Requesting or Returning from a Leave of Absence
This webpage is intended for current international students who wish to take a leave of absence from Stevens.
In some cases, students in F-1 or J-1 status may need to take a leave from the school or cannot return to the US to resume their program due to personal circumstances etc. As F-1 or J-1 status is tied to enrollment verification during spring and fall semesters, not continuing to register for classes will directly impact your immigration status as it would lead to a termination of immigration status. Failure to enroll termination by ISSS office will leave a ‘negative’ mark on student’s status in the future.
If a student decides to take a leave of absence from the school, F-1 and J-1 regulations allow international students to apply for an Authorized Early Withdrawal (AEW) with the ISSS office. An Authorized Early Withdrawal will result in a non-violation termination of your record, and you will have only 15 days to depart the United States.
Students who wish to take a leave during the current semester without completing their program should reach out to ISSS directly for advising via [email protected]. Please do not drop classes in a current semester until ISSS approves in addition to your department/college.
Students who wish to complete the current semester and then take a leave will also need to reach out to ISSS via [email protected]. Typically, students must confirm their plans before the upcoming semester begins and make sure they have exited the US before the first day of classes if they wish to not register in the upcoming semester.
Immigration status is terminated in discussion with ISSS Staff and student must depart the U.S.
International students should reach out to ISSS office for more information and submit the Request to Depart the U.S. Early Form via [email protected].
Additional Information on requesting an AEW/LOA
Taking a leave of absence/AEW may impact future work authorization eligibility such as CPT or OPT
Termination of status may impact future immigration applications, visa issuance abroad and admittance to the US
Academic status is separate from immigration status - students who have questions about their academic status and academic study plan should reach out to their academic department
Undergraduate international students should reach out to the Office of Undergraduate Academics (OUA) and their academic department to discuss taking a leave and not registering for the upcoming semesters in addition to contacting ISSS Office.
Undergraduate students should reach out to the Office of the Registrar, Office of Student Accounts, Residential Life (living on campus) and inform of withdrawing from all classes for the semester to complete necessary form. If a student fails to inform relevant offices, he/she will be responsible for tuition, fees, or other charges.
Graduate international students should reach out to the Office of Graduate Education and their academic department to discuss taking a leave and not registering for the upcoming semesters in addition to contacting ISSS Office.
Graduate students should reach out to the Office of the Registrar, Office of Student Accounts, Residential Life (living on campus) and inform of withdrawing from all classes for the semester to complete necessary forms. If a student fails to inform relevant offices, he/she will be responsible for tuition, fees, or other charges.
Returning from Leave of Absence
Students who previously filed the Authorized Early Withdrawal/Leave of Absence Form with ISSS and wish to return to the U.S. to continue their studies must request to return from the leave of absence and obtain a new, Initial Attendance I-20.
Remember – your previous I-20 is no longer valid, and you will need a new I-20 to re-enter the U.S.
Students can request a Return from Leave of Absence by submitting the following documents to [email protected] at least60 days prior to the semester start date:
I-20 Application Form (Marking Returning from a Leave of Absence as the type of I-20 you are requesting).
Financial Documentation to support your studies
A study plan from your academic advisor confirming the time remaining in your program
Students who have also taken a Leave of Absence from Stevens will be required to obtain approval from the Office of Graduate Academics prior to obtaining the initial attendance I-20 from ISSS
*Students might be required to submit an I-94 Travel History to ISSS as well as part of the return request.
FAQs on Return from Leave of Absences
No, you will receive a new, updated I-20 with a new SEVIS ID Number. Payment of the SEVIS I-901 fee will be required based on the new I-20 and SEVIS ID.
Students must complete at least 2 semesters on campus after returning from the leave in order to be eligible for CPT/OPT. Students who have less than 2 semesters remaining in their program upon the return will not be eligible to apply for CPT/OPT Work Authorization.
No. Students must return only for the next available term (Spring or Fall semester). Students should contact ISSS at least 60 days prior to the semester start date for their initial I-20.
Students who wish to reactivate their previous SEVIS Records must contact [email protected] for more information and eligibility. Please note that ISSS cannot guarantee eligibility or SEVP approval of SEVIS Record Reactivation at any time.