If you intend to take a break in studies applying for a Leave of Absence will make it easier for you to return to UB. Learn how to file a request and how it impacts your immigration record.
If you intend to return to UB in the future, applying for a Leave of Absence will make it easier for you to return to UB. If you are approved for a Leave of Absence, you will not need to reapply to UB since your Leave of Absence will preserve your place in your current degree program. The Leave of Absence will also ensure that your UB email address is active during your leave.
Be sure that you request an appointment with your academic advisor before the application deadline.
Undergraduate students are allowed a maximum of four semesters of approved leave during their degree program.
2. Submit your completed Leave of Absence form to ISS by logging in to UB Global.
Graduate student leaves are granted for a maximum of one year, but may be extended for up to one additional year if circumstances warrant it.
Although students are permitted to submit a Leave of Absence request up through the last day of classes of the term in which the leave is to begin, if you are currently in F-1 status you must also follow F-1 student reporting and enrollment regulations to receive an Authorized Early Withdrawal SEVIS termination reason.
Failure to meet these deadlines will result in a SEVIS termination for 'Failure to Enroll' or "Unauthorized Early Withdrawal'. However, you may still proceed with the Leave of Absence request to preserve your place in your current degree program.
If you miss the deadline to apply, then you will not be eligible for a Leave of Absence.
ISS reviews the application, advises you of the immigration implications and submits the application to the Registrar. The Office of the Registrar will decide if your Leave of Absence can be approved.
If you have registered for classes for the semester during which you will be on a leave, you must drop your classes.
Remember: Approval for a Leave of Absence does not mean that your classes are automatically dropped. If you do not drop your classes before the “last day to drop without financial penalty”, you will be required to pay any tuition or fees that you owe. For more information, visit the Student Accounts' website.
Check our e-form processing page for current processing times.
You will receive an email from the Office of the Registrar if your request has been approved or if there is a problem with your application. If you do not receive an email from the Office of the Registrar, you may contact ISS to find out if your Leave of Absence has been approved.
It is extremely important that you understand how a Leave of Absence impacts your immigration status.
In most cases, your SEVIS record will be terminated and your F-1 status will end. SEVIS termination means that you are no longer in F-1 status and cannot use your UB I-20 to re-enter the U.S. until you complete the process to return from a leave of absence.
However, if you are transferring to another U.S. school and have submitted a SEVIS transfer request, or have a Medical Reduced Course Load approval, you are eligible to maintain F-1 status. See additional information below.
Yes. You cannot be inside the U.S. as a student if you are not enrolled in classes. However, there are three exceptions to this rule:
If you do not meet one of the above exceptions, you cannot remain in the U.S. while on a Leave of Absence. If you do so anyway, you will be in violation of your F-1 status.
If you exceed the maximum time allowed on your leave or are not eligible for a leave of absence you must re-apply for admission before you can return to UB. The process will vary depending on your degree level.
You must complete the Re-Entry application and receive admission to UB. Please contact the Office of International Admissions (firstname.lastname@example.org) to request information on Re-entry. If you are re-admitted to UB, the Office of International Admissions will issue you a new I-20. ISS is not involved in the re-admission process.
You must contact your academic department. They will inform you of the procedures necessary to return to UB.
You may not return to the U.S. during a semester in which you are not enrolled.
However, if, for example, you are approved for a 3-semester Leave of Absence and decide to return to UB after only one semester outside the U.S., this will only be possible if there is sufficient time to reissue your I-20 and for you to book your flight, renew your U.S. visa (if needed), etc. Students wishing to return early from a LOA can email TERM-LIST@LISTSERV.BUFFALO.EDU to have their record updated and enrollment appointment assigned.
Please discuss your plans with an International Student Advisor, who will review your plans and determine if there is enough time for you to return.