Temporary Departure from the U.S.

SEVIS requires notification any time a student temporarily departs the U.S. during all or a portion of the academic year. Consequently, it is extremely important that you consult with an ISSS advisor to discuss your plans before you depart the U.S. either permanently or temporarily.

Please note: Departures from the U.S. over the break periods or the summer vacation period do not need to be reported to ISSS.

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Temporary Absence of Less Than 5 Months During All or Part of Academic Term

  • If you will be outside the U.S. during a term in the academic year, you must report the absence to ISSS prior to departure. ISSS must report this absence in SEVIS, especially if you will not be enrolled.
  • If you wish to enroll part-time and remain present in the U.S. for a portion of the term, you must submit a Reduced Course Load form at the beginning of the term.

Temporary Absence of More Than 5 Months

  • The Department of Homeland Security considers an absence of more than 5 months to be permanent, and DGS requires that the student’s SEVIS record be terminated. This applies to students who are not enrolled or those who did not submit a Reduced Course Load form for the term during which they’ll be absent.
  • You should consult with an ISSS advisor prior to departure to inform ISSS of your intent, departure date, and anticipated return date. This will ensure ISSS can accurately update your SEVIS record.
  • Your I-20 will be canceled if your SEVIS record is canceled. Consequently, you will need to request a new I-20 for your return to resume study.
  • Upon returning to the U.S. to resume study after an absence of more than 5 months if your record was terminated, you will need to satisfy a new academic year full-time requirement before being eligible to pursue Curricular Practical Training or Optional Practical Training.
Last updated: June 9, 2021