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Termination & Reinstatement

F1 Visa holders' SEVIS records may be terminated for various reasons. The termination can be requested by the student, initiated by the (P)DSO, or automatically occur under the authority of USCIS. 
Common reasons for F1 SEVIS record termination are as follows (these are common but not exhaustive; the full list can be found here):
  • Failure to enroll before the close of each TWU semester registration period
  • Failure to maintain full-time enrollment throughout the semester (dropping a course in the middle of the semester or enrolling in less than full-time hours without approval; this includes concurrent enrollment)
  • Failure to request extension of program end date
  • Approval of change of status
F1 Visa holders who have an approved Change of Status from F1 to another eligible status may request to have their SEVIS record terminated upon Change of Status approval. The F1 Visa holding student may submit a request through the International Portal and upload USCIS approval documentation to have their SEVIS record terminated voluntarily. Voluntary SEVIS termination cannot be requested by the student, or completed by the (P)DSO, with only an application receipt; the case approval must be recorded by USCIS. 
A student whose SEVIS record has been terminated no longer qualifies for on campus employment, CPT, or OPT. 
Students with a terminated F1 SEVIS record have the option of applying for reinstatement through the institution in which the termination was initiated, or leaving the U.S. within 15 days. These individuals can apply for a new F1 Visa in their home county, and if granted, can re-enter the U.S. on an initial I-20 after being admitted to TWU. Payment of a new I-901 fee is required and, if applicable, eligibility for CPT/OPT benefits must be reestablished.
F1 Visa holding TWU students who failed to maintain F1 status, resulting in the termination of their SEVIS record, must either apply for reinstatement through USCIS (Form I-539) or leave the U.S. within 15 days of the termination date. All F1 Visa holding terminated TWU students, applying for reinstatement, must contact the (P)DSO to determine if their case qualifies for ISSS office reinstatement recommendation.  
Reinstatement requests may be submitted through the International Portal for TWU students who plan to apply for reinstatement through USCIS. The following criteria will be evaluated as a part of the student's International Portal reinstatement request, and by USCIS when applying for reinstatement:
  • The student has not been out of status for more than 5 months (if so, the student has documentation to support exceptional circumstances leading to failure to submit reinstatement application within the allowable 5 month time period)
  • The student does not have a record of willful violations of DHS regulations
  • The student will resume full-time study in the semester(s) in which the reinstatement application is pending, and every semester thereafter through program completion
  • The student has not engaged in unauthorized employment/work experiences
  • The student is not deportable on any ground other than section 237(a)(1)(B) or (C)(i) 
USCIS will request evidence from the student, and begin review of the reinstatement petition, if the student meets the following conditions
  • The violation of status resulted from circumstances beyond the student's control. Such circumstances might include serious injury or illness, closure of the institution, a natural disaster, or inadvertence, oversight, or neglect on the part of the DSO, but do not include instances where a pattern of repeated violations or where a willful failure on the part of the student resulted in the need for reinstatement; or
  • The violation relates to a reduction in the student's course load that would have been within a DSO's power to authorize, and that failure to approve reinstatement would result in extreme hardship to the student. 
Reinstated students will forfeit any accumulated time towards the one-year of U.S. study requirement for CPT or OPT authorization.
F1 Visa holders whose SEVIS record was terminated at another institution may not petition for reinstatement through TWU, nor can an I-20 be issued by the TWU ISSS office for a transfer student with a pending reinstatement application. USCIS requires historical documentation explaining the circumstances leading to the termination of the student's SEVIS record, which the TWU ISSS office cannot provide/support for a new transfer student.

F1 Visa holding students facing extreme or emergency situations, which require a temporary withdrawal from their academic program, may qualify for Termination through Authorized Early Withdrawal (AEW). The F1 Visa holding student must leave the U.S. within 15 days of having the request processed and must return to the U.S. and to TWU within 5 months of their AEW date. 

The F1 Visa holder’s SEVIS record will be terminated on the date that the AEW is processed. Upon return to TWU, the student may request a reactivation of the SEVIS record from the (P)DSO to resume studies. The (P)DSO can submit the recommendation for reactivation of study if the student returns to TWU within 5 months of the AEW termination date. However, the reactivation is adjudicated and approved or denied by the Student and Exchange Visitors Program (SEVP). 

Additional documentation that the F1 Visa holding student may need to submit to SEVP may include: 

  • Proof of last date of physical attendance, such as course drop request form or letter from academic department or professor
  • Proof that you submitted the AEW request to ISSS office prior to departing the U.S.
  • Proof of enrollment in upcoming semester
  • Proof of re-entry (flight itinerary) to return to the U.S. within the 30 days prior to the start of classes

F1 Visa holding students who request AEW after the first class day or who did not enroll full-time in the semester in which the request was made have a higher risk of reactivation denial through SEVP. If the reactivation request is denied, the student must apply for a new F1 Visa and new I-20 to re-enter the U.S.