If you will be studying abroad for a semester or more, please follow the instructions below to maintain your U.S. immigration record in your absence:
- Consult with your academic advisor or academic department and obtain approval to engage in study abroad.
- Register full-time during your study abroad.
- Undergraduate students must register for at least 12 credits. Graduate students must register for at least 9 credits.
- If you are studying abroad in your final semester and need less than a full-time course load to complete your academic program requirements, please submit a Reduced Course Load request for your last semester of study.
- Complete the Study Abroad Request in iGlobal in order to be issued an updated I-20 with study abroad
- Once the request is approved, you will receive an updated I-20 by email with an electronic signature.
If you will be engaging in study abroad for more than one semester, you must complete the steps above for each semester of your study abroad.
You should use the new I-20, which will have an updated travel signature, to re-enter the United States at the end of your semester or year abroad.
If you are engaging in study abroad in the last semester of your academic program and plan to apply for post-completion OPT, you must return to the United States in F-1 status by the program end date on your I-20 or you will not be eligible for
OPT employment authorization. Your application must received by USCIS
no later than the end of your 60-day grace period.
Check the expiration date of your F-1 visa. If your visa has expired or will expire during your study abroad, you must renew the visa before returning to the United States.
If you are studying abroad in the spring semester, keep in mind that you must still meet tax-filing requirements if you were in the United States at any time in the prior calendar year.