Sometimes international students have to take a break for a semester or more, but it affects them differently, when they take the break in the fall and spring semesters. International students are required to attend classes during the fall and spring semesters, and can choose to take (but not required ) classes in the summer semesters.

NOTE: Students taking a leave of absence must be aware that they will need a new SEVIS record, and to the pay the SEVIS I-901 fee again if they are out of the US for more than 5 months.

Procedures for taking a leave of absence:

  1. Inform the international student advisor of your plans to take a leave of absence.
  2. Submit a copy of your flight itinerary (e-mail is fine) noting your departure dates (and return dates), to the international student advisor.
    • You may not stay in the US when taking a leave of absence during the fall and spring semesters. 
  3. Your SEVIS record will be terminated for "Authorized Early Withdrawal" on the date that you depart the US. 

Returning from a leave of absence

A leave of absence for a semester 

  1. If the flight itinerary you submitted to the international student advisor did not include return dates, then please send a copy of your return flight itinerary to the international student advisor.
  2. Select your preferred mailing option to receive your new form I-20.
  3. If you will have been out of the U.S. for 5 months or more by the time you return, a brand new SEVIS record will have to be created for you. You will need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee and/or renew your F-1 visa if necessary.
  4. Contact your academic advisor to get advised for registration for the next semester. This should be in your Banner information.
  5. Check-in at the Center for International Programs as soon as you arrive in Valdosta. Make sure to bring your passport and/or visa, if you received a new one during your leave of absence.

A leave of absence of two or more semesters

  1. You will have to apply for readmission. Please follow the steps noted there.