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Obtaining Proper Work Authorization


What are the consequences of not obtaining proper work authorization from my DSO?

Your F-1 visa status will be terminated

There are only two ways to regain F-1 visa status:

  1. Depart the US immediately with a new "initial" I-20 from your DSO. You must pay a new SEVIS fee and contact the US Embassy/Consulate in your home country to ask if there is anything you will need to do regarding renewing your F-1 visa or applying for a new F-1 visa. You may then re-enter the US with your new I-20 and a new status. You must immediately report to your DSO for SEVIS registration when you enter on a new "initial" I-20 or else your F-1 status will be terminated again, and you will have to start the process over again.
  2. You must immediately file a Form I-539 (reinstatement application) with the US Department of Homeland Security. Back-up materials including a personal appeal, letters of recommendation from your DSO and/or faculty, etc., as well as any other persuasive documentation should be included. The fee for filing is $290. If you require assistance, our office can provide you with a list of immigration attorneys who have worked with Pepperdine University students in the past. Once you have filed the Form I-539, it may take several months for adjudication. If you depart the US before your application is adjudicated, your application will be voided. If your application for reinstatement is denied, you must immediately depart the United States. Either of these results would require that you follow the procedure in #1 in order to gain re-entry to continue studies.