Temporary Absence

In order for you to receive certain immigration benefits (such as practical training, or work due to economic hardship), you must have been in status for one full-academic year (nine months or two semesters). You may be readmitted to the U.S. to resume study after a temporary absence of 5 months or less without jeopardizing your “time in status.” In other words, you will not need to wait another 9 months before being eligible for INS benefits (as long as you were in-status for one full academic year prior to leaving the country).

Time spent in a yearlong study abroad program can be counted towards the one full academic year of lawful enrollment requirement for practical training as long as you were in status for one full academic year before participating in the program.