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  • Withdrawal or Leave of Absence

    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 If you take a leave of absence for more than two semesters, you may be treated as if you had withdrawn.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.

    Please note

    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.

    Department of Homeland Security rules

    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.

    Personal Leave of Absence

    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.

    Please note

    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.

    Medical Leave of Absence

    You must bring a copy of the Exit Form to ISSS after it has been signed by your academic department.

    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.

    Please note

    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.

    Returning from a Leave of Absence

    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:

    • Completed ISSS Service Request Form
    • Completed Program Extension Request / Program Completion Form (PDF) signed by your academic department or a letter from your academic department stating your eligibility to return with expected date of completion
    • Letter from Director of Student Support and Crisis Management stating your eligibility to return, if the leave of absence was for a medical reason
    • Financial documents showing your ability to pay for the remainder of your program of study
    • For Year 1, funds must be liquid (currently in a bank account)
    • For future years, show how funds will be available (i.e. investments, sponsor's proof of salary, or recent tax documents showing income)
    • If you have a sponsor, submit a new Affidavit of Support completed and signed by your sponsor

    Please note

    • A new SEVIS record will be issued to you, requiring a SEVIS Fee payment.
    • Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy and inquire about whether a new visa is needed.
    • Students are not allowed to return to the U.S. during the semester but may return during the summer or winter breaks.