Returning from a Leave of Absence or Termination

International students returning from an authorized leave of absence or returning after a termination due to academic disqualification or suspension must ensure they have a valid I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1) to re-enter the USA to resume their studies at UC San Diego. Please follow one of the two guides below depending on the length of your absence.

 

View most recent Leave of Absence from the U.S. webinar recording here!

 

1. Returning from a Leave of Absence of Less Than 5 Months

J-1 students

If you were approved for a leave of absence for any length of time (regardless of whether it was less or more than 5 months), your SEVIS record was completed and your current DS-2019 is no longer valid.

You must follow these steps in order to re-enter the U.S. in valid J-1 status:

  • At least 30 days before your intended return, request a new DS-2019.
    • Complete a DS-2019 Request Form (select “Returning from Leave of Absence”).
    • Attach required financial support and copy of passport biographical page.
    • Email your request form and all required documents to istudents@ucsd.edu .
  • Your new DS-2019 will be processed within 10 business days and delivered to you via the option you selected on the request form.

 


F-1 Students

If you were approved for a leave of absence, your SEVIS record was terminated due to your authorized early withdrawal. If your leave of absence from the USA is less than 5 months, you may be eligible for a reactivation of your current SEVIS I-20 record. ISPO will submit the reactivation request to SEVIS and SEVIS will either approve or deny the request.

 


SEVIS May Deny Reactivation Requests:

  • If your leave of absence is more than 5 months
  • If you requested the leave of absence after you departed the U.S.
  • If you requested the leave of absence after the start of the leave term
  • If you depart the U.S. after the start of the leave term
  • Note: Students that were academically disqualified or suspended are not eligible for reactivation of the SEVIS record

The 5 months are calculated from the date you departed the USA to the start date of the quarter you intend to return for. You cannot enter the U.S. during the quarter of your leave in F-1 status. If you enter the U.S. in a status other than F-1 during your leave, you will not be eligible to reactivate your SEVIS record.  Instead, you would need to request a new SEVIS record and I-20.

 


Request a reactivation of your SEVIS record:

  • Before returning to the USA, you must submit an I-20 Request Form to istudents@ucsd.edu, requesting a SEVP Data Fix to change your SEVIS Record from Terminated to Active.
    • The I-20 Request Form can be submitted to ISPO up to 60 days before the quarter start date of your returning term. If you do not submit a timely I-20 Request Form, you are at risk of delaying the SEVP Data Fix.
    • Without an approved SEVP Data Fix to change your SEVIS Record from Terminated to Active, you will not be permitted back into the USA.
    • Once your record is changed to Active, we will e-mail you a confirmation and you may return to the USA using the same I-20.

 


Travel Documents:

Make sure that you have a valid travel signature and required travel documents for your travel and re-entry to the USA.

 

Quarter of Departure for LESS than 5 Month LOA:

Quarter of Return from LESS than 5 Month LOA:

Must Submit I-20 Request (SEVP Data Fix Request) to ISPO by:

Fall 2018

Winter 2019 (Start Date: January 7, 2019)

November 01, 2018 - December 07, 2018

 

 


Document Self-Check:

Upon re-entry into the USA, you must complete the document self-check to verify that your immigration documents were processed correctly at the port-of-entry. Learn more here: Document Self-Check

2. Returning from a Leave of Absence of More Than 5 Months or from Terminations Due to Status Violations

Your SEVIS Record was terminated/completed and you may not return to the USA using your current SEVIS I-20/DS-2019. You will need to request and receive a new I-20 or DS-2019 before you return to the USA.

Please follow these steps to successfully return from a Leave of Absence or Termination:

 

STEP 1:

 


STEP 2:

  • Request your new I-20 or DS-2019 3 months prior to the start of your reentry quarter at UC San Diego by sending your I-20 request or DS-2019 request form to istudents@ucsd.edu .
  • F-1 students:
    • If you returning to the USA from an approved leave of absence, then you should select the reason: “Returning from Absence of More than 5 Months”.
    • If you are returning to the USA after a suspension or academic disqualification, then you should select the reason: “New I-20 After Termination”.
  • J-1 Students:
    • If you are returning to the USA from either an approved leave of absence or after a suspension or academic disqualification, then you should select the reason: “Returning from Leave of Absence”.
  • If based on STEP 1, you are required to apply for readmission, then you need to attach to your I-20/DS-2019 request form one of the following items:
    • Verification that you have been approved for readmission
    • WebReg course registration page showing enrollment in the quarter of return 


Sign up for express shipping so we can ship your documents to you via express mail 

 


STEP 3:

  • Pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee upon receipt of your new I-20 or DS-2019. You will need your new SEVIS number to pay the SEVIS fee online
  • Apply for a new US visa (if required). If you have an unexpired F-1 or J-1 visa, contact the US Embassy/Consulate to confirm if you need to apply for a new US Visa. If your visa is not valid, you will need to apply for a new visa.

 


STEP 4: Review the Following Items:

  • You may not enter the US in F-1 or J-1 status earlier than 30 days before start date on I-20 or DS-2019.
  • Review your travel documents: Make sure that you have the required travel documents for your travel and re-entry to the USA
  • F-1 students must be enrolled for one full academic year to be eligible for F-1 Curricular Practical Training or F-1 Optional Practical Training
  • J-1 students must be enrolled for one full quarter after your return to be eligible for Academic Training.
  • If you are returning for Summer Session and your I-20 or DS-2019 has been issued with a Summer Session start date, you must be enrolled full-time for the entire Summer Session. Full-time enrollment in Summer is a minimum of 6 units in SS1, 6 units in SS2 OR 6 units in SS3.
    • If your I-20 has been issued with a Summer Session 1 start date, you must remain enrolled in a minimum of 6 units in SS1 and 6 units in SS2.
    • If your I-20 has been issued with a Summer Session 2 start date, you must remain enrolled in a minimum of 6 units in SS2.
    • If your I-20 has been issued with a Summer Session 3 start date, you must remain enrolled in a minimum of 6 units for SS3.
    • In order to be eligible for an authorized reduced course load, meet with an international student advisor prior to dropping below full-time. During the regular academic year, full-time enrollment is 12 units per term.
  • Review how to maintain your F-1 or J-1 status. You are responsible for maintaining your status for the duration of your stay in the USA.

 


STEP 5:

  • Upon re-entry into the USA, you must complete the document self-check to verify that your immigration documents were processed correctly at the port-of-entry.