Travel during a Leave of Absence
If you intend to leave the United States on a leave of absence, you should meet with an international student advisor before your departure to determine whether you will be eligible to return in F-1 or J-1 status in the future. Depending on the duration of your absence from the country, new immigration documents may need to be issued to you to resume your studies.
Absence of more than 5 Months
If you will be absent from the country from more than five months, an international student advisor must report your departure to Immigration and Customs Enforcement by terminating your SEVIS record. You will need to be issued a new I-20 or DS-2019 before you can return to the United States. You will need to pay the SEVIS fee again and apply for a new F-1 or J-1 visa before your return.
Eligibility for Employment Benefits
If you are issued a new I-20 or DS-2019 to resume your studies after an absence of five months or more, you will need to be enrolled full-time for one academic year (three quarters) before you are eligible to apply for Curricular Practical Training and Optional Practical Training off-campus employment benefits.