If you have any questions about the information below, please contact the Office of International Student Services at Immaculata University at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 484-323-3933.
You may wish to acquire a valid driver’s license, which is needed to drive a vehicle in the United States. If you have a Social Security number, you may use that to apply for a Pennsylvania driver’s license. If you do not have a Social Security number, a letter of rejection from the Social Security Administration is required. If you have an international driving license, it is valid for one year and may be renewed annually.
The nearest Motor Vehicle Application Centers are located at Frazer/Malvern, Lincoln Court Shopping Center or 2101 Swede Road, Norristown. You may call 1-800-932-4600 for more information.
As an international student, you may be living on a limited budget. Therefore, it is important that you manage your money carefully. Exercise care in spending money until you have become accustomed to the value of the dollar.
It is unwise to carry large amounts of cash. The U.S. is largely a “cash-less” society. Purchases are made by check or credit card. It is possible to write a check almost anywhere in the community with a University ID card or a driver’s license.
Having a checking account at a commercial bank is a convenient way to handle finances. Many banks are located close to campus, and the Office of International Student Services can provide a listing of local banks. The bank will ask for your Social Security number, and if you have not as yet received one, you may request a W-8 form.
Health insurance is required by U.S. law. Coverage must include accident and illness, medical, hospitalization, and emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of remains. You must provide proof of coverage to the Office of International Student Services upon arrival in the United States.
If you do not have your own medical insurance, you may request a brochure from the Office of International Student Services or may apply directly online at www.InternationalStudentInsurance.com or call toll free USA (888) 247-1387.
Student Secure provides insurance for international students as well as for those who study abroad.
International students and the law
As an international student, you are subject to American laws except those pertaining to immigration, voting rights, and citizenship; you are also protected by American law. Should you come into conflict with the law, the first people to contact are the director of Safety and Protection and the director of International Student Services. They will let you know whom to contact next, either a lawyer or another responsible person.
If you violate the rules of the University and are disciplined by suspension or dismissal from the University, your status changes – you are no longer a student; you have not maintained status as a student under the immigration laws; and you can be deported for that reason. You cannot be deported for violating a University regulation, but you can be deported for not being a student.
It is important to have several forms of identification with you. Your Immaculata University ID card is an important form of identification which can be used on and off campus. In order to cash a check, you may be asked to show two forms of identification.
If your visa has expired and you plan to travel outside the U.S., or if you changed your visa status while in the U.S., you will need to obtain a new one at an American embassy or consulate abroad, preferably in your home country or in the country you are visiting. In case of the latter, be prepared to have a waiting period, since documentation needs to be supplied by the embassy or consulate where your first visa was issued. You must have an endorsed I-20 form. A letter from the international student adviser certifying your full-time student status is also useful. It is not possible to revalidate your visa while you are in the U.S.
F-1 students who plan to travel outside the United States must see the designated school official (DSO) to obtain an endorsement. The endorsement is made on the I-20. When returning to the United States, you must present a valid SEVIS Form I-20 with the DSO's signature showing that you are active and in good standing with Immaculata University.
If you plan to study at a new school, you must notify the international student adviser at Immaculata University. You must also contact the international student adviser at the new school to ask about their transfer procedures. Current USCIS regulations require all F-1 students to register with the international student adviser at the new school within 15 days of beginning attendance in order to complete the USCIS transfer process on time. Failure to do so will result in the loss of legal F-1 status.
If you complete a degree at one U.S. institution and plan to pursue another level of education at another institution, you must apply for the transfer of your immigration status to the next school, even though this is not considered a transfer for academic purposes. The I-20 of the new school should be issued within 60 days after you complete your studies at the current/previous institution. If you are an F-1 student transferring to Immaculata University, you must complete a Transfer In form and also have it completed by the international student adviser at the school you last attended with a request to release the record in SEVIS.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allows students in F-1 status to apply for a program extension under certain circumstances. If you have continually maintained status and your completion dates will be delayed due to valid academic or medical reasons, you may request an extension. You must apply for an extension of your program prior to the completion date on the Form I-20. If you anticipate that you cannot complete the program by the end-date, you should contact the international student adviser at least two months before the current end date.
Students who have fallen out of status may have the opportunity to be reinstated by applying to the Department of Homeland Security Service Center. To be eligible for reinstatement, you must:
Not have engaged in unauthorized employment
Not be in deportation proceedings
Not have been out of status for more than five months (unless due to exceptional circumstances)
Not have a record of willful violations
To seek reinstatement, you must provide the following documents to the international student adviser:
Letter to USCIS from the student requesting reinstatement and explaining how the violation of status resulted from circumstances beyond your control
A copy of Form I-94
The current, original Form I-20
A check or money order in the amount of $340 to USCIS
A copy of the certification of finances
Applications are made by mail and normally take from six to eight weeks for a decision.