F-1 and J-1 students are allowed to travel during Summer and semester breaks (including spring break, fall break, and holidays). The Office of International Affairs will not approve travel for students during the academic semester (when classes are in session) unless it meets the criteria for emergency travel. Please note that there may be country specific travel restrictions in effect and in some places routine U.S. visa services have been suspended or delayed.
If your visa is expired, delay travel until you have booked an appointment with enough time to renew your visa.
Please continue to visit our COVID-19 page for information on travel restrictions and entry to the U.S.
Students who wish to travel during semester breaks must be enrolled full-time for the next semester, submit a Request for Travel Authorization and travel with the required documents listed here (minimum required documents).
Students who wish to renew their visas, should visit the U.S. Department of State's website here to determine visa wait times. Please note that airlines frequently cancel flights. Our staff cannot guarantee your return to the U.S.
It is important that students and scholars understand the risks of international travel. If you do decide to travel and are unable to reenter the U.S. you can:
- lose your assistantship (Graduate students cannot hold assistantships while they are outside the U.S.)
- lose scholarships and/or on-campus employment
- be unable to complete your degree program (not all classes are offered remotely)
- lose a semester of eligibility for OPT and/or CPT
- owe rent even that you may be legally bound to pay even if you are abroad
- be required to reapply for admission - Students who skip a major term (Spring or Fall), are required to apply for readmission.
Graduate students, especially those with assistantships, should carefully review all information on the Graduate School's website here.
If you decide travel, please carefully review the Study in the States link here to ensure that you travel with the appropriate documents.
Travel Authorizations: If an international student wishes to leave the U.S. and return, they must complete the Request for Travel Authorization, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and drop off their SEVIS I-20 to the DGE at least 8 days prior to their departure and no sooner than one month prior to their departure so that our staff can generate the travel authorization. The process takes 2-3 business days. Our office requires both a departure and return date for all students who travel. While travel authorizations are valid for 12 months, our office requests that you submit a Request for Travel Authorization to email@example.com each time you exit and plan to reenter the country. Please note that students must be registered full-time (9 hours graduate students and 12 hours undergraduate students) for the next semester in order to receive a travel authorization.
Withdrawal from UL Lafayette: If you will not return to the University, please fill out the Withdrawal Form and return it to our office or email it firstname.lastname@example.org. Please make sure you have dropped your classes for the next semester.