F-1 Students: 3 Tips to Maintain Status during Summer Break
Are you an F-1 international student on summer break from a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified school? If so, keep these three tips in mind to help maintain your student status this summer.
- F-1 students are eligible to take an annual vacation after completing a school year at their SEVP-certified school. Talk with your designated school official (DSO) before taking your annual vacation. Your DSO will confirm your eligibility for vacation and sign your Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” if you plan to travel outside of the United States.
- If you are not eligible for annual vacation or are taking your vacation for the year at another time, you must enroll in a full course of study. If you have questions about what constitutes a full course of study during your school’s summer term, speak with your DSOs. They will verify that your class schedule qualifies as a full course of study. If you are taking your annual vacation in the summer but would still like to take classes, you do not need to meet full course of study requirements.
- If your program of study is complete, you must depart the United States no more than 60 days after your program end date listed on your Form I-20. However, you may remain in the United States and stay in F-1 status if one of the following applies:
- You will begin a new program of study during the next available term or within five months, whichever is sooner. This should take place either at the same school or after your DSO transfers your record to another SEVP-certified school. You may take your annual vacation, if applicable, during the time between the end of one program and the beginning of another.
- You engage in post-completion optional practical training, or
- You are on cap gap and your potential employer applied on your behalf for a change of status to H-1B status.
Read our Maintaining Your Status page for more details and talk with your DSO if you have any questions about maintaining status this summer.