General Information about the Process
Students may apply for a medical leave of absence (MLOA) through the University Health and Counseling Services (UHCS). Information on applying for a MLOA can be found at the website of the University Health and Counseling Services . If the University Health and Counseling Service approves an official medical leave from the university, the Office of Global Services (OGS) will be notified by UHCS by email.
NOTE: The information regarding a student’s medical condition is not shared by UHCS with any other office. This information is considered to be confidential. The email notification simply states that a MLOA has been approved.
OGS will authorize the student for a medical leave in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), and will then email the student to notify them that their medical leave has been approved in SEVIS. Students will receive a new I-20 that reflects the authorized medical leave.
Impact on F-1 Student Status
- Students in F-1 status may remain in the U.S. or may leave the U.S. during a MLOA. However, students who live on campus are not permitted to remain in the residence halls while on a leave.
- Students can only be authorized for 365 days of a medical leave. If a medical leave is needed for more than this time, the student will need to notify OGS and make plans to leave the U.S. A new initial I-20 will be needed to return to the U.S. (Please see instructions for obtaining a new initial I-20).
- Students who leave the U.S. during their medical leave may return to the U.S. on their current I-20. You will still need a valid travel signature on your I-20 to return to the U.S. Additionally, if a student has an I-20 that will expire while on a medical leave, the student will need to apply for a program extension to OGS prior to the end date of the I-20. This should be done at least a month before the end date on the I-20.
- A student’s CPT and OPT eligibility are unaffected by taking a medical leave, unless it exceeds 365 days.
- Please click here to apply for an OGS Medical Leave of Absence.