Leave of Absence
Depending on eligibility, students may wish to file for Leave of Absence. Please refer to appropriate link below:
- Undergraduate students -
The Undergraduate Student Leave of Absence assists and encourages students to return and graduate after a one or two semester absence from campus. Students with this status need not apply for or pay readmission fees, and may register for classes during their priority registration period. For more information, see the UA General Catalog.
- Graduate students -
Graduate students must refer to website below to review times of absences and continuous enrollment requirements. For more information, check the Graduate College website.
All international students in F1 or J1 status are required to meet with International Student Advisor as part of processing their paperwork.
Outside the US but enrolled at UA
Students considering participation in a UA Study Abroad program with enrollment at UA must with ISS advisor to ensure proper handling of documents. Depending of duration and type of program will determine how your I-20 is handled and if additional remarks are needed to be made on your document to ensure your return and discuss US visas. UA also handles National Student Exchange program allowing students to study at other US universities for a period of time while maintaining UA enrollment. We encourage all students to enhance their academic programs through such educational opportunities.
Graduate students who have completed all coursework and are conducting research or doing field study often do so outside the US. Before departing, please see and ISS advisor to discuss your plans, enrollment requirements to maintain your F-1 status, and any impact of eligibility of your F-1 status. Choosing to remain enrolled full time while outside the US versus choosing to be less than full time will be discussed for full understanding of your immigration options.
Withdrawing/leaving UA and not completing degree
There may be many reasons that you may decide or choose to leave the UA prior to completing your degree. If you are not transferring to another US institution, you must fill out an Authorized Early withdrawal form with ISS. ISS will then terminate your I-20 and you must plan to leave the U.S. within 15 days. Failure to NOT get approval from Designated School Official (DSO) in ISS will result in a negative termination reason and there is no grace period in which to leave the US. If a student plans to return to the University of Arizona at the start of the next semester, he or she should request a new “Initial” Form I-20 (new SEVIS ID will be assigned) approximately 4-5 months prior to a new program start date. If students plan to return to UA beyond the next full semester, ISS advisors will consult and refer to appropriate Admissions offices regarding this process. Meeting with an ISS advisor will assist you in ensuring proper handling of your immigration, time frame for departure, and if necessary, referral to appropriate offices for your later return.
Authorized Early Withdrawal Form must be filed prior to student’s departure from the U.S. in order to properly end his or her F-1 status. Failure to do so may negatively impact student’s future entry to the U.S. Students must consult with an ISS advisor prior to a departure.
Note 1: Student must not continue any employment beyond the Form I-20 termination date
Note 2: Student will be subject to SEVIS I-901 fee if he or she returns on a new initial Form I-20
Note 3: Student will not be able to apply for a practical training (CPT/OPT) until he or she enrolls for two semesters after return
Note 4: If a student files for leave of absence due to severe illness, he or she may be qualified for medical full-time exemption. In this situation, a student should consult with an ISS advisor before filing for a leave of absence to discuss eligibility.
Graduating before Form I-20 expires
If your Form I-20 is valid beyond your graduation date, please see an ISS advisor so that we can appropriately shorten your Form I-20. You still will have 60 days in which to depart the U.S. or change your immigration status. Failure to inform our office may result in your status being terminated for “Failure to Enroll” for the next semester. If you have applied for OPT, then you need not inform us as we have already processed the necessary paperwork. As you prepare to graduate, be sure that your Bursar’s account is paid in full and that you have updated your address in UAccess.
Your diploma will be sent to the location that you have listed as your permanent address. Most international student's permanent addresses are in their home country. Therefore, that is where your diploma will be sent. If you do NOT want your diploma sent to your home country, please go to student link and create a new address and indicate its type as 'diploma'. You should create your diploma address before the semester is over.