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Taking a Break from Study

If you need to interrupt your studies for a short period of time, please consult with an International Student Advisor early regarding how an absence from studies will impact your F-1/J-1 status.

Quick Re-entry

If you are an undergraduate students and intend to leave for one or two semesters, you may be eligible for Quick Re-entry.

Leave of Absence

If you need more than two semesters, you may need an official Leave of Absence (LOA). Graduate students should consult with their department.

Complete Session Withdrawal

If you need to withdraw from your classes, you will need to complete the Complete Session Withdrawal form.

Medical/Compassionate Withdrawal

If your withdrawal is medical or emotional in nature.

Next Steps

Taking a break from studies will impact your SEVIS record. Here's what you should do:

  1. Discuss and obtain approval for the withdrawal from your academic unit first.

  2. Request signature/approval from the ISSC. We will review the immigration implications.

Once withdrawal is complete, your SEVIS Record/I-20 Certificate of Eligibility will be updated for authorized early withdrawal. Your I-20 will be no longer valid to use. You will be required to depart the United States within 15 days of approval.

Withdrawal and OPT

If you take a break from your study and return later, your OPT clock will be reset. When you return to study, you have to maintain your study and F-1 status at least one academic year prior to be eligible for OPT. If you only have one semester left to complete your degree program, you will not be eligible for OPT.

Returning after Taking a Break from Study

If you would like to return to ASU after taking a break, please email the ISSC at issc@asu.edu at least three months prior to the semester you will be returning.