International Student Services -
Information for Current Students
Click on any of the topics below to learn more.
- Important Information for F-1 Students
- Services for International Students on Campus
Important Information for F-1 Students
F-1 Students Status
F-1 students must comply with Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
regulations, which can be found under Instructions to
Students on page 2 of the I-20 form. For information
on International Student responsibilities please access this link:
Responsibilities of International Students
In order to maintain F-1 Status, International Students must:
- Maintain full-time enrollment at the educational institution
specified on the I-20 form.
- Obtain proper employment authorization before beginning any
type of work off-campus.
- Update address, legal name, or major within 10 days of change
- Check for valid signature of your Designated School Official
(DSO in Students Affairs, International Student Services Advisor)
and proper documentation before traveling outside the United States.
- Obtain a new I-20 prior to beginning a new degree
- Notify the office of International Student Services prior to
beginning a new degree.
F-1 students must obtain proper employment authorization before
beginning any type of work in the United States. Department of Homeland
Security (DHS) considers working without proper authorization documents
to be one of the most serious violations of a nonimmigrant status.
Consult with your DSO or International Students Service Advisor
before accepting an offer of employment or beginning any work.
Employment options while on F-1 Visas:
- Employment on Campus: the F-1 (Academic Student) allows a student
to enter the United States as a full-time student at an authorized
educational institution. F-1 students may not work off-campus
during their first academic year, but may accept on-campus employment
subject to certain conditions and restrictions. After the first
academic year, F-1 students may engage in the following types
of employment: employment on campus, Curricular Practical Training
and Optional Practical Training.
- Employment off campus must be related to the International Student’s
area of study and expertise and must be authorized by the Designated
School Official (International Student Services officer) prior
to the student starting any type of work. For more information
on government regulations about International Students and employment
in the United States please visit: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/students/
- Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a type of off-campus
employment authorization for F-1 students that is directly
tied to the student course work.
- Contact the office of International Student Services
when you are considering a CPT opportunity.
- Have a conversation with the appropriate faculty member
who will be issuing a grade in the course that is determined,
in part, by the off-campus work experience and obtain
the proper guidelines of the CPT requirement for class.
- Optional Practical Training (OPT) (pre-completion or post-completion
of an academic program). OPT is a benefit associated with
F-1 status that allows eligible F-1 students to work in the
United States for 12 months before or after graduation or
completion of degree requirements. The employment the student
accepts must be directly related to the student’s field
of study and correspond to the student’s educational
level. Contact the office of International Student Services
for the application process and the office of Career Services
for resources on employment opportunities.
- Contact the office of International Student Services
in order to start your OPT process.
- This work authorization will require an application
process that can take up to 90 days and has an application
Numbers for F-1 Students
Social Security numbers (SSN) are used to report an individual’s
wages to the government and to determine a person’s eligibility
for Social Security benefits. Students who have accepted their first
employment opportunity must then apply for a Social Security number
Under the current Social Security Administration regulations Social
Security Numbers (SSN) will only be issued to applicants who demonstrate
that this number will be used for employment purposes.
Steps you should follow to obtain a Social Security
- The student needs a letter from the employer
- You will also need a letter from your DSO or International
Student Advisor, a copy of valid I-20, valid Passport, visa
and I-94 card.
- Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5) can be
found at: http://www.ssa.gov/online/ss-5.pdf
- The Social Security Office closest to University of the
Sciences is located at 3901 Market Street, Second Floor, Philadelphia,
- You can call the Social Security Office toll-free at 1-800-772-1213.
This office can answer specific questions from 7 a.m. to 7
p.m., Monday through Friday. Calls are strictly confidential.
Legal Name, or Major within 10 Days of a Change
Federal regulations require F-1 students to report any change of
US address, legal name, or major to their sponsoring institutions
(Registrar’s office or Office of International Student Services)
within 10 days of the change.
Replacing lost or stolen
The Office of International Student Services highly recommends
that International Students carry copies of their personal documents
(e.g. passport, I-20, Social Security card) unless they are doing
official business for which they need original documents. Keep original
documents in a safe place.
- Copies of your passport, visa, social security card, should
be on file at the Office of International Student Services.
- If you have lost your I-20, please contact the Office of International
Student Services as soon as you can. This office will provide
you with a new copy of your I-20.
- If you lost your passport, call or visit your nearest Embassy
or Consulate. To find Passport renewal procedures simply click
the following link to select an appropriate embassy: http://www.state.gov/s/cpr/rls/dpl/32122.htm
- If you lost your Social Security Card:
- Complete an Application For A Social Security Card (Form
- Show documents proving:
- Personal Identity
- Current valid immigration status
- U.S. citizenship (if you have not already established
your citizenship with the Social Security office) or immigration
status if you are not a U.S. citizen.
- All documents submitted must be either originals or copies
certified by the issuing agency. Photocopies or notarized
copies of documents are not accepted.
- Take or mail your completed application and documents
to your local Social Security office. Any documents
submitted with your application will be returned to you
when the replacement card is issued.
Please have the courtesy to notify our office any time you plan
on traveling outside the United States. Our office is located in
Whitecar Hall, as part of the Student Affairs suite on the first
You must have the following documentation if you are leaving and
re-entering the United States:
- A current and valid I-20 with a current travel signature (on
page 3) not older than one year. You cannot enter the
United States with an expired I-20 or an I-20 without current
signature. If your I-20 is lost or stolen contact our
office, International Student Services at 215-895-3135 or email
- A valid F-1 visa. Make sure you check your
F-1 Visa in your passport. You will not be able to enter the
United States without a valid, current F-1 Visa. Traveling on
an expired Visa is not recommended
- If your visa expires when you are traveling, please make a
Visa appointment with a U.S. Embassy in your home country prior
to returning to the United States.
The International Student Services Office provides International
Students with a variety of verification letters, stating a particular
student is currently enrolled in the University. These letters can
be used for many different purposes:
- Invitation letter: for visiting relatives entering the United
- Enrollment verification letters: stating the current academic
status of the student. This letter is used for students who
are seeking to re-apply for a Visa in their home country.
- Letters for students applying for Optional Practical Training
- Letters for students applying for Social Security Cards
- Letters for students applying for a Pennsylvania Driver’s
a PA Driver’s License
- Obtain the driver’s license booklet from a PENNDOT office.
- Complete the form including the section that must be filled
out by a licensed doctor or registered nurse.
- The nurse practitioner or the physician at our Student Health
Center can fill out and sign this form.
- Bring your Social Security Card with you; otherwise, bring
a rejection letter from the Social Security Office.
- Bring two proofs of residency (bank statements in your name,
lease, utility bills)
- Bring your current I-20
- Bring your current Passport and Visa
- Bring your current I-94, the card usually stamped in your
passport, which you receive upon entry to the United States
from the Officer at Customs.
- Take your documents to the nearest PENNDOT office (8th and
Arch Streets, Philadelphia, PA)
- Check out Pennsylvania's
Driver and Vehicle Services Web Site, http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/centers/licenseIDCenter.shtml,
for office hours or for other locations.
For information regarding filing for taxes, contact an accountant
or a tax agency (e.g. H&R Block). Please refer to the Internal
Revenue Service website for information regarding tax obligations
for International Students.
Services for International Students on Campus
This is a program for all incoming international students in F-1
student status, including first year, graduate and transfer students,
to learn about our University services and resources, school norms
and legal immigration requirements. At Orientation, you will
meet personnel from the International Student Services Office, academic
advisors, and administrative staff.
at University of the Sciences
International Students, like all University of the Science students,
have access to free one-to-one writing assistance for course writing
assignments, research papers, dissertation and grant writing, PowerPoint
presentations, and personal statements. For further information
on the Writing Center at USciences please click
- To access English as a Second Language Resources visit this
- Language program opportunities: University of the Sciences
has an agreement with the English Language Center, ELS, located
at Saint Joseph’s University. For information on this
program follow this link: http://www.sju.edu/academics/centers/els/course.html
Provides a wide variety of services to help assist International
Students determine their career path. Career Services offers career
counseling, workshops and programs that will help students prepare
to face their professional futures including interviewing skills,
resume building, as well as resources and information for job searching.
For a listing of events, see the Career
Services Calendar. For information about the Career Services,
click here for general information,
here for career opportunities for International Students sponsored
by Career Services at USciences.
Student Health and Counseling (SHAC)
International Students, like all USciences students, have access
to services provided at Student Health and Counseling (SHAC). All
students can obtain free and confidential healthcare services including
clinical treatment for illness and injury, health education, prevention,
and the enhancement of knowledge about healthy lifestyle choices.
Free and confidential counseling services are also available to
help students resolve personal, emotional and academic concerns.
SHAC is located on the first floor of Whitecar Hall. Click
here for more information about SHAC services.
Health Insurance and Health
University of the Sciences requires all International Students
with an F-1 Visa to be automatically enrolled in the University-
sponsored student health insurance plan regardless of part- or full-time
F-1 Visa students attending USciences with full financial sponsorship
from their government that includes enrollment in a U.S.-based insurance
policy of equal or greater coverage than the USciences plan may
apply for exemption from the above requirement through Student Health
and Counseling (SHAC). Approval is at the discretion of the
University. Applications for exemption must include a copy
of the alternate insurance policy along with documentation from
the student’s embassy liaison stipulating the embassy’s
responsibility for the student’s medical expenses.
Enrollment, waiver and exemption must be renewed annually (prior
to the start of each Fall semester). Additional details regarding
enrollment, waiver and plan benefits may be obtained on the Student
Health and Counseling website.
Health and Immunization Requirements for Entering Students
- University of the Sciences requires all entering full-time
undergraduate and graduate students, including all International
Students, to provide proof of medical clearance to attend classes,
- Up-to-date medical history (completed by student)
- comprehensive health evaluation (i.e. Physical Exam by Physician/
- Documentation by Physician/ Nurse Practitioner (prior to
entering the U.S.) stating proof of all required vaccinations.
- Students who do not submit a fully completed health packet
by the deadline will be charged a late fee and registration
may be withheld until all health requirements are met (completed
health form, physical exam and proof of all required vaccinations).
- An online version of the health packet as well as additional
details regarding immunization and other health requirements
may be obtained on the Student Health and Counseling
Student Academic Support Services
University of the Sciences offers a wide range of services to help
you improve your skills as a student and become a successful, independent
learner. These services are free and include: Colleague Learning
and Study Strategies, Group Tutoring, and Supplemental Instruction.
For more information about SASS please access this
International Students can apply for a tutoring position at Student
Academic Support Services. Tutoring Positions are paid and
the tutoring hours are flexible. For more information on how to
apply for tutoring positions on campus please access
the following page.
Campus and Community
University of the Sciences offers you a wide range of extracurricular
activities, including cultural, social and scientific events, intramural
and intercollegiate athletics, and volunteer opportunities, which
will make your campus life an enjoyable and enriching experience.
- Resources for Current Students: The website below contains
information on resources including the academic calendar, exam
schedule, student handbook, campus life, dining services and
student support services. Please access this link to learn about
the resources available to current students: http://www.usciences.edu/currentstudents.aspx
- Clubs and Organizations: Please access this website to obtain
information regarding Student Government, Religious Organizations,
Honor Societies, Professional Associations, cultural and ethnic
groups, and other groups supported by USciences. http://www.usciences.edu/lifeatusp/clubs
- Recreation and Intramurals: Visit the
Athletic/Recreation Center (ARC) if you need to take a break
from your studies. This center sponsors athletic and recreation
activities on a daily basis. Bring your ID card to access this