If you have been approved for a leave of absence by Northeastern University and you are ready to return to your studies, it is important that you work with OGS to update your SEVIS record or to request that a new SEVIS record be created for you. All F-1 and J-1 students must follow both University processes and OGS processes in order to resume studies at Northeastern follow a leave of absence.

I am Returning from a Medical Leave of Absence (MLOA)

  1. Students who wish to return from a MLOA must first apply and be approved for re-entry to Northeastern by University Health and Counseling Services (UHCS). 
  2. Once you’ve received approval for re-entry from UHCS, you must work with OGS to request an updated Form I-20 or DS-2019. 
    • If you were approved for a Medical Reduced Courseload (Medical RCL) and have an Active SEVIS record, please contact OGS to confirm that your immigration record does not need any adjustments. 
      • To schedule an appointment with a DSO or ARO please call 617-373-2310 or visit our front desk. You may also email the DSO/ARO that you worked with when your Medical RCL was approved. 
    • If your SEVIS record was terminated and you departed the U.S. for the duration of your MLOA, you will need to work with a DSO or ARO to determine your eligibility to request a new Initial I-20 or DS-2019 or to request the Reactivation of your SEVIS record. Please review the information found in the sections below. 

I am returning from a Non-Medical Leave of Absence (NMLOA)

All students who wish to return from a NMLOA must contact OGS to determine your eligibility for Reactivation or for an Initial I-20. Not all students are eligible for Reactivation, so please reach out to OGS if you have any questions about eligibility!

 

Return from a LOA via Reactivation

Students who have been outside of the U.S. for less than 5 months may be eligible for Reactivation, a process during which the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) "reactivates" an eligible student's SEVIS record after a temporary absence.

Overview 

F-1 Students who have been outside of the U.S. for less than 5-months and who were terminated for Authorized Early Withdrawal (AEW) may be eligible to request the reactivation of their SEVIS record. It is important to note that reactivation is adjudicated by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and is never guaranteed.

Process

  1. Approximately 60-days prior to the start date of the academic term in which you will resume classes, you may submit the OGS e-form Return from Non-Medical Leave of Absence less than 5 months
  2. OGS will review your eligibility for Reactivation. If eligible, OGS will submit a letter to SEVP on your behalf to request the Reactivation of your SEVIS record
  3. If your SEVIS record is successfully Reactivated, OGS will send you an updated I-20 that you may use to enter the U.S. no earlier than 30-days prior to the term in which you will resume classes.  
    1.  If your Reactivation is denied by SEVP, you must request a new Initial I-20. Please follow the instructions for this process below.
  4. If your visa has expired, apply for a new F-1 visa
  5. You must enroll in a full-time course load with appropriate on-ground presence in the term for which you return, even if you return for the summer.*
    • *If you are returning from a leave of absence and only have 1 course remaining, you may be eligible for a final term reduced courseload. Please consult with an OGS advisor to ensure the maintenance of F-1 student status.

If you have any questions regarding your return from a Leave of Absence or Reactivation, please contact OGS to schedule an appointment by calling +1-617-373-2310. You may also email the advisor that you worked with on your Leave of Absence request. 

Returning from a LOA with a New Initial I-20/DS-2019

Students who have been outside of the U.S. for more than 5-months must request a new Initial I-20/DS-2019

Overview

All students who have been outside of the U.S. for more than 5-months during a leave of absence must request a new Form I-20/DS-2019 from OGS. This I-20/DS-2019 will have a new SEVIS ID and will require you to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee, and also apply for a new F-1/J-1 visa.

Process

  1. Complete the OGS e-form Request for SEVIS I-20/DS-2019 from a Non-Medical Leave of Absence of 5 Months or More
  2. OGS will review your submission and create a new Initial I-20/DS-2019 that will be sent to your Northeastern email
  3. Pay the SEVIS fee online
  4. If your visa has expired, apply for a new F-1/J-1 visa
  5. Complete the OGS Online Immigration Clearance after arrival in the U.S.
    1. Since you will be entering the U.S. with an Initial I-20 you must complete Immigration Clearance so OGS can register your arrival in SEVIS.

Important Reminders

Returning to the U.S. with an Initial I-20/DS-2019 may have an impact upon your eligibility for F-1/J-1 benefits such as Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Optional Practical Training (OPT), and Academic Training. Federal regulations require that students complete at least one academic year (two semesters or three quarters) in order to be eligible for CPT or OPT. Please see the CPT and OPT pages of the OGS website for additional information on eligibility.

Key Resources

Return from Leave of Absence Less Than 5 Months »

This is to request a new I-20 to resume classes after a leave of absence of less than 5 months

Return from Leave of Absence of 5 Months or More »

This is to request a new I-20 to resume classes after leave of absence of 5 months or more taken outside of the U.S.