Requesting Withdrawal or a 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 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 If you take a leave of absence for more than two semesters, then you may be treated as if you had "withdrawn."
If you "withdraw" you are permanently separated from the university. If you want to return to The New School after withdrawing, you must reapply for admission through your Office of Admission. Contact your academic department for more information.
Please note that 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.
However, 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 school, your non-immigrant status becomes invalid and you must leave the U.S. within 15 days of the effective date of the leave. Your grace period (60 days for F–1 Students and 30 days for J–1 Exchange Visitors) 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 ISS.) Please see an International Student Advisor to discuss your situation.
If you leave the U.S. for more than five consecutive months, then you will need to restart your F or J status with a new SEVIS record.
You will not be able to return to the US in F-1 or J-1 status while classes are in session if you are not currently enrolled. For example, if you will return to the US to resume classes in the Spring semester, you cannot return until after the last day of classes of the previous Fall semester.
Contact ISS immediately to discuss this requirement if you are taking a leave of absence in your senior year.
Personal Leave of Absence
- Students must bring a copy of the Exit Form to ISS after it has been signed by the Academic Department.
- Students have 15 days from the date International Student Services receives and date stamps the Exit Form to depart from the US. 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 US. If necessary, you can send your I-20 or DS-2019 to ISS via courier service at least one month before your planned arrival to the US.
- You will continue to receive email and automatic alerts from ISS since you will still be an active student. Please check your New School email address regularly.
Medical Leave of Absence
Students must bring a copy of the Exit Form to ISS after it has been signed by the 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
- While you are on medical leave, you are able to remain in the United States in F-1 or J-1 statuses.
- For F-1 Students, 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, leave and re-enter the U.S.
- For J-1 Students, similar limits apply. Please speak to an ISS advisor regarding your circumstances.
Returning from a Leave of Absence
Students intending to return from an authorized Leave of Absence and who have been outside of the U.S. for more than 5 months must submit the following documentation to obtain an updated I-20 or DS-2019 before resuming studies at The New School:
- Submit the ISS Service Request Form
- Completed Program Extension Completion Form signed by your Academic Department or a letter from 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.
- 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.