New students may enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the start date on the I-20. This
would include students who are returning after an absence of 5 months or more outside
of the U.S.
Students who withdraw from school with approval from the International Students Office
have a 15 day grace period to leave the U.S. before they fall out of status. It is
important to inform both the on-campus administrative departments concerned (such
as the registrars office or the graduate school) as well as the International Students
If the student who withdraws from classes does not have written proof of approval
from the International Students Office, then there is no grace period to leave the
U.S. and that student is immediately out of status.
Continuing Students should take their most recent I-20’s with them when they leave
the United States, and make sure that page 3 of the I-20 has a recent endorsement
from the International Students Office. At the time of travel, the signature on page
3 should be no older than 6 months. At time of re-entry to the U.S., the Immigration
Officers normally look for the signature on the I-20.
Students must of course have a valid passport for both their stay inside the U.S.
and for their travel across the U.S. border. Students are also advised to maintain
observance of their visa expiration as well.