Office of Global Services

Leave of Absence/Withdrawal


Withdrawing from Illinois Institute of Technology means that you do not intend to return to your studies at Illinois Tech in the future and that you will be departing the United States.

Leave of Absence means that you intend to take time off from courses and return to your studies at Illinois Tech later. Please note, this reason is not used if you are simply traveling abroad and returning within the same semester. You must contact the Office of Global Services at least three months prior to the date you wish to resume studies. Please see Re-Entry After Leave of Absence below for full details.

Completing your Illinois Tech degree outside the U.S. means that you will not come back to the U.S. as an international student with Illinois Tech, but you will finish your degree requirements outside the U.S. In this case, you will only need to submit the Leave of Absence/Withdrawal form for OGS. Your immigration status will be terminated or completed, and you will only be able to re-enter the U.S. as a student if you have a new I-20 from Illinois Tech or another school. You must meet with Graduate/Undergraduate Academic Affairs and your academic department for permission to approve your Leave of Absence or Withdrawal from the university.

Transferring to another institution in the U.S. is a separate procedure; refer to the Transfer Out page for more information.


Leave of Absence/Withdrawal

  1. Initiate a leave of absence or withdrawal online through the MyIIT portal—look for the “Academic Affairs Channel” under the “Academics” tab.
    GA Degree Works
  2. Submit your "Leave of Absence/Withdrawal" request within the ISSS Portal.
  3. After OGS and university approval, pay all outstanding balances due to Illinois Tech and withdraw/drop courses, if enrolled.
  4. Depart the United States. Your SEVIS record will be terminated per immigration requirements.
    • If you’re not enrolling for the term, you must leave the U.S. by the course registration deadline (add/drop date)
    • After the add/drop date, you must have been enrolled in courses until receiving permission from the OGS adviser; depart the United States within 15 days of receiving approval from the OGS and withdrawing from your courses
  5. If you have taken a leave of absence, follow the procedures for Re-entry After Leave of Absence

Medical Leave of Absence

If you are required to stay in the U.S. for medical reasons, but are unable to take courses as a result, please follow these procedures for a medical leave of absence:

  1. Initiate a leave of absence or withdrawal online through the MyIIT portal—look for the “Academic Affairs Channel” under the “Academics” tab.
  2. Follow the instructions on the Reduced Course Load page for a reduced course load for a medical condition

Re-Entry After Leave of Absence

At least three months prior to the start of the term that you wish to enroll in, complete the following steps:

  1. Request reinstatement through Academic Affairs or Student Support for Chicago-Kent College of Law students
  2. Ensure all academic and financial holds are cleared (you must be eligible to enroll to have an I-20/DS-2019 issued)
  3. Submit a "Re-Entry After Leave of Absence" request within the ISSS Portal.
  4. OGS will provide the new I-20/DS-2019 electronically by email to the student once processed.
  5. You may re-enter the U.S. up to 30 days prior to the start date of the term
  6. All international students returning from a leave: You must check-in with the OGS after returning from a period of absence. Bring your I-20/DS-2019 and passport. There will be an OGS hold on your student account that will prevent enrollment in courses until after you check-in

Note: You must pay the SEVIS fee if your I-20/DS-2019 has a new SEVIS number, and the U.S. Department of State advises students to apply for a new visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy before re-entry if returning from a leave of greater than five months with initial attendance I-20s.

Effect of Leave of Absence on Off-Campus Employment Opportunities

When you re-enter the U.S. with a new Initial Attendance SEVIS Record (I-20/DS-2019), you must meet basic eligibility requirements again. 

For F-1 students, you must be enrolled for one academic year after re-entering the U.S. before becoming eligible for CPT or OPT.  This applies, primarily, to students who have been out of the U.S. for more than five months. While on the leave of absence, you may not re-enter the U.S. for the purpose of maintaining eligibility for OPT or CPT.

For J-1 students, academic training cannot exceed the duration that you have been a full-time student. Taking a leave of absence forfeits any time previously accumulated. With a new initial entry, the accumulation clock resets. While on the leave of absence, you may not re-enter the U.S. for the purpose of maintaining eligibility for off-campus employment.