Taking a Leave of Absence and the Effect on J-1 Immigration Status
The primary responsibility of a student in J-1 status is to be enrolled in a full-time course of study. By taking a leave of absence a student is no longer full-time enrolled and this will affect their J-1 status. OISSS is required to appropriately update the student's J-1 SEVIS record when a student takes a leave of absence. If considering a leave of absence, a student in J-1 or J-1 status is REQUIRED to contact OISSS as soon as possible.
Types of Leave of Absence
- Personal leave of absence
- Medical leave of absence
- Leave of absence for employment purposes
- Certain types of study away
Departure from the U.S.
During a period of approved leave of absence a student is NOT allowed to remain in the U.S. in J-1 status and the student is required to depart the U.S. prior to the start of the leave of absence, unless the student transfers their J-1 record to another full-time program or applies for a change of status with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
EXCEPTION: Remaining in U.S. during Medical Leave of Absence
A student approved for a medical leave of absence, who intends to seek treatment in the U.S. (doctor's note required) during the approved period of leave, may remain in the U.S. with an active J-1 record issued by Brown if the student obtains a Reduced Course Load Authorization from OISSS. J-1 students must maintain appropriate health insurance during the medical leave of absence if remaining in the U.S. for treatment.
Affect of Leave of Absence on Funding
Depending on the student's source of funding, his/her ability to retain that funding after returning from a leave of absence or even ability to take a leave may determined by the organization providing the funds.