Departure from WOU

All students departing WOU, no matter the situation, need to inform the Office of International Education & Development so that their immigration record can be properly maintained. Failure to update OIED of your departure may cause difficulties in returning the US or even termination of your visa. Reasons for departing WOU may include travel outside the country for personal reasons or your vacation term, transfer to a new school, taking a leave of absence, withdrawing from WOU, and graduation. See each section below for more details.


All students not enrolling full time for fall term (and any term in the future) need to submit departure paperwork no later than the deadline to withdraw from WOU with no grade.

  • This applies to all students departing WOU at the start of the term – including for a vacation term, reduced course load, leave of absence, or transfer out.
  • It does not apply to students who are graduating or withdrawing from WOU with no plan to return in the future.


All Students Leaving WOU Must Do the Following:

  • Submit the appropriate departure form online or in person to the OIED office and meet with an international student advisor.
  • Withdraw from any classes registered for (approval will need to be given from OIED before notifying the Registrar’s office).
  • Verify in Wolf Web or at the Cashier’s office that your account has a $0 balance before leaving. Pay any money owed and make sure to collect a refund for any insurance payment made.
  • If working on campus, notify your employer and give the Payroll office at least 5 business days notice to print your final check. Do not work during these 5 days.
  • If living in the residence halls, students must inform the University Housing office of their departure and properly check out of the room to avoid any fees due to improper check-out.
  • If receiving an ICSP scholarship, contact Ambre Plahn at

Vacation Term

Students may take a vacation term every summer term and/or after they have completed three consecutive terms of full-time study. If a student takes full-time classes during summer term, they may take a vacation during other terms.

When a student plans to take a vacation term during a term other than the annual summer vacation (during fall, winter or spring term), they must fill out the Notice of Vacation Term Form, also available in the OIED office. Meet with an international student advisor if you began taking classes in winter, spring or summer and need a vacation term.

During a vacation term, students may take classes and may be less than a full-time credit load. They may also travel inside or outside the U.S. if they have an updated travel signature.

Travel Information and Forms

Before traveling outside the U.S., students should check that all their immigration and travel documents are up to date.

Travel Signature: Students must get an updated signature on their I-20 or DS-2019 every six months if they will travel outside the U.S. If the signature will be more than six months old when reentering the U.S., a new signature will need to be added.

You must complete the Travel Signature Verification form in the OIED office, at least 2 business days prior to your travel, in order to obtain a new travel authorization signature. Bring your current I-20 or DS-2019, and copies of updated documents to OIED when submitting the form.

Check the Following BEFORE Traveling Outside the U.S.:

  • The expiration date on your passport (and the passports of your dependents) must be valid at least six months after the date you plan to re-enter the U.S. If not, make sure to renew it.
  • The expiration date on your U.S. visa must be valid up to the date you plan to re-enter. Otherwise, you must apply for a visa renewal while abroad. However, if  you travel to Canada, Mexico, or adjacent islands for under 30 days, you may re-enter with an expired visa and it will be automatically revalidated.
  • The date of the travel authorization signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 must not be older than six months from the day when your re-enter the U.S.
  • Many countries require foreign visitors to have a visa to enter their country.  Check with the consulate or embassy of the country that you plan to visit to see if a visa is necessary. Alternatively, you may want to contact the embassy or consulate in your home country. Keep in mind that applying for visas can take months, so check early. 


  • Contact the evaluation department in the Registrar’s office to apply for and confirm graduation at least 3 terms before your expected graduation term. This may require a meeting with your major academic advisor.
  • Contact the OIED office and inform them of your graduation term. If you will take less than full time classes your final term (under 12 credits as an undergraduate student or 9 credits as a graduate student) you will need to complete a Reduced Course Load form at the beginning of the term.
  • During your last term, check with your professors if your grade in the class is passing or be prepared to extend your SEVIS record if you will not graduate by the end date on your I-20/DS-2019. You must file for an I-20/DS-2019 extension before the end date or apply for reinstatement.
  • Complete the Graduation and Departure Form to have your immigration record properly completed.
  • If you plan to apply for Optional Practical Training, Academic Training, change your immigration status, or change education levels (apply to a Masters or PhD program), understand that it may take 2+ months to get approved, so plan ahead and apply early.

Leave of Absence

  • Procedures for returning will vary depending on how long you have been outside of the U.S. Review the Leave of Absence Information Sheet for details.
  • You must be fully aware of your responsibilities over the course of the time you are gone as well as the times when you must be in communication with OIED.
  • Depart the U.S. within 7 days.
Leave of Absence Less Than 5 Months Send an e-mail to OIED at at least 30 days before either (a) your visa renewal appointment if needed, or (b) 30 days before your return flight to the US. Include the following in your e-mail:

  • Your name and student number (e.g. V00….); Your travel situation; Date of your return flight to the US; and Which term you plan to return to WOU
  • Date of your visa interview (if you have one)
  • Date of most recent I-20 travel signature (on page 2)
  • If the I-20 travel signature on page 2 is older than six months, you must provide an address for OIED to mail you a new I-20.
Leave of Absence More Than 5 Months
  • You must apply for an new I-20 with OIED. A new bank statement is required.
  • Pay the $200 SEVIS I-901 fee online at .
  • Contact the US Embassy in your country. Determine whether your visa is still valid or if you need to get a new visa stamp. Usually the visa is considered canceled if you have been out of the US for longer than 5 months.

Return to the US no sooner than 30 days before the Program Start Date on your new I-20. Contact OIED about your plans to return before purchasing plane tickets.

Withdrawal from WOU

  • Contact the OIED office and inform them of your intent to withdraw or take a leave of absence. After the departure paperwork is completed, the OIED office will give permission to the international student to drop any current or future classes.
  • The student must complete an application for withdrawal from the University, obtain the necessary signatures, and return the form to the Registrar’s office.
  • Contact the Cashier’s office to receive any refund of tuition and fees (if during the term).
  • Visit the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for an exit interview.
  • Depart the U.S. within 7 days.

Transfer to Another School

Students who plan to transfer to another SEVIS approved school need to complete certain steps to ensure their immigration record is properly maintained. Start by submitting the Transfer Out Form. You must also bring your admission letter from the new school to the OIED office in order to have your SEVIS record moved to the new school.

  • At the start of the term you plan to transfer, complete the departure paperwork and the transfer-out form.
  • Usually, the new school will require the student and the current international student advisor to complete a “Transfer-In form”. Give the form to the WOU International Student Advisor to fill out and fax to the transfer school.
  • Submit the acceptance letter from the new school to the OIED office by fax, email or drop off in Maaske Hall.
  • If you are funded by the Saudi Cultural Mission, notify them of the transfer and submit the new financial guarantee for the new school to OIED for confirmation of transfer acceptance.
  • Confirm that you will start attendance at the new school by the next available term, or within 5 months of taking full time classes (whichever is sooner).
  • After the transfer release date, you will need to contact your new school to issue a new I-20 or DS-2019. Employment authorization through WOU for both on and off campus ends at this time.
  • Any student holding a J-1 visa who wishes to transfer to a new school needs to meet with an International Student Advisor.



International Office

(503) 838-8425 | or e-mail:  | Location: Maaske Hall 106
arrow up