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Leave of Absence

International Student Services

» Authorized Leave of Absence

International students who will not be enrolling at Chapman University for the current or upcoming term, but plan to continue their studies in a future term, must request a leave of absence through ISS.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for a leave of absence, international students must:

  • Be in good academic and immigration standing.
  • Intend to resume their program at Chapman University in a future term.
  • Depart the U.S. and remain outside of the U.S. for the duration of the leave.
  • Receive approval from their academic advisor and ISS.

Leave of Absence for Less than 5 Months

Should you return to the U.S. to continue your studies within 5 months, you may be eligible for  your SEVIS record to be reactivated. Reactivation allows you to maintain your OPT/CPT eligibility and use the same SEVIS ID number. . You must contact ISS at least one month before the term begins to start the reactivation process. 

Leave of Absence: Longer than 5 Months

If you will be outside the U.S. on leave for more than 5 months, ISS will need to create a new SEVIS record and I-20 form for your return. You will be issued a new "initial" I-20 form and will have to pay the I-901 fee again. Connect with ISS at least one month before the term begins to start this process. 

SEVIS Termination and Departure from U.S.

To be in compliance with immigration regulations, ISS will terminate the student’s SEVIS record with the approved leave of absence for authorized early withdrawal. Students must depart the U.S. within 15-days once this is complete.


International Student Services provides general guidance. Any advice provided to you by the ISS should not be construed as legal advice.

Additionally, due to the fluid nature of governmental interpretation, government agencies such as USCIS/ICE/CBP may change their interpretation of immigration laws/regulations and eligibility requirements for benefits at any time. We will do our best to provide the most current guidance.

Each case is fact-specific and it is advised that you contact an experienced immigration attorney if you have questions regarding your situation.