Leave of Absence

Requesting a Leave of Absence

If you need to take a Leave of Absence (LOA), you will work with both your college/graduate advisor and ISSS. The reason for your LOA determines the approval process and what effects it may have on your F-1 or J-1 status.

For Medical Reasons and Needing to Remain within the U.S.:

Leave of Absence for medical reasons is treated as a Reduced Course Load (RCL) in SEVIS. Students on a medical LOA are not required to exit the United States.

To request an RCL for this reason, please complete an RCL Authorization Form.

For Non-Medical Reasons OR For Medical Reasons, but Leaving the U.S.:

If you will be on LOA for non-medical reasons, or will leave the U.S. while on a medical LOA, you will need to:

  1. Meet with your college or graduate advisor to discuss an LOA.
  2. Submit a Leave of Absence petition for undergraduates or graduates. Please submit the form at least two weeks before the proposed LOA will begin.
  3. Complete and submit the ISSS LOA/Withdrawal Request to ISSS

Once approved, ISSS will inform the appropriate college or graduate department that your LOA has been approved, and then terminate your SEVIS record. If you are an F-1 student, you will have a 15-day grace period to exit the United States. J-1 students will need to exit the U.S. on the date the termination is processed or earlier.


Returning from Leave of Absence

The process for students to return from LOA will depend on how long you are on LOA and outside the United States:

From Medical LOA and Remained within the U.S.

  1. Inform an ISSS advisor via istudent@ucsc.edu that you will be returning from medical LOA.
  2. Contact your college or graduate advisor to reactivate enrollment. You are not required to submit any documentation to ISSS.

From Any LOA and Outside of the U.S. for LESS THAN 5 MONTHS:

  1. Inform an ISSS advisor via istudent@ucsc.edu of your plans to return at least 60 days before your intended date of reentry to the U.S.
  2. ISSS will also need the following information:
    1. An email from your college or grad. advisor confirming eligibility to return to UCSC
    2. Date last attended classes at UCSC
    3. Date you left the US
    4. Anticipated date of return to US
    5. If necessary, date of visa appointment
  3. ISSS will submit a request in SEVIS to return your F-1 or J-1 record to Active status.
  4. Once approved, ISSS will issue you a new I-20 or DS-2019 and you will be able to reenter the U.S. Do not attempt to reenter before you've received the new I-20 or DS-2019. 

From Any LOA and Outside of the U.S. for MORE THAN 5 MONTHS:

  1. Inform an ISSS advisor via istudent@ucsc.edu of your plans at least 2 months before your intended date of reentry to the U.S.
  2. Request a new I-20 or DS-2019 with new SEVIS ID number. Prepare to submit a completed I-20 Request Packet. Your previous I-20 or DS-2019 is no longer valid.
  3. Pay the I-901 SEVIS fee for the new I-20 or DS-2019's SEVIS ID.
  4. Apply for a new F-1 or J-1 visa, if necessary. If your current visa for your previous SEVIS ID is not expired, it is recommended you contact your nearest U.S. embassy/consulate about whether you must apply for a new visa.

F-1 students will not be eligible for off-campus employment benefits until you are in your new status for at least one academic year. J-1 students will not be eligible for Academic Training until you are in your new status for at least one quarter.