International students under F-1 status enrolled at USU who would like to take an annual vacation during their program must have completed two academic semesters (one year) of studies and be in good academic standing. Annual vacations can be requested for either 8-weeks (one session) or 16-weeks (one semester). Annual vacations are not mandatory at USU.
During an Annual Vacation, students are still in active F-1 status but are not enrolled in courses and cannot participate in CPT. Students are allowed to travel outside the United States given they have the Travel Endorsement on their I-20 but are required to notify their advisor of any international travel.
Annual Vacation Request
- Request the Change in Registration form from the International Student Advisor
- Complete and submit the Change in Registration form to firstname.lastname@example.org at least one month before the requested Annual Vacation date
- On the form, fill out the section that says Other and specify “International Student Annual Vacation”
- In the required written letter, indicate the dates and reason for the annual vacation. The vacation dates should follow the session/semester dates as listed on the Academic Calendar.
During the Session (not Annual Vacation)
International students can travel during the session given that the dates of travel do NOT conflict with the mandatory weekend class seminars. During travel, students are still required to maintain attendance and participate in their courses (no exceptions will be made). Failure to meet the required attendance will result in the student being dropped from the course and withdrawn from USU for falling below full-time enrollment. (See the University Catalog for Vacation and Attendance policies)
Students planning on traveling domestically during the session are encouraged to notify their advisor of their travel plans. Students traveling internationally must inform their advisor of their travel plans.
While on Optional Practical Training (OPT)
International students can travel while on post-completion OPT. However, it highly recommended that students minimize their travel to avoid exceeding the limit of OPT unemployment. Students on approved OPT with pending H1-B applications (or other status applications) should first speak with their employers before traveling internationally.
Travel Endorsement Request for International Travel
To travel abroad and re-enter the United States, a student need to submit his/her I-20 to our office to obtain the required travel endorsement. Once the travel endorsement is obtained on the I-20, a student is able to leave and re-enter the United States.
Students must carry the following documents when leaving/re-entering the US during your travel:
- Passport (valid for six months after you plan to re-enter the US)
- Valid F-1 visa stamp
- If the F-1 visa stamp is expired, students must renew their F-1 visa before re-entering the US
- I-20 (with a valid travel endorsement)
- Evidence of financial support/bank statements (strongly encouraged)
- Necessary visa if traveling to third country (it is the student’s responsibility to ensure they have the required travel documentation for third country travel)
For students on OPT, in addition to the items listed above they should also carry with them during international travel:
- EAD card
- Job offer letter or letter from employer verifying current employment and travel plans
To request the Travel Endorsement, complete the F-1 Student Travel Endorsement Request form and submit the current original I-20 (including any dependent I-20s if applicable) to the Office of International Affairs.
Upon return from international travel, students must come to campus in person to check in within 15 days of re-entering the US. Students will need to bring with them their passport, visa, and print out of your updated Form I-94 to check in.