UCLA Extension

Vacation & Travel Rules: Certificate Program International Students

Break from Full-Time Study

You can take a vacation quarter after completing any three consecutive quarters of full-time study at UCLA Extension.

Example: Vacation Eligibility

If your first quarter at UCLA Extension is spring, you will enroll full time during the spring, summer and fall terms and will become eligible for vacation in the winter. If you enroll in 12 units of courses that winter instead of taking a vacation, you will still be eligible for vacation the next quarter. If you elect to take spring as a vacation quarter, you will not again be eligible for vacation until the following spring.

You do not have to take vacation. But you may not take two vacation quarters together after completing six quarters of full time study—only one vacation quarter at a time is allowed. You may not take the quarter following your final quarter as a vacation quarter.

Before taking the quarter off, notify your International Student Office (ISO) counselor that you plan to take a vacation quarter and that you intend to return to study in the subsequent quarter. You are required to maintain your health insurance coverage during your vacation.

Traveling within the United States

You can travel within the U.S. while having a valid student F1 visa; please follow these rules during travel:

  • Carry a government-issued photo-ID. If you travel by air, you will have to pass extensive security checks. If you don’t have a California Driver License or ID, take your passport and I-20 with you to prove that you are in the U.S. in lawful visa status.
  • Examine travel guides and other common resources to plan your trip.
  • Check with your own nation’s department of foreign affairs or Foreign Ministry regarding travel tips within the United States.

International Travel

  • Obtain a travel signature from an ISO counselor every time you leave the United States.
  • Come to the ISO for your travel signature at least one week before you plan to travel. Bring your passport and I-20 with you to your appointment.
  • Know the date you plan to re-enter the U.S.
  • Make sure your passport is valid for 6 months beyond your re-entry date, your F1 student visa is valid and current, and your I-20 is current with a program end-date beyond the date of re-entry.

The ISO will authorize travel if you are in good academic standing, have not yet completed your program, and your health insurance coverage is current.

  • If you visit Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean Islands other than Cuba for less than 30 days, you must:
    • Check to see if you need a visa issued by Canada or Mexico to travel. Examine the websites of the local Mexican Consulate or Canadian Consulate.
    • Have a valid passport.
    • Check if your F1 student visa has expired. Traveling to these nearby places on an expired visa is generally OK, except for Mexico.
    • Have an I-20 with a travel signature.

Renewing Your F1 Student Visa

If your F1 student visa has expired or if you were granted only one entry on your visa and you elect to travel, before returning to the U.S. you will have to go to a U.S. consulate or embassy, preferably in your home country, and apply for a new visa.

You cannot renew your visa in the United States. Although you can apply for a new visa in a third country, if the visa is denied you will not be allowed to re-enter the U.S. You will have to return to your home country from the third country. Applying for an F1 student visa.