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Judith Ludwic
Judith Ludwic, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 28584
Experience:  34 years as practicing immigration attorney, with non-immigrant and immigrant visa experience.
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I was academically dismissed from my current school and they

Customer Question

I was academically dismissed from my current school and they are going to terminate my i-20 in a week. Can I use an initial I-20 from a new school with unexpired visa(current school's name and Sevis on it) to reenter the US to active my new 1-20(new Sevis) to regain F1 status?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 7 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am delighted to answer your questions today. I have 35 years experience as an immigration lawyer.

Yes, you may use your current valid unexpired F1 visa stamp to depart and re-enter with new I-20 as long as you do that within 5 months of your terminated I-20.

Your other option is for the new transfer-in school to request reinstatement of your f1 status on the I-20 and you filing the I-539 with USCIS requesting they reinstate your student status without you leaving the country.

This must also be filed within 5 months of termination of your SEVIS from the transfer out school.

Of course, I am sure you understand your positive rating is very important to me as we are not on salary and that is how we receive compensation, you choosing a smiley face or 3+ stars
In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert.

Judith

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for your quick response!
If I manage to get my new I-20 and pay for new SEVIS before my old school terminates my old SEVIS, I will be having 2 active SEVIS(2 in status I-20) at one time? is it okay?
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 7 months ago.

No you cannot do that.

Your current school may transfer out your SEVIS record to the new school before they terminate your status and your new school, the transfer in school would merely transfer you to their SEVIS as a transfer student eliminating the necessity of reinstatement or traveling outside the country and re-entering.

I am taking a dinner break and hence the delay in response. I needed to feed my child and now I need to eat something.

Of course, I am sure you understand your positive rating is very important to me as we are not on salary and that is how we receive compensation, you choosing a smiley face or 3+ stars
In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert.

Judith

Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 7 months ago.

I am checking on whether you have received this answer as the question has remained on the board.

Judith

Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 7 months ago.

May I answer anything additional for you to earn your satisfaction. I strive to give good customer service and comprehensive answers. I feel I have failed you. Please tell me what additional information would be helpful.
Judith

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for your answers. My old school said they have to terminate my record because I was academically dismissed and will not allow me to go to the new school as a transfer student.My new school will issue me an initial I-20 next week and told me to go to Mexico or Canada then reenter with my current unexpired visa to regain F1 status.But my old school told me once they terminate my record my visa will also become invalid since it's "linked" to my old SEVIS and I-20. Is it true? Any official statement could backup this theory?Thank you so much
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 7 months ago.

Your school DSO is not well versed in the regulations for SEVIS.

Even if the school terminates your status your SEVIS record can still be transferred to the transfer in school.

And as far as the visa goes, your visa is still valid even if you pay a new SEVIS fee and have a new SEVIS number.

Here is the ICE website on the issue

See topic WHAT ARE CHOICES FOR STUDENT WITH TERMINATED SEVIS

https://www.ice.gov/sevis/f1-transfers

The student has three choices.

  • Apply to USCIS for reinstatement before transferring to another school. The student must continue to maintain a full course of study and otherwise abide by the regulations governing F-1 students while USCIS adjudicates the reinstatement. See the USCIS website for information on how to file for reinstatement.

If USCIS denies the reinstatement application , the student must leave the United States immediately or risk being placed in removal proceedings at any time under §237(a)(C)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended.

  • Request that you transfer the Terminated record to the transfer-in school. You will needconfirmation that the student received acceptance to the new school.
  • On the transfer release date, the transfer-in DSO becomes responsible for the student’s SEVIS record, making the recommendation for reinstatement on the student’s SEVIS record, and issuing the student a new Form I-20 for the reason of reinstatement.
  • The student will be responsible for properly filing for reinstatement with USCIS. The student must intend to pursue a full course of study at the next available term or within five months, whichever is earlier, at the transfer-in school (8 CFR 214.2 (f)(16)(i)(C)).
  • The student must begin to attend the transfer-in school in the next available session even if USCIS has not yet adjudicated the application for reinstatement. If USCIS denies the reinstatement application , the student must depart the United States.
  • Get an Initial Form I-20 from the new school. The student must exit the United States and return as an initial entry in a new F-1 nonimmigrant status (initial admission). A student who chooses this option must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. The student will also lose credit for any time accumulated toward qualification for benefits such as optional or curricular practical training (CPT).

If the student’s visa is valid, the student does not need a new visa if returning to the United States within five months of the exit date. If the student has a Terminated record because of a failure to maintain status or has violated any provision of the INA, as amended, the student may be denied re-entry to the United States under §212(a)(6)(G) of the INA, as amended.

I appreciate you taking the time to rate my answer as I am not paid a salary and only get paid upon you rating my answer.

Judith

Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 7 months ago.

I put a good deal of time and effort into providing you a professional answer which included citation and link to the ICE website regarding your issue.

I appreciate you taking the time to read my answer.

Judith

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