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Annual Vacation and Temporary Absence


Annual Vacation


In accordance with 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(f)(5)(iii) F-1 regulations permit one annual vacation each year. An annual vacation is a quarter spent in the United States while not registered for full-time credits. You are eligible for vacation if you have completed one full-time academic year (3 consecutive quarters) prior to the vacation and intend to register for the following term. After your annual vacation, you will be eligible for another annual vacation only after completing 3 more consecutive full-time quarters.


Students transferring into Washington University of Science and Technology from another university will be allowed to count prior enrollment towards meeting eligibility for an annual vacation after successfully completing one-quarter at Washington University of Science and Technology. 


To take your annual vacation you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have been enrolled for 3 consecutive quarters for full-time studies

  • Have zero balance at Washington University of Science and Technology or written consent from the financial office permitting leave

  • Intend to register for the quarter following the vacation

To apply for your annual vacation you must do the following:


Please be advised that your annual vacation is not approved until you receive official notice/email from the international students office. 


Temporary Absence


If you are planning to depart the United States during any school session that is not during your annual vacation you must do the following:


  • Submit a written request to the International Student Office along with a copy of your flight itinerary

  • Complete your Leave of Absence Form

  • Have a Designated School Official sign the third page of your Form I-20, and any dependent Form I-20s[1]


[1] F-2 dependents are not required to travel with the primary F-1. F-2 dependents are able to remain in the U.S. without the F-1 as long as the F-1 maintains status and will return to the U.S. after a temporary absence using the same SEVIS ID number.


Students leaving the country for a temporary absence that is not during their annual vacation may only return to the United States within 30 days of the next quarter start date.  Upon return to the USA, you must provide the International Student Office with the latest version of your Form I-94. 


30 days before you wish to return to the United States, you must contact the International Student Office and request to have your SEVIS record set back to active—even if you have already submitted your flight itinerary for return. The International Student Office will request this update from the SEVP Help Desk and will contact you once the request has been approved.  Attempted entry to the United States before your SEVIS record has been returned back to active status may result in denied entry to the country or the issuance of the Form I-515a.


Upon return to the United States make sure to bring the following documents:

  • Valid passport with valid F or M visa (if applicable)

  • Signed Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Status”

  • Proof of financial support

  • Your contact information, including a 24-hour emergency phone number, if necessary

  • Evidence of acceptance to your school, like a recent tuition payment receipt or acceptance letter

  • Proof of paying the I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee


For questions about the annual vacation of temporary absence please e-mail [email protected]

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