F-1 and J-1 students must update an International Student Advisor with any changes to the academic program of study because legal permission to be in the United States in these two statuses rests entirely on continued enrollment in an academic program. Therefore, if a Ph.D. student will not continue in the doctoral program for any reason, he or she must contact an International Student Advisor in ISSS to review the implications of this decision on the F-1 or J-1 immigration status.
Voluntary Withdrawal (no degree awarded)
Students who choose to withdraw from the Ph.D. program must submit a written request (via printed document or email) to the Director of Graduate Studies in their program and to ISSS. They must also submit a Withdrawal Form to the Laney Graduate School (LGS). The communication with ISSS must specifically request an early authorized withdrawal from the F-1 or J-1 program. Upon receipt of this request, the International Student Advisor terminates the immigration record and the student is granted a 15 day grace period prior to departure from the United States. The student is not eligible for any employment authorization following withdrawal from the program of study.
Termination from the Program (no degree awarded)
When LGS terminates an international student following recommendation from the academic program, he or she is required to depart the United States upon notification. Voluntary withdrawal from the immigration status is not a legal option in this case. Therefore, if a student suspects that he or she will be terminated from the program, he or she must consult with an International Student Advisor as soon as possible to fully understand and prepare for the immigration implications of a termination.
Terminating with a Master’s Degree
Some students may have the option to apply for a terminal Master’s degree when leaving the Ph.D. program earlier than expected. A student who plans to apply for a terminal Master’s must contact an advisor in ISSS prior to the change to update the immigration document and prepare for a post-completion employment authorization application or transfer to another insitution (if applicable).