Leave of Absences
IMPORTANT: Students taking Leave of Absence should meet with their international student advisor to discuss the impact of the leave on their F-1/J-1 immigration status.
Time away from Princeton
For undergraduate international students, time away from Princeton can be defined as: taking a voluntary leave of absence, an authorized withdrawal, suspension or any other category, in which student choose not to enroll or are prohibited from enrolling in courses at the University. This does not apply to international students participating in a study abroad program.
Any international student with an F-1/J-1 student visa who leaves Princeton and is no longer enrolled at the University is advised of the following:
- You must notify your international student advisor when you plan to take time away from Princeton. Please make an appointment with your assigned advisor to discuss your situation.
- Your current Form I-20 or DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility will no longer be valid as of your withdrawal date and cannot be used for future travel to the U.S.
- Your F-1/J-1 visa stamp in your passport will no longer be valid regardless of the expiration date and cannot be used for future travel to the U.S.
- If you plan to travel to the U.S. after leaving Princeton and prior to readmission to Princeton, you may not use your current Form I-20 nor current F-1 visa stamp; rather, you must enter the U.S. with a tourist visa or a travel entry equivalent such as a waiver of tourist visa (depending upon your country of citizenship).
- An F-1 student who has been granted an authorized leave of absence may remain in the United States for up to 15 days following the official withdrawal date, to prepare to depart the United States.
- Optional Practical Training Clock Starts Again! After returning from a Leave of Absence, in order to be eligible for OPT, you must be an enrolled student for at least one academic year OR two semesters. If you are near the end of your program (i.e., if you have one semester left to complete your program) when you return from a Leave of Absence, you will NOT be eligible to apply for post-completion for OPT.
Returning to Princeton for Readmission
- Contact your Residential College Dean to begin the Academic readmission process.
- Begin the process of obtaining a new I-20/DS-2019 Form for readmission at least 3 months in advance of your planned return to Princeton.
- Notify your International student Advisor in the Davis International Center of your intention to return for readmission and complete the Application for Visa Certificate (AVC) and e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org along with the required documents attached as per the instructions on the form.
- You must use the new I-20/DS-2019 Form to reapply for an F-1/J-1 visa stamp at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy nearest you regardless of the expiration date on your previous F-1/J-1 visa stamp.
- Within 15 days of your arrival on campus to resume studies, you must report to the Davis International Center (87 Prospect Avenue) with your Passport and I-20 Form for an immigration check-in.
- Questions? Email email@example.com