Vacation Policy and Travel Guidelines

Vacation Policy and Travel Guidelines

HOFT Institute offers a full program of study year-round.  You may take a vacation AFTER you finish 2 consecutive full-time semesters, and ONLY if you intend to enroll the following term. A vacation can be taken for up to 15 weeks or 105 days. In all cases, a nonrefundable $250 tuition deposit for the next term will be due before your vacation begins.

In the case of a medical leave of absence, the student must present a verifiable doctor’s diagnosis/letter stating the condition and expected length of leave needed. This should be presented before the leave of absence is to occur. A determination will be made by the ESL staff and management. HOFT Institute will consider leave not to extend beyond 50% of the term for which the student is enrolled.

In all cases, an extended absence whether it be for a leave of absence or vacation may require retesting upon reentry into the program.

If you plan to leave the United States and then return to continue studying at HOFT Institute, the third page of your I-20 MUST be signed or you may not be able to re-enter the country. Talk to the ESL Program Coordinator if you have questions.

After completing your studies at HOFT Institute, you have 60 days to depart from the United States or transfer into another school.

Travel Advisory F-1 Students

What do I need to travel abroad?

  • Contact your country’s Consulate to determine what travel precautions they suggest.
  • Contact the U.S. Department of State website to view travel advisories: http://travel.state.gov
  • Make sure your Visa and Passport will be valid when you return to the US and you have a recent signature on the third page of your I-20 (within the last year)
  • Speak to the ESL Program Coordinator if you have any concerns about travel or if you are not maintaining your F-1 status. 

What documents do I need to take with me when I travel?

  • Passport, Visa, I-94 Card (this is usually stapled into your passport)
  • I-20 signed for travel by the ESL Program Coordinator within the last year

In addition, we recommend that you carry:

  • Letter of Enrollment (obtained from the ESL Program Coordinator)
  • SEVIS Fee Receipt
  • Proof of financial support (a personal bank statement, sponsor letter)

Do I need to renew my visa if I travel abroad?

If your F-1 visa has expired, you will have to apply for a new visa to re-enter the U.S.

  • Please speak with the ESL Program Coordinator before you leave the U.S. to apply for a visa renewal.

What if I travel to Mexico, Canada or the Caribbean?

If you plan to travel to a country that is contiguous (*) to the U.S. (but not Cuba!) and you intend to stay there less than 30 days and will not apply for a new U.S. visa, you may re-enter the U.S. on an expired visa stamp (this regulation is known as Automatic Visa Revalidation).

How does Automatic Visa Revalidation work?

When traveling to a contiguous (*) country, keep your I-94 card with you upon exiting the U.S. Tell the immigration official at the port of exit (border) that you intend to stay outside the U.S. for less than 30 days and that your U.S. visa is expired. Make sure to have your I-20 signed by the ESL Program Coordinator before you travel and present that document along with your valid passport, I-94, and expired visa to re-enter the U.S.

Automatic Visa Revalidation is not guaranteed.

(*) Saint Pierre, Miquelon, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, The Windward and Leeward Islands, Trinidad, Martinique, or other British, French or Netherlands territories or possessions in, or bordering, the Caribbean Sea.

HOFT Institute ESL Program

2400 Pearl Street Austin TX 78705
(512) 472-6666 | English@hoft.edu