I am a international student currently pursuing my Ph.D. I am planning on taking a break from my studies due to some personal work and I will be going to India by end of this month. I am planning on coming back to pursue my Ph.D. in coming fall-2020 (mostly to a different university). I will be taking “Authorized Early Withdrawal”.
As I will be staying outside USA for more than five months, I was told that my SEVIS will be terminated.
So, when I come back I will be needing new I-20, new SEVIS record ( I will be paying SEVIS fee again).
But, I do not have any clarity regarding visa. I have received my current F1-visa in Jun 2016 and is valid till Jun-2021.
So, regarding this I have contacted CBP information center and they told me that I do not have to take a new visa again as my visa is valid till 2021 but I do need a new valid I-20 and SEVIS record.
I have even contacted DSO’s of schools I have planned on attending and they gave me the same response as well.
Now, when I contacted the US consulate back in India, they told me that I need to get a new F1-visa before returning back.
I am confused on whom to follow and how to proceed. I would like to know if anyone has idea about this or if anyone can suggest me.