The Division of Global Engagement is strongly discouraging F-1 students and J-1 students and scholars from traveling outside of the U.S. during the University’s semester breaks due to rapidly changing immigration regulations and safety concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Please continue to visit our COVID-19 page for information on travel restrictions and entry to the U.S. Please note that routine U.S. visa services have been affected or suspended in some countries due to COVID-19.
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. Additionally, many airlines around the world are cancelling flights to help combat the transmission of COVID-19. Please note that DGE staff cannot guarantee your return to the U.S.
All students who decide to travel should carefully review the U.S. Department of State's COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and Exceptions page for information about Presidential Proclamations that may impact 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 are still considering traveling, please carefully read through our International Travel During COVID presentation and 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 and bring 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. Our office requires both a departure and return date for all students who travel. Travel authorizations are valid for 12 months. 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.
Quarantine Information for Students Returning to the U.S.
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.