NAFSA Comments On SEVP Draft Policy Guidance On Temporary Absence

October 30, 2013 Download pdf


On October 30, 2013, NAFSA commented on SEVP’s Draft Policy Guidance for Adjudicators 1306-07: Temporary Absence. Public comment on SEVP’s draft guidance is due by November 16, 2013. NAFSA suggested in its comment letter that SEVP revise its draft guidance by:

  • Reproducing the full text of the regulation that is being interpreted by the guidance, so that adjudicators and the public are clear on exactly which regulatory language is being interpreted;
  • Revising the definition of temporary absence to recognize the broader concept of temporary absence described in the regulations and using the term “leave of absence” in this policy guidance and in the annual vacation policy guidance [1306-02] to describe the particular kind of temporary absence that the guidance addresses;
  • Revising the guidance to recognize that many schools have well-established procedures for accomplishing early, temporary withdrawals such that the DSO would be properly informed of a student’s intention to withdraw in a timely manner without the student having to make the request directly to the DSO;
  • Revising the word “readmission” to read “readmission (re-entry) into the United States," to avoid confusion with readmission to an academic program;
  • Explaining the record reactivation adjudication criteria and process, so that the process is transparent and predictable for DSOs and students;
  • Expanding the window for making a correction request to 120 days instead of 60 days;
  • Recommending that the guidance not include the terminology “adjustment of status,” since “adjustment of status” is a widely recognized process unrelated to temporary absence;
  • Specifically addressing F-3 border commuter students while SEVP continues to prepare a proposed rule to govern the F-3 classification.

SEVP is accepting public feedback until November 16, 2013. The draft guidance and instructions for submitting feedback are available at Study in the States. SEVP's broadcast message alerting SEVIS users to this comment opportunity indicated that to comment on the guidance, "e-mail with the title of the guidance in the subject line. Comments for each guidance document must be in a separate e-mail."