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Reminder for All Returning International Students for Fall 2020

March 23, 2020 /

We hope those of you who are traveling internationally are staying safe and healthy! This is an important reminder regarding immigration regulation, so please read carefully.

As you should know, U.S. immigration regulation prohibits F-1 international students from re-entering the United States after an absence of more than 5 months under the same SEVIS record. If you have left the United States, please keep track of your departure date. You will need to return to the U.S. less than 5 months after you departed. For example, if you crossed the border on March 5th, you need to be back in the U.S. no later than August 3rd. After the 5 month period, you will not be able to cross the border on your current I-20, as it will automatically be terminated. If you are not able to return to the U.S. before the 5 month period is over, you will need to notify a Designated School Official (DSO) in the Office of International Admissions. A DSO would issue you a new I-20 with which you would re-enter the country. Keep in mind that if you must enter on a new I-20, you will be responsible for paying the I-901 processing fee of $350 for the new document. If you are a returning student, we highly recommend that you use your current I-20 to re-enter the U.S. to avoid any delays in resuming classes.

To know your required return date, calculate 5 months from the date of your departure from the U.S., and plan to your return travel accordingly. We will be working with Residence Life to ensure that students needing to return early are able to move in. Despite Indiana Tech’s official move in date, exceptions will be made for international students who need to return at an earlier date due to the 5 month rule. Further directions will be sent to you in July for you to notify us of your early arrival (if necessary).

For further clarification on the 5 month rule, please read about the regulation here:

If you have any questions regarding F-1 immigration regulation, please feel free to reach out virtually. You can email your question using the form here: If you would prefer an appointment using video call, please indicate so on the form. We are available for video call appointments during open office hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM-5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time).