Row of international flags

Occasionally you may need to take some time off from school. Whether it is taking a semester off while you are on-track, returning home for an emergency or illness, or if you have decided to withdraw from school permanatly you should always remember you have two types of status to maintain:

  1. Your student status at BYU-Idaho
  2. Your immigration status, which is your eligibility to be in the U.S. as a student

While the two are interdependant, they are maintained separately. For example, a deferment will allow you to take a semester off from BYU-Idaho, but that same deferment will cause you to lose your immigration status if you don't meet eligibility criteria for an annual vacation. Remember, if you are in doubt or have a question, please see International Services before you make decisions that could affect your status.


A deferment is granted by BYU-Idaho Admissions and allows you to skip your regular on-track semester without taking classes.  This protects your school status, but does not automatically protect your immigration status. Deferment forms can be obtained in Admissions or from the Admissions website. 

Annual Vacation

Immigration allows you to take a semester off after you have completed two full academic semesters.  This is part of your immigration status and is mostly taken during your regular off-track semester.  It can be used in conjunction with a deferment as described above.  (New students who begin in the middle of their assigned track may take the regular off-track as their annual vacation after only one semester, but this is only for the first off-track semester.)


If you plan to withdraw from school, you should inform International Services so we can process your immigration status properly.  If you decide not to return to BYU-Idaho and do not inform us, then we will cancel your status with a "Failure to Enroll" rather than a "Authorized Early Withdrawal."  Both of these will cancel your immigration status, but a "Failure to Enroll" implies a failure to comply with immigration requirements and you could find yourself being questioned about it each time you enter the US. If you defer a semester and plan to be outside of the US for more than five months, we are required to cancel your I-20.  If you inform us we can cancel the I-20 using "Authorized Early Withdrawal" as the reason.   

If you have any questions regarding deferment, vacation, or withdrawal please schedule an appointment with an International Service advisor by calling or emailing our office. Contact information is available on the bottom of the page.

To schedule an appointment please call: (208) 496-1320

or email:

International Services Contact Info:

Office: Manwaring Center 276

Phone: 208-496-1320


Hours: 8 AM - 5 PM