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Leave of Absence

International Students must take care to continuously maintain the status they were granted by CBP or USCIS. If you need to take a leave from your program of study for any reason, you should contact the Immigration Services Office to discuss how the leave of absence will affect your Immigration Status. Common reasons students take leaves from MCPHS include family or medical issues, pre-requisite issues, study or research abroad, suspension, or visa delays.

Once you have completed all of the appropriate paperwork and the University formally processes your Leave of Absence, the Immigration Services Office can proceed with properly managing your SEVIS Record.
In the event you are suffering from an illness or other medical condition that requires you to interrupt your studies, you may be able to request Reduced Enrollment for Medical Reasons (including complete withdrawal from classes) from the Immigration Services Office. This type of authorization would allow you to legally remain in F-1 Status and seek medical treatment in the U.S. during the time you are not enrolled at MCPHS.
Leaves of absence that are not based on an illness or medical condition require advanced planning with the Immigration Services Office.

Once your leave is processed by the Registrar, you have a few options on how to proceed:

Possible options that will be considered for non-medical leave of absence requests:

- Transfer to another school here in the U.S., which can only be done if you have been accepted to another full-time program of study at a different school.
- File an application to change to an Immigration Status, where eligible, that will allow you to remain in the U.S. while you are not studying (e.g. B-2 Visitor, F-2 or H-4 Dependent status, etc.)
- Depart the U.S. within fifteen (15) days of your SEVIS Record termination (the Immigration Services Office will let you know when your record is terminated).

You should work with the Immigration Services Office to determine the best course of action for your particular situation.
When you are ready to resume your studies at MCPHS, you must submit an online Application for New I-20, no later than 3-4 months prior to your expected return to receive appropriate return instructions. Depending on the date of your SEVIS Record termination, you may only need to reactivate your SEVIS Record or you may need to obtain a brand new SEVIS Record and I-20 entirely.