Union University
Union University Dept of Language
International Students

International Student Office

Entry and Exit from the USA

Students may enter the U.S. up to 30 days prior to the start date on their I-20.

Students who withdraw from Union University with approval from the International Student Office have a 15-day grace period to leave the U.S. before they fall out of status. If the ISO does not authorize the withdrawal, the student has no grace period to leave the U.S. and is immediately out of status.

Transfer of Schools

Current international students wishing to transfer should notify the International Student Advisor of the date they wish to transfer and the name and location of the new school at least 2 months in advance.

Upon completion of a degree program, students may remain in the U.S. for up to a maximum of 5 months when transferring to a new degree program. Students who have fallen out of status are ineligible for transfer; they must either apply for reinstatement from USCIS or depart and re-enter the United States with an initial I-20 for a new program.

Extension of Stay

Students mingle in the international student lounge.

F-1 students are admitted to the U.S. for "duration of status" (D/S), which means the amount of time it takes to complete an educational program. If a student must remain in an educational program beyond the date originally estimated for completion of program, he or she must apply for a program extension. The application must be made at least 30 days before the completion date on Form I-20. No extension may be granted if students do not request an extension prior to the current I-20 end date.


F-1 students are allowed to travel inside and outside the United States while studying at Union University. Any F-1 international student who wishes to travel outside the United States must complete the following steps before their trip:

  1. Notify International Student Advisor of plans to travel no less than one month before departure date
  2. Complete Horizon's Travel Registry Application with trip details
  3. Bring Form I-20 to International Student Advisor for signature of endorsement of travel
  4. Bring and carry the following REQUIRED documents for re entry to U.S:
    • A valid passport: must be valid up to 6 months into the future
    • A valid F-1 visa: unexpired, valid stamp for future entries into the United States
    • A Form I-20 properly endorsed for travel by the DSO: A DSO signature on Form I-20 is valid for one year, though an updated signature is suggested prior to travel. When properly endorsed, the student's I-20 will be used for re-entry for the student to attend the same school after a temporary absence from the United States.

    Additional documents that are SUGGESTED by USCIS for re-entry:
    • Proof of Enrollment: can be a transcript or registration record (FREE at Union Station)
    • Financial Information: showing proof of necessary funds to cover tuition and living expenses ( documentation of funding source, maybe personal or family bank statements, affidavits of support)
    • Name and Contact Information of current DSO: Pamela Whitnell, 731-661-5031, pwhitnell@uu.edu

***It is recommended that you make photocopies of your travel documents for safekeeping.