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Leave of Absence Request

About Leave of Absence:
  • A Leave of Absence allows students to take a break of 5 months or less and return to Concordia using the same SEVIS ID number/I-901 fee.
  • Students must depart the US during the Leave of Absence.
  • Leave of Absence is a Termination to the SEVIS record (termination reason is "Authorized Early Withdrawal").
    • As such, students must depart the US within 15 days or the future SEVIS correction to active status will be denied.
    • Students are not authorized to withdraw from classes until the Leave of Absence is processed in SEVIS.
  • Students must be maintaining F-1 status (ie. attending classes, in a semester break, or in annual vacation) at the time the Leave of Absence is requested. 
    • Students attending classes must:
      1. Attend classes
      2. Apply for the Leave of Absence (button below) and wait until it has been processed in SEVIS 
      3. Stop attending classes only after the Leave of Absence has been processed in SEVIS
      4. Depart the US within 15 days of the Leave of Absence being processed in SEVIS  
        • If this order is not followed, the correction to active status will be denied. This information will be asked for by SEVP at the time of requesting the record correction to active. 
  • ISS recommends students request a Leave of Absence whenever possible since this is the only SEVIS termination reason that allows a 15 day grace period to depart the US. All other termination reasons require students to depart the US immediately.
How to Apply for a Leave of Absence:
1. Make an appointment with your academic advisor to talk about the Leave of Absence.
2. Contact your F-1 advisor at ISS to discuss the Leave of Absence in SEVIS. 
3. Click the blue "Apply for Leave of Absence Here" button below, and submit all items.
4. Complete the University Withdrawal Form if you will not attend classes while outside the US.
  • Note: F-1 regulations require students to still be maintaining F-1 status by attending classes at the time the Leave of Absence is requested in SEVIS.
  • Note: If you will take online classes at home, do not complete the University Withdrawal Form.
5. Check your student account to make sure your balance is fully paid.
6. Make sure your I-20 travel signature will be valid on your return date. Contact ISS for a new travel signature if needed.

Note: If you have already started a request, please go to your User Home Page to continue working on your request. Do not start a new request.

How to Come Back to Concordia:
1. Complete the Concordia Application for Readmission online if needed.
  • This only applies to students who have been gone two terms or longer. Summer term is included in this count.
  • If you have been gone less than two terms, contact your Academic Advisor with your planned return date to begin class registration.
2. Contact your F-1 advisor at ISS about your I-20.
  • If you have been outside the US for less than 5 months, your SEVIS record may be reactivated with SEVP approval. Contact ISS at least 30 days before you plan to return to request the reactivation.
    • ‚ÄčSEVP is in charge of approving the correction back to active status. ISS will place the correction request with SEVP.
    • SEVP needs a copy of your travel itinerary back to the US in order to complete the reactivation to active status. This is to ensure students will not have been outside of the US for more than 5 months.
  • If you have been outside the US for more than 5 months, you will need a new initial I-20, new SEVIS I-901 fee, and valid F-1 visa. Contact ISS at least 3 months before you plan to return to request a new initial I-20. F-1 immigration regulations require students to wait one academic year before being eligible for CPT or OPT benefits, so be aware that you will need to wait one academic year for these benefits.