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Re-entering the US later after classes started


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Hey guys, so briefly, classes at my university start on Aug 20, I will leave the US for a month and will be coming back the US (JFK airport) on Sep 10th , should I be worried? I asked my university's ISS, they pretty much said they're not sure. As far as I understand, there is no official clear policy on late arrival. I just don't want to change my tickets because the soonest date is Aug 18, which shrinks my stay to 1 week, and it's super-expensive.

Just for the record, I'm PhD student and my GPA is above 3.5, if that somehow matters. And I'm planning to take just 1 class (3 hrs) and 3 research hrs for Fall.

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My concern is about arriving to the US late, after the date of the first day of classes which is Aug, 20. Can border security officers retain me because of that? Like just because I'm arriving late?

Edited by oqowa
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This isn't your first entry, is it? You're just coming back from a home visit and starting the fall semester a bit late? I don't think border security will care whatsoever about that. If it's your first entry, I do believe there's a certain period you're supposed to enter within, not too early but also not too late, and I'm not entirely sure what that is (I want to say 30 days, but don't quote me on that). I have to say no one ever cared at all whether I was missing class for travel abroad when I was a student and reentered the US, it didn't come up even once. 

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As others said, if this is not your first entry, then there is no problem at all. 

If this is your first entry on this status, you may get some questions about why you did not enter before your program's start date. The border agent may be concerned that you aren't really entering the US for this academic program since your date of entry means you will miss a ton of classes already. In addition, for some visa statuses (J-1 for sure, not sure if it's required for F-1, international student orientation is a mandatory part of your visa status). However, if you have a good reason, it should not be a big problem (you can always get the mandatory orientation later).

However if this is your first entry and it's weeks after the program starts, your main concerns may be with your own program, not the USCIS!

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