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Other Visa Issues

Change of Address

F-1 Students must submit their new address to the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) office within 10 days of moving. International Student & Scholar Services will update your new address for The University of Utah and for USCIS. No additional paperwork is required. Use the change of information form (PDF) to update your new information. You must have a residential (home) address and not a business or U of U address. Your address may also be reported via e-mail to ISSS.

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Reinstatement to F-1 Student Status. If you have failed to maintain lawful student status, you will need to apply to USCIS to be reinstated to lawful F-1 status or leave the U.S. and re-enter with a new I-20.

  • Reasons for Failing to Maintain Status

  • Not taking enough credit hours each semester
  • Not being in full-time status for two consecutive semesters before a vacation semester
  • Not informing the ISSS office of a vacation semester by the 15-day deadline
  • Not informing the ISSS by the 15-day deadline when taking less than full time hours
  • Not properly completing your transfer to a new school
  • Not attending the school that issued the I-20 you used to enter the U.S.
  • Not applying for an extension of stay in a timely manner before your I-20 expires
  • Not having a new I-20 updated when you change degree levels such as master’s to Ph.D.
  • Working without authorization or continuing to work after you transfer to another school without a new work authorization

Returning to Lawful Status via Travel

If you are out of status, you may leave the U.S. and re-enter with a new I-20, which indicates Initial Attendance, as well as a new SEVIS identification number. You must apply to the International Student & Scholar Services office at least 2 weeks prior to leaving the U.S. for a new Reinstatement SEVIS I-20 with a new start date.

Reinstatement of Status through the Regional USCIS Office

To be eligible for reinstatement through the Regional USCIS you must:

  • Have been out of status for less than 5 months prior to filing the reinstatement request.
  • Not have a record of repeated violations.
  • Prove the reason you fell out of status was beyond your control.

Please check Reinstatement to F-1 Student Status for details and application procedures.

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Transferring to Another School

If you wish to transfer from from the University of Utah to another school, you must decide on a specific school to attend. International Student & Scholar Services can only transfer your SEVIS record to one school.

When you transfer to a new school, you must check in at the International Student & Scholar Services office at your new school within the first 15 days of the beginning of the semester. Your transfer is not valid and complete until you meet the check-in requirements at the new school, and your new school submits your information to SEVIS. Your new school will issue you a "transfer completed" I-20.

To complete the transfer, you must supply the ISSS office with:

  • A Transfer Request form from the school you wish to attend, including the SEVIS code of your new school.
  • Proof of admission to the new school, such as an Acceptance Letter, to verify you will be attending the new school.
  • If the school that you are transferring to does not have a transfer request form, the ISSS office can complete the transfer with an acceptance letter with the new school's physical address.
  • If you bring a form to our office to be transferred to another U.S. school we will consider you as having decided to transfer to that institution and will transfer your SEVIS record as soon as grades are posted for your current semester.

According to SEVP, "…the student must start attending classes within five months of the last day he or she attended classes or the next available session, whichever comes sooner." International Student & Scholar Services will only transfer your SEVIS record for the next available semester at your new school.

If you are traveling outside the United States between your last semester at the U of U and your first semester at your new college, we strongly recommend you receive an Initial I-20 from your new school instead of transferring your SEVIS record to the new school.

If you are out of lawful F-1 status we will not transfer your record to the new school unless the new school specifically asks to have your record transferred in terminated status.

You will have 15 days from the start of the new schools semester to complete your check in with your new school. Please note that once the transfer has been completed, the University of Utah will no longer have access to your SEVIS record and can no longer make any changes to your SEVIS record for you. Only your new school will have access to your SEVIS record.

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If you are plan to travel outside the United States, you must have a valid signature on the last page of your I-20. This signature is valid for only six months (your I-20 form states that the signature is valid for one year, but customs officers enforce a six-month policy). Bring your I-20 to the ISSS office for an updated signature at least two weeks before you travel. You should also check with the ISSS office to make sure your SEVIS status is still valid before you leave the country.

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Questions and Answers (Q and A)

Q: What are the basic requirements for an F-1 to re-enter the United States?

A: You will need the following documents to re-enter the US:

  • A current SEVIS I-20 endorsed for travel by an International Student & Scholar Services advisor.
  • A current passport (see below).
  • A valid, current visa (see below).

If you have been out of the U.S. for more than 5 months, you may be denied entrance into the country. Should you find yourself out of the country for more than 5 months, please contact the ISSS office.

Q: What if I have an expired passport or one that will expire in less than 6 months?

A: In most cases, when you travel, to enter the U.S., you must have a passport that is valid for at least six months after the date you enter or re-enter. However, some countries have an agreement with the U.S. that allows you to enter on a current passport up to the actual date of expiration. A list of the countries that have this agreement with the U.S. can be found on the Visa Agreement List.

Q: What if my F-1 student visa has expired?

A: Check the visa in your passport to make sure that it is still valid. You can stay in the U.S. on an expired F-1 visa as long as you maintain your student status. If it has expired and you wish to travel, you will need to take your passport and I-20 to an American Embassy or Consulate outside the United States to apply for a new visa before you can re-enter the U.S.

Note: Anytime you travel, you do so at your own risk. Be sure to plan ahead for unforeseen difficulties or inconveniences.

If your visa has expired, you can still re-enter the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean (except Cuba) if you return in less than 30 days. You may still need visas to enter Canada or Mexico, etc. You can check if you will need a visa, or any additional information, on the Canadian Embassy and Consulates in the U.S. web page. There is a Mexican Consulate in Salt Lake City at 155 South 300 West, Suite 300. Their phone number is 801-521-8502.

While you may apply for a new F-1 visa in Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean, it is not recommended. The Department of State recommends that you apply for a visa in your country of citizenship. There is no guarantee that your application will be approved. Please be aware that you may not re-enter the U.S. until your new visa is approved; you may not re-enter with your old visa.

Q: Do F-2 dependents have to travel with the F-1 student?

A: F-2 dependents may travel without the primary F-1, provided that the F-1 has been admitted and maintains good student status. If the F-1 student travels (except for matters of returning to lawful F-1 status), F-2 dependents may remain in the U.S.

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Lost or Stolen Documents

Passport / Visa

  • Report your passport as lost, stolen or destroyed at a local police station.
  • Contact the Embassy or Consulate from your local country of citizenship for the steps needed to replace your passport

I-20 Certificate of Eligibility

Please submit a department letter to the ISSS office stating that your I-20 has been lost and that you are still approved to study in your academic program as well as your projected graduation date. Also include current financial support documentation showing you have enough funding to continue your academic program.

Social Security Card

You can replace your Social Security card for free if it is lost or stolen.

To replace a lost or stolen Social Security card:

Report your Social Security card has been lost or stolen to a local police station.

Complete the Application For A Social Security Card (Form SS-5).

Submit the application and other required documents including current, lawful, work-authorized status if you are not a U.S. citizen.

Take (or mail) your completed application and original documents to the SLC Social Security Office at 175 East 400 South, Suite 500.

Frequentaly asked questions about replacing a Social Security Card.

I-94 Arrival-Departure Record

Students are required to have a valid I-94 card to demonstrate that they arrived in the country legally. If your I-94 card is lost or stolen, please report it at a local police station. Reporting the loss is a necessary step in applying for a new card.

Apply for a replacement of I-94 card (PDF) with USCIS.

Utah Drivers License

Contact the Drivers License Bureau to request a replacement drivers license.

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Last Updated: 2/28/17