LoA- Leave of Absence

U.S. Immigration law allows students to return F-1 (student) visa status if they remain outside the U.S. for a period of less than 5 months AND resume classes the next available semester AND arrive no earlier than 30 days period to classes beginning for the semester for which they intend to enroll. MSU policy for returning students further states that you may need to re-apply for admission and provide MSU with updated financial support documents (bank statement and statement of financial support). The following would be required from most students in order to return to the U.S. in F-1 status within 5 months:

If LoA occurs during FALL semester:

Complete LoA form prior to departure

  1. Return to the U.S. between December 11, 2015 and January 11, 2016 (if your SEVIS record is corrected by December 11, 2015, that is).
  2. You must email Kristina Guinn (KristinaGuinn@MissouriState.edu) by November 11, 2015 to request correction to your SEVIS record.
  3. If you wish to escalate the speed of the request, you must provide me with a visa appointment confirmation or travel itinerary.
  4. Travel with your newest I-20 (please request to have a travel signature prior to your departure).
  5. You may need to re-apply for admission if you were un-enrolled (not attending) classes for one semester.

If LoA occurs during SPRING semester (must return to U.S. AND enroll in Summer classes to retain F-1 status):

Complete LoA form prior to departure

  1. Return to the U.S. between May 7, 2016 and June 6, 2016 (if your SEVIS record is corrected by May 7, 2016, that is).
  2. You must email Kristina Guinn (KristinaGuinn@MissouriState.edu) by April 6, 2016 to request correction to your SEVIS record.
  3. If you wish to escalate the speed of the request, you must provide me with a visa appointment confirmation or travel itinerary.
  4. Travel with your newest I-20 (please request to have a travel signature prior to your departure).
  5. You may need to re-apply for admission if you were un-enrolled (not attending) classes for one semester.
  6. MUST enroll in Summer, 2016 class (3 credit hours minimum).

If you remain outside the U.S for OVER 5 MONTHS, you cannot return with your current SEVIS number. In order to return to the U.S., you will need to provide the following:

Complete LoA form prior to departure

  1. Submit a new application for admission (no fee needed).
  2. Submit new financial documents.
  3. You will also need a new I-20 with a new SEVIS number (you will lose any time you’ve accrued in your present visa status, which means you’ll have to study in the U.S. for two semesters before you can apply for OPT, CPT or any other immigration “benefit”.)

Questions

Prior to your LoA, if you have other questions, please email KristinaGuinn@MissouriState.edu. If you must re-apply for admission, the appropriate Admission Evaluator will be able to respond to your questions concerning the status of your application status and new I-20 status.