student wishes to resume their studies without departing the United States, they need to file an I-539 form for F-1/M-1 student status reinstatement with USCIS. At Tsang & Associates, we have the experience and knowledge of successfully helping students reinstate their student status.

Our attorneys can explain and present the intricate details to adequately explain why a student failed to maintain their student status or overstayed in order to satisfy the strict requirements for a reinstatement application. We have successfully worked with different schools to prepare statements and documents supporting the students’ reinstatement application. After the reinstatement approval, we ensure the student is reinstated back into his/her programs or transferred to another school they desire.  



Our fee structure is unique to us as we strive to tailor our services for each client individually. We adapt price standards that are capable of fluctuating for each client depending on their unique needs. Clients may retain us for one or all of the above steps/services.

Our typical fee for a standard I-539 Student Status Reinstatement is $3,500, not including, governmental fee and third-party extensions.  We are happy to customize a proposal for you during a consultation and walk you through what a standard reinstatement case looks like.  Please see below for more information.  



Step 1: Strategy Session for a I-539 For for Student Status Reinstatement Application

This is the most crucial step for your entire I-539 Student Status Reinstatement Application. We will review all of the supporting documents to create a strategy, a customized checklist, and a timeline to serve as the guiding foundation for the entire case preparation.

Step 2: Prepare and Submit the I-539 Form to USCIS

Our attorneys will craft your I-539 form for Student Status Reinstatement arguments and complete all forms, organize supporting documents, and assemble the crafted arguments into the proper application formats. After a thorough review, we will then submit the application to USCIS.

Step 3: Responding to additional USCIS Requests for Evidence

If additional documents/evidence are needed upon the submission of the case and after the interview, our office will ensure that all necessary documents are submitted to the USCIS office in a timely manner. We will assist the client to the best of our ability until the case gets approved or the client no longer wants to continue forward with the case.

Step 4: Reinstatement approval and SEVIS reinstatement by school

After the reinstatement approved by USCIS, the school often has a hard time reinstating the student due to the complexity and long history of the case. We will communicate with you to ensure the school reinstate your status or transfer it to another school you desire.



    Checklist of Required Evidence

    • I-539 Form (write “REINSTATEMENT” at the top of the form)
    • I-539 Form filing fee paid by money order, personal check, cashier’s check, or credit card using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions. If you pay by check, you must make your check payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
    • copy of Form I-94, Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Record
    • A copy of Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student
    • Evidence of your ability to pay for your studies and support yourself and your dependents
    • Evidence your violation of status resulted from circumstances beyond your control or that the violation relates to a reduction in your course load that is within a designated school official’s power to authorize, and that failure to approve reinstatement would result in extreme hardship to you
    • If you were out of status for more than five months, evidence of exceptional circumstances and that you are filing as promptly as possible under the exceptional circumstances
    • Supporting documentation (for example, a letter of support from a faculty adviser familiar with the circumstances of your case)
    • Current transcript and transcripts from other U.S. schools previously attended
    • Photocopy of passport identification and visa pages; do not send your passport
    • Completed G-1145 Form (optional; it signs you up for email/text message notification of your application’s arrival at USCIS)

    Filing Fee

    Updated I-539 Form filing fee for Student Status Reinstatement

    When you send a payment, you agree to pay for a government service. Filing and biometric service fees are final and non-refundable, regardless of any action we take on your application, petition, or request, or if you withdraw your request.

    Requirements and Limitations


    • Have not been out of status more than 5 months at the time of filing the request for reinstatement.
    • If you have been out of status for more than 5 months at the time of filing for reinstatement, provide evidence that the failure to file within the 5 month period was the result of exceptional circumstances and that the request for reinstatement was filed as promptly as possible under these exceptional circumstances.
    • Do not have a record of repeated or willful violations of immigration regulations.
    • Are currently pursuing, or intending to pursue, a full course of study in the immediate future at the school which issued the Form I-20.
    • Have not engaged in unauthorized employment.
    • Are not deportable on any ground other than overstaying or failing to maintain status.
    • The violation of status resulted from circumstances beyond applicant’s control.
    • The violation relates to a reduction in your course load that would have been within a Designated School Official’s (DSO’s) power to authorize.
    • Failure to approve reinstatement would result in extreme hardship.


    • School DSO must recommend reinstatement in SEVIS.
    • Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee again.

    Benefits of Student Status Reinstatement With I-539 Form

    1. Permission to remain in the U.S. and resume study.
    2. Remove out of status record.



    Attorney Brief:  [coming soon] We will provide an attorney brief sample for the I-539 Reinstatement petition.


    Cover Letter: [coming soon] We will also provide a cover letter sample for the I-539 Reinstatement petition.


    Sample Request for Evidence: [coming soon] Requests for evidence can be used to strengthen the case.


    Forms: Here is a list of the forms that are needed by USCIS


    Sample Checklist: [coming soon] We look at the client’s unique situation and create customized checklists to strengthen their cases.


    USCIS Fee Calculator: This is to help calculate how much the filing fee will be.


    USCIS Mailing Address: This address is where it is mailed to USCIS.


    USCIS Processing Timetable: This will help you figure out how long it will take to process.


    ASC Field Offices: Listed are the addresses of the field offices for the bio-metrics.



    May I continue to study while my application for reinstatement is pending?

    Yes, you must continue to study in order to maintain your F-1 status.

    May I continue to work on-campus while my application for reinstatement is pending?

    No. Once it is determined that you have violated your student status, you must stop working immediately.

    How long will the reinstatement process take?

    Reinstatement applications take approximately six to nine months, and as long as one year.

    What is the "Five-Month Deadline"?

    A student can file for reinstatement at any time. These cases are harder if more than five months have passed since the record terminated or completed. If the student is: 

    • Within the first five months, the student must explain:
      • Why the record was terminated.
      • How the student plans to maintain F-1 or M-1 status.
    • After the five-month mark, the student must:
      • Pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee.
      • Explain:
        • Why the record was terminated.
        • Why her or she could not file within the first five months. 
        • How the student plans to maintain F-1 or M-1 status.

    The “Students Nearing Reinstatement Deadline” Alert List helps DSOs monitor potential cases, which are exempt from another I-901 SEVIS Fee and that still qualify for reinstatement in the lower threshold of the first five-month timeframe.



    Call or email us to set up your 1-hour consultation. Easily pay the $250 consultation fee over the phone or through our email link. If you would like to have a quick chat with our team before setting up the consultation, feel free to use the calendar on the right to book your 10 minute call.