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Returning to MSU in F-1 Status

F-1 students who have not enrolled at MSU for a semester or more must obtain documents from OISS in order to return to the U.S. Students who have not enrolled at MSU for more than three consecutive semesters, including summer, also must apply for readmission through the Office of the Registrar.


 

Returning to MSU After One Semester Off

If you reported a semester off to OISS using the Notice of Departure for F-1 Students (PDF), you are eligible to apply to reactivate your SEVIS record and I-20. Your SEVIS record and I-20 must be reactivated before you re-enter the U.S. If you attempt to enter the U.S. before your SEVIS record and I-20 is reactivated, you may be denied entry to the U.S. or admitted on a I-515A for 30 days. 

Learn more about entering the U.S. and the I-515A

Step One

In order to return to the U.S. for the next semester, you must submit the I-20 Reactivation Request Form (PDF) and required documents no more than 60 days before the start of the next semester.

Step Two

You must have a valid F-1 visa to enter the U.S. If your F-1 visa has expired, you will need to apply for a new visa at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate. 

Learn more about applying for an F-1 visa

Step Three

Enter the U.S. in F-1 status.

Step Four

Update your U.S. Address and Telephone Number in StuInfo

Learn how to update your address and phone number in StuInfo

Step Five

Enroll full-time at MSU. 

Learn more about full-time enrollment requirements

Returning to MSU After Two or More Semesters Off

Students who are outside the U.S. and have not enrolled at MSU for more than five months must request a new I-20 from OISS in order to return to the U.S.

Three months before returning to MSU, complete the following steps:

Step One

If you have not enrolled at MSU for three consecutive semesters, apply for readmission through the Office of the Registrar.

  • If you require university housing, be sure to check the appropriate box in the readmission application.

Step Two

Complete the F-1 I-20 Request Form for Students (PDF)

 

  • The reason for requesting I-20 is Replacement of Terminated I-20
  • You must provide funding information (bank statements, assistantship letter, funding letter from a sponsor) in the amount listed on the I-20 Request Form under Minimum Funding Requirements for Issuance of I-20
  • If funding is provided by individual or individuals other than the student, the student and the individual funding the student must complete the OISS Affidavit Of Support
  • Email all documents to oiss(at)msu.edu and write "Attention Krista Smith" in the subject line

Step Three

OISS will email you with information regarding shipping options once your I-20 has been processed. OISS will mail your I-20 to you.

Step Four

Once you receive your I-20, pay the SEVIS fee online.

  • Print your receipt of payment

Step Five

You must have a valid F-1 visa to enter the U.S.

  • Contact the U.S. Embassy/Consulate nearest you and ask if it is necessary to apply for a new visa. You should ask this even if your previous F-1 visa is still valid. Follow the embassy/consulate's advice.

Learn more about applying for an F-1 visa

Step Six

Enter the U.S. in F-1 status.

Step Seven

Update your U.S. Address and Telephone Number in StuInfo

Learn how to update your address and phone number in StuInfo

Step Eight

Enroll full-time at MSU. 

Learn more about full-time enrollment requirements

Step Nine

Check-in at OISS within 3 days of arriving in the U.S. to complete the government check-in process. 

Bring the following documents with you to OISS:

  • I-20
  • Passport
  • F-1 Visa