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Information for Current International Students 

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Important Information for F-1 and J-1 Students

Maintaining Your Visa Status

Student in F-1 Status

F-1 students are responsible for maintaining their status and must comply with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations.  ISSS works to ensure that students are familiar with these regulations and can advise students on any issues related to their visa status.

For a summary of the regulations governing F-1 students in the USA, please see “Responsibilities of International Students”.   

Students in J-1 Status

J-1 students must comply with the Department of State regulations governing the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program.  For guidance, refer to the USciences Pre-Arrival Guide for Exchange Visitors.  

For a summary of the regulations governing J-1 students in the USA, please see “Responsibilities of J-1 Exchange Visitors - Students”.   

Updates to Address, Contact Details, Legal Name, or Major

Federal regulations require F-1 students to report any change of US address, contact details, legal name, or major to the DSO within 10 days of the change. Students should also inform the Registrar’s Office of any changes to address or contact details.


International students must consult  ISSS before accepting any employment or internship opportunities .  All off-campus jobs, internships or training programs (paid or unpaid) require authorization in SEVIS, and must be related to a student’s course of study.  Working without authorization is considered one of the most serious violations of non-immigrant student status status. Students who report working without authorization should expect to have their status terminated, which can cause major problems for future travel and study plans in the USA.

Getting a Security Number (SSN)

Students who find authorized employment must apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) in order to earn money. To apply, students must go to the local Social Security Office in person with the necessary documentation:

  • Letter of employment (for on-campus jobs complete the On-Campus Employment SSN form.)
  • I-20/DS-2019, passport and I-94 copy
  • Application for a Social Security Card (form SS-5)

Traveling Outside the USA

International students should inform ISSS  about international travel plans in advance.  For Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to allow you to reenter the USA, your I-20/DS-2019 must have a travel signature from a USciences DSO/RO that is no older than one year.

Before travelling, check if you will need to renew your visa or passport before returning.  You may not be allowed to enter the USA if your passport will be valid for less than six months into the future.


All students in F-1 and J-1 status must submit forms to the US government for tax purposes every year even if they have earned no money in the USA.  ISSS will contact students with specific information and recommendations for submitting tax documents. For information regarding filing for taxes,click here.

Student Verification Letters

ISSS can provide international students with a variety of verification letters to confirm enrollment at USciences. These letters can be used for many different purposes:

  • Invitation letters for visiting relatives entering the United States
  • Enrollment verification letters stating the current academic status of the student
  • Letters for students applying for Social Security Cards or driver licenses

Campus Facilities and Services

International students should make the most of the facilities and services available to them on campus:

If you are having trouble locating any facilities or services on campus, contact ISSS for assistance.


Bill Keyes
ISSS Program Manager


University of the Sciences
600 South 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495