Complete Withdrawal and Leaves of Absence

A leave of absence is when you take a break from your studies for one semester or more. This normally means you must depart the United States. An exception exists when course withdrawal is recommended by a U.S. physician due to a medical condition.

Withdrawing from classes

Before withdrawing from classes it is extremely important to obtain advance approval from OIA. This is done by completing the Notification of Complete Withdrawal from Classes e-form in Atlas.

You should use this form:

  • If you are withdrawing mid-semester during Spring or Fall
  • If you will not enroll for a future Fall or Spring semester

Please note that approval to withdrawal will result in the termination of your SEVIS record for the reason “Authorized early withdrawal”. You must depart the U.S. within 15 days of your SEVIS termination.

Leave of Absence due to a medical condition

If you will withdraw from classes due to a medical condition, you must apply for OIA permission first. This requires a recommendation from a U.S. licensed physician. Learn more »

If approved for a medical leave of absence, you may stay in the United States if you wish. Your SEVIS record will remain active, so you may depart and re-enter the U.S. as needed. Please make sure to inform an OIA advisor of your plans.

Returning to the U.S. after a leave of absence

If your SEVIS record was terminated due to a leave of absence, then you cannot return to the U.S. until you have an active SEVIS record. This requires that you work with an advisor in the Office of International Affairs well in advance of your return.

Absence of less than 5 months

If you were absent from the U.S. for less than 5 months, then an advisor may be able to request that your SEVIS record be reactivated before you return to the U.S. This would enable you to use your current I-20 and visa (if valid) for entry into the U.S.

Reactivation can be requested 60 days prior to your return to the U.S. You must contact an international student advisor to request reactivation of your SEVIS record before returning. If your SEVIS record is still terminated when you arrive at the port of entry, you may not be permitted to enter the U.S.

Absence of more than 5 months

If you were absent from the U.S. for more than 5 months, you will not be able to use your current I-20 for re-entry into the U.S. OIA will create a new SEVIS record for you, and send you a new I-20. This means:

  • You will need to submit updated financial documentation to OIA.
  • OIA will need information from your academic advisor about your expected graduation date.
  • You will need to pay the $350 SEVIS fee again.
  • You will need to apply for a new visa stamp, if the F-1 visa stamp in your passport has expired.
  • You will be limited to entering the U.S. within the 30 days before your I-20 start date.
  • You will need to wait a full academic year (one fall and one spring semester) before gaining eligibility for Practical Training (CPT or OPT).
  • OIA will request copies of your new I-94 and visa stamp upon your return.

To request a new I-20 after a leave of absence, contact us at

Applying for re-admission after a leave of absence

If you have been absent from IUPUI for 2 semesters or more, then you are required to apply for re-admission as a returning student.

If you were forced to take a leave of absence due to academic dismissal, then you will need to apply to your academic school for a reinstatement of your academic status.


If you have questions about how your absence will affect your status at IUPUI, or if you wish to discuss your plans in greater detail, you may call OIA at 317-274-7000 to make an appointment with an advisor, or email an advisor at