International students who need to take a leave of absence or withdraw from The New School must complete a Student Exit Form, which is available from academic advisors. You may take an official leave of absence for no more than one academic year and return to The New School without academic penalty. You will not need to reapply for admission. If you take a leave of absence for more than two semesters, you may be treated as if you had withdrawn.
If you withdraw from The New School, you are permanently separated from the university. If you want to return to The New School after withdrawing, you must reapply for admission through the Office of Admission. Contact your academic department for more information.
Neither leave nor withdrawal apply if you finish your program of study more quickly than expected. In that case, you complete your program of study, and this section does not apply.
The Department of Homeland Security has its own rules regarding leave that are separate and distinct from the university rules. When you take an official leave of absence or withdraw from the university, your non-immigrant status becomes invalid and you must leave the U.S. within 15 days of the effective date of the leave. Your 30-day grace period does not apply, because you are taking a leave or withdrawing from your program early. (The only exception to this rule is a leave of absence for valid medical reasons documented by medical providers and approved by International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS).) Please see an International Student Advisor to discuss your situation.
If you leave the U.S. for more than five consecutive months, you will need to restart your J-1 status with a new SEVIS record.
You will not be able to return to the U.S. in J-1 status while classes are in session if you are not currently enrolled. For example, if you will return to the U.S. to resume classes in the spring semester, you cannot return until after the last day of classes of the previous fall semester.
Contact ISSS immediately to discuss this requirement if you are taking a leave of absence in your senior year.
You must bring a copy of the Exit Form to ISSS after it has been signed by your academic department.
You have 15 days from the date ISSS receives and date-stamps the Exit Form to depart from the U.S. Make sure you do not overstay!
Make sure you have a Travel Signature that is not more than 9 months old when you plan to return to the U.S. If necessary, you can send your I-20 to ISSS via courier service at least one month before your planned arrival to the U.S.
You will continue to receive email and automatic alerts from ISSS, since you will still be an active student. Please check your New School email address regularly.
Requests for a leave of absence due to medical reasons must be accompanied by a letter from a physician (licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or licensed clinical psychologist) that clearly indicates that you are not able to be enrolled in classes in the current semester.
While you are on medical leave, you can remain in the U.S. in J-1 status.
Medical leave authorization must be renewed each semester. After an aggregate of 12 months of medical leave, your I-20 will be terminated and you should depart from the U.S. If you wish to resume your studies, you will need to apply for a new I-20 and leave and re-enter the U.S.
Please speak to an ISSS advisor about your circumstances.
Students intending to return from an authorized leave of absence who have been outside of the U.S. for more than five months must submit the following documentation to obtain an updated I-20 before resuming studies at The New School:
International Student and Scholar Services72 Fifth Avenue, 3rd floor (Map)ISS@newschool.eduPhone: 212.229.5592Fax: 212.229.8992
Change Address (PDF)
Directions from Airports (PDF)
Important Documents (PDF)
ISSS Check-in (PDF)
New School Welcome Guide (PDF)
Replacing Lost or Stolen Documents (PDF)
Travel Signatures (PDF)