What is "reinstatement?"
An F-1 student who has overstayed his or her authorized period of stay or has otherwise failed to maintain F-1 student status may be reinstated to lawful F-1 status at the discretion of an Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) District Director. This means their F-1 status is restored and they may continue to go to school in the United States without being asked to leave the country.
Criteria for Reinstatement
The INS director may reinstate the student to lawful F-1 status, if he or she:
Make an appointment with the ISS Director to review your application. The Director will review your materials, issue a new I-20, and prepare a cover letter. After this review, you can then send the following documents by certified mail with return receipt (clearly indicate, "Reinstatement" on bottom left corner of envelope) to INS, Chicago (address below):
If the reinstatement application is approved, INS endorses Form I-20A-B, retains p. 1-2 for transmittal to INS's Data Processing Center, and returns the Form I-20ID (p. 3-4) will return the form directly to you, the student. Although there is no formal appeal from a denial, the applicant may seek reconsideration through a motion. Speak with the ISS Director for more information about a "motion to reconsider."
Immigration and Naturalization Service
It is important to note that even if your F-1 status is restored by the INS by failing to maintain your status continually, you may no longer be eligible for certain benefits later on. Additionally, there is no guarantee the INS will approve your application for ROS so it is better to make every diligent effort to maintain your status. For more information on how to maintain your status