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Leave of Absence/Dismissal/Withdrawl
F-1/J-1 visa students must be continuously enrolled full time during fall and spring semesters until the completion of their programs of study. If F-1/J-1 visa students interrupt their studies, their I-20/DS-2019 will become invalid and they will not be eligible to remain in the United States in F-1/J-1 status.
F-1/J-1 students must contact ISS immediately before they interrupt their studies for any of the following reasons:
- The student is planning to request a leave of absence from UTSA during the fall or spring semester.
- The student is being academically dismissed or is under review for academic dismissal.
- The student is planning to withdraw from all of their classes at any point during the fall or spring semester.
The student’s F-1/J-1 status will be terminated in the SEVIS database if they depart UTSA for any of the above reasons. The student will need to request a new initial I-20/DS-2019 and the student will need to pay a new SEVIS fee in order to return to UTSA. The student will need to have a new, valid F-1/J-1 entry visa to return.
NOTE: Undergraduate and International English Program students must reapply for UTSA. Graduate students should contact the Graduate School in order to continue their program.
Exception: Medical Leave of Absence
In the event an F-1/J-1 student suffers from an illness or other medical condition that compels his or her to interrupt studies at UTSA, the student has the option to return to their home country or remain in the United States.
Students must obtain authorization for a medical leave of absence.
Graduate students must first obtain authorization from the Graduate School and then from International Student Services.
Undergraduate students must obtain authorization from International Student Services.
Any student who wishes to remain in the United States must obtain a physician’s letter that recommends the medical leave of absence, with a description of their medical conditions in order to obtain authorization from International Student Services.
If the physician’s letter meets immigration regulations, the student will be allowed to stay in the United States during the semester as long as they register for the following semester. Under immigration regulations, only one year of medical leave of absence is allowed per degree level. Medical leave may be authorized in semester increments only.
- If you have not enrolled during the academic year for any reason other than an authorized medical leave of absence, you will not be eligible for practical training until you have completed one academic year in F-1 status.
- If you have taken a medical leave in the United States, you are not permitted to engage in any employment in the United States until you have been cleared to return to your studies.