Requesting a Leave of Absence

F-1 and J-1 Students must maintain their full-time enrollment at UMass Lowell. If you find yourself in a situation where you must leave the US during an academic session or for an extended period of time, please notify ISSO as soon as possible. At the academic level, this leave is generally called a “Leave of Absence”. ISSO will need to update your SEVIS record to reflect your temporarily leave from UMass Lowell.

Below are two common reasons students may need to take a need to take a semester off or depart the U.S. for an extended period of time:

  • personal/family emergency
  • Home country military requirement

If you find yourself in this situation during the academic semester, please arrange to speak with an ISSO advisor prior to departing the U.S. An ISSO advisor will go over the Leave of Absence procedure. Once an ISSO advisor has determined that a leave of absence is appropriate in your case, you should complete the leave of absence e-form.

Quick facts about leave of absence:

  • Please be aware of University's deadlines for reimbursement
  • Your F-1/J-1 visa status becomes terminated by an ISSO advisor and you have 15 days from the termination to depart the U.S.
  • If you are outside of the US for more than 5 months, you will need to reapply for an F-1 or J-1 visa at your nearest US Embassy
  • Doing a leave of absence may impact future off-campus employment eligibility like CPT or OPT

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

If you would like to return to UMass Lowell after you temporary leave of absence, please submit the Return from Leave e-form.

The Return from Leave e-form will ask for your academic department, academic advisor, a copy of your passport, visa, and new financial documentation (dated within the last 6 months).

We recommend contacting us about your return as soon possible, but no later than 3 months prior to the session start date you intend on returning to.