As an F-1 student, you are required to enroll in a full course load each semester in order to maintain your status. Therefore, in order to take a leave of absence from your academic program, you must consult with an international student advisor in ISSS before your leave is officially recorded with your department or school.
Note: If you will participate in an Emory study abroad program or full-time graduate research abroad, you will be considered to be maintaining status. You should contact ISSS to confirm your plans but are not required to complete procedures for a leave of absence.
If you take a leave of absence and spend fewer than five months outside the United States, your international student advisor will reactivate your SEVIS record after receiving confirmation that you have been readmitted to your academic program. Reactivation of the current immigration record means that you will retain any previous time accrued towards eligibility for practical training (i.e. OPT, CPT), do not have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee again, and may use a currently valid F-1 visa for requesting re-entry to the U.S.
If you take a leave of absence of five months or more outside the United States, your international student advisor must create a new SEVIS record when you wish to return to Emory. You must provide new financial documentation to your international student advisor and your school must confirm your readmission before a new SEVIS record can be created. You will also lose any previous time accrued toward the one-academic-year requirement for practical training (OPT or CPT), must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee again, and will need a new visa for re-entry to the U.S.
When returning from a leave of absence, you must first be readmitted to the program through the dean of the school. Following readmission, you must access the Returning From Leave of Absence e-form via ISSS Link, complete the form, and upload scanned copies of the following:
Once ISSS receives all required documents, an international student advisor will issue your new form I-20 and send it to you via express mail. If you have spent five months or more abroad, you must pay a new SEVIS fee online and obtain a new F-1 visa.
You must also complete the immigration check-in process via ISSS Link and upload copies of all immigration documents. ISSS strongly encourages you to attend the ISSS immigration session during orientation, which takes place at the beginning of each fall and spring semester (see Pre-Arrival and Orientation).
For more information on school contacts for leave of absence and readmission requests:
Goizueta Business School
Undergraduate BBA: Contact Libby Egnor, director of BBA admissions.
Graduate Programs: Contact Brian Mitchell, associate dean of the full-time MBA program, regarding leaves of absence. If you are returning to GBS, contact Amy Bentley in the MBA program office.
Candler School of Theology
Contact Shelly Hart, director of academic administration and registrar
Laney Graduate School
Contact your department’s director of graduate studies and Dean Lisa Tedesco. Additional information on withdrawals and leave-of-absence procedures are located on the Laney Graduate School website.
School of Law
Contact Celeste Katz, assistant dean for student records for assistance on leave-of-absence requests and/or readmission.
School of Medicine
Contact Marvell Nesmith, associate director of registration and student affairs in the Office of Medical Education and Student Affairs.
Rollins School of Public Health
Contact the Assistant Directors of Academic Programs for your program of study.
Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing
Contact Sabrena Brown, associate director for student services. The leave of absence request form and the readmission request form are located on their website.