If I take a leave of absence for the fall, what are the impacts to my SEVIS status?
If you are a current student planning to take a leave of absence, we will need to end your current I-20 for the period of leave. You will need to later apply for a new I-20 with updated financial documentation to return to the U.S. to continue your studies. You cannot stay in the U.S. during your leave. You will have to pay a new SEVIS I-901 fee for the new I-20, and your eligibility for practical training (Curricular Practical Training – CPT, and Optional Practical Training – OPT) will be reset. This means you will not be eligible for CPT and/or OPT until 1) after you return to the U.S in your new F-1 status and 2) you are re-enrolled full-time for two full semesters (one academic year) after your return. Students who are close to graduation should consider this carefully. You will not be eligible for post-completion OPT if you restart your status with less than two semesters remaining of required coursework.