The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) houses immigration information on international students attending Student and Exchange Visitor Programs (SEVP)-approved schools in the country for the Department of Homeland Security and its affiliates. With the student information in SEVIS, Form I-20 is generated for F-1 student who intends to enroll at a specific school. After enrolling at or graduation from a SEVP-approved school in the United States, if the student decides to move to another school, the SEVIS record is transferred from school A to school B.
Students who wish to transfer from school A after enrollment for some time to Campbellsville University must register for classes at the next available term. Please note: If a student transfers SEVIS record in time for enrollment at a particular term at Campbellsville University, he or she cannot defer to another term. If student fails to enroll at the next available term, s/he is out of status.
Example: A student, who transfers SEVIS record in time for January term, cannot choose to attend in the March term. If this happens, s/he will be out of status.
An overseas student who intends to attend a SEVP-approved school in the United States such as Campbellsville University, after acceptance, F-1 student must be issued a Form I-20 after sending the necessary documents. Using Initial I-20 which has its SEVIS ID, student contacts the nearest U.S. Consulate in his or her home country to book appointment for visa interview.
Once issued F-1 visa, student would travel and enter the United States on Campbellsville University Initial I-20 and with F-1 visa issued for attendance at Campbellsville University.
Nonimmigrant students are responsible for maintaining their immigration status while in the United States. If a student does not maintain the terms of their nonimmigrant status, this can lead termination of SEVIS record and deportation from the United States as stated in INA § 237(a) (1) (C) (i).
To maintain F-1 status, a student must:
When F-1 student fails to maintain status, s/he would be out of status, meaning the student cannot enjoy the benefits under the status until the F-1 status is re-instated. At such time, the student’s SEVIS record is terminated.
SEVIS record termination means the student is out of status. To regain F-1 status, two options are available to the student. S/he may be reinstated within the country through the process of reinstatement (See reinstatement) or through travel (out of the country) and re-entry (into the United States) on an Initial I-20 with a new SEVIS ID, which is a faster way to regain lost F-1 status.
International student advisors are required to report certain violations of status to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of State by terminating a student’s SEVIS record. A termination effectively ends your immigration status and your authorization to study in the United States. In some cases, you may be eligible to submit a petition to USCIS for reinstatement to lawful F-1 status.
Best Ways You Ensure You Stay in Status
Reasons for Termination of SEVIS Record Include:
In most cases, the termination of your SEVIS record means you must make plans to immediately depart from the United States. In other words, there is no grace period after termination. You must leave the country within 15 days.
If your SEVIS record is terminated and you wish to continue your studies at Campbellsville University, you have two options: travel outside the United States with a new I-20 or submit a reinstatement application to regain your status to USCIS.
Eligibility to Petition for Reinstatement
To be eligible for reinstatement, you must show USCIS that the violation of status was due to circumstances beyond your control. In cases of unauthorized employment and unauthorized drop below full-time enrollment, reinstatement petitions will generally be denied because they are usually due to willful actions on the student’s part.
Reinstatement is most appropriate for “technical” violations, such as:
Reinstatement petitions must be filed within five months of the termination of your SEVIS record. USCIS will not review reinstatement petitions submitted after the filing deadline has passed.
Please note that reinstatement is NOT an option if you have violated your status by working without the proper authorization.
Step 1 – Contact an international student advisor to discuss your eligibility for reinstatement.
We strongly recommend discussion with an advisor as soon as possible after you become aware of the violation to discuss reinstatement and the petition process.
Step 2 – ISS will issue a reinstatement I-20 to you once required documents, including, acceptance Letter and financial papers, among others have been received.
NOTE: ISS does NOT assist with the completion of re-instatement application. Students are advised to work with reputable immigration attorneys.
Step 3 – You may consult an attorney for guidance in the process of gathering required documentation before mailing them to USCIS.
Step 4 – Mail I-539 and supporting documents to the USCIS Dallas Lockbox for processing.
USCIS P.O. Box 660166
Dallas, TX 75266
USPS, express mail and courier deliveries:
2501 S. State Highway 121 Business Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067
Status During Review of Petition
Reinstatement petitions may take several months to adjudicate. While the application is in process, you must continue to meet all enrollment and reporting requirements of your immigration status. You must remain in full-time status by taking full course load. You are disallowed from all on- or off-campus employment until the reinstatement request has been approved. We strongly recommend not traveling outside the United States while your petition is in process since USCIS may consider the application ‘abandoned’ and reject the request.
Status After Approval of Petition
If your petition is approved, USCIS will reinstate you to lawful immigration status and return your immigration documents to you. It is your responsibility to inform ISS of the USCIS’ decision for follow up actions. Your SEVIS record will be returned to Active” status, and the termination will be removed from your immigration record. You may resume on-campus employment and authorized off-campus employment once the reinstatement approval notice has been received.
Status After Denial of Petition
If your petition is denied, you are expected to leave the country immediately. There is no grace period after this.
All previous study time that you have accrued on your old SEVIS record will be void, but any academic progress you have made, such as classes attended and grades earned, will still be valid. As such, you will be required to study in the United States for a minimum of two (2) terms before you will be eligible for CPT benefits.
Documents needed for border crossing are:
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) also recommends that students have with them:
Students are advised to cross the border during university business hours so a DSO can be reached in case of emergency.
NOTE: Please consider your options and inform your DSO your option of choice for re-instatement. If you decide on travel and re-entry, you cannot cross the border prior to 30 days before the term start date.
In order to change status while in the United States from an H-1B Temporary Worker to dependent status (F-2), your F-1 spouse must be in the United States in valid F-1 status at the time you are requesting this change.
NOTE: If you are traveling outside of the U.S., you can accomplish the change by taking a dependent I-20 and obtain F-2 visa at a U.S. Consulate for re-entry to the U.S. All documents normally required for a visa will be required (i.e., valid passport, financial verification and proof of relationship to F-1 student i.e., marriage certificate).
PART #1: To contact ISS for assistance, send a Help Desk Ticket https://issrs.campbellsville.edu with the following documents:
PART #2: The student must send the following documents to the lockbox
PART #3: Send the documents from PART #2 by certified mail to either:
For U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Deliveries:
PO Box 660166
Dallas, TX 75266
For Express Mail and Courier Deliveries:
USCIS ATTN: I-539
2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067
NOTE: It may take up to 6 months to receive a response from USCIS. If you have not received an answer after 4 months from the date the application was received by USCIS, speak with an ISS advisor. You can check your application status at http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis with your receipt number.
If USCIS denies your application, be prepared to leave the United States when your current status expires.
*ISS does not directly assist students when completing an application for or preparing documents for submission with an application (Form I-539) to petition USCIS to change status to F-1 student status. ISS will issue I-20 for Change of Status (COS) to student after receiving required documents.
*Receiving an I-20 from CU for COS is NOT THE END OF THE PROCESS. YOU MUST COMPLETE THE FORM I-539 AND MAIL YOUR APPLICATION PACKET TO THE USCIS. Consult the USCIS we instructions pertaining to applying for COS. Also, seek the counsel of an Immigration Attorney. To locate an Immigration Attorney near you please consult the website for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) by visiting http://www.aila.org/.
You can learn more about how to change status by visiting https://www.uscis.gov/i-539.
To receive an I-20 from ISS for COS you must respond to the following prompts:
Have you received an acceptance letter from CU? Yes/NO,
If No and you are seeking to change status to F-1 and are requesting Campbellsville University to issue you an I-20 for the purpose of submitting with your petition to USCIS, you must first be accepted into a program offered at Campbellsville University. If you are unsure of how to apply to Campbellsville University, you can submit a separate Help Desk Ticket with this request.
If YES, congratulations. Please contact your DSO as soon as possible and we will create the Change of Status I-20 and will work to process your request as quickly as possible.
What is the major difference between the two options?
Students who are re-instated within the country continue in their previous F-1 status. Students who choose travel and re-entry are considered initial status students. This is most important when considering eligibility for Optional Practical Training or Curricular Practical Training. Students who re-enter using a new I-20 are required to complete one academic year (two terms at Campbellsville University) before becoming eligible to apply for off-campus employment (CPT, OPT).
What are the costs associated with each option? Reinstatement in the U.S: USCIS charges an I-539 application fee https://www.uscis.gov/i-539
Travel and reentry: There is the $200 SEVIS fee, plus any expenses incurred for travel and visa applications.
Which option is the least risky?
Each option has its risks. If your application for reinstatement is denied, you will be required to depart the U.S. immediately. If you are denied re-entry at the border, you may be required to return home immediately from the port of entry.
May I continue to study while my application for reinstatement is pending?
Yes, you must continue to study in order to maintain F-1 status while application with USCIS is pending.
May I continue to work on- or off-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 now take approximately four to six months to process.
Can I reenter from Canada or must I return to and reenter from my home country?
Reentry from Canada is fine; however, you must already have a valid visa to enter Canada, if needed. The Canadian Consulate will not issue an entry visa to students with “initial attendance” I-20s from other countries. For more information, contact your ISS advisor.