Students in F‐1 status are expected to be enrolled every session or semester until they complete their program of study, unless they are eligible for a legal break (TCALC student) or summer vacation (University students).
If you will not be registered for an upcoming required session or semester due to personal/family/financial reasons and you need to withdraw from classes during an upcoming session/semester your SEVIS record cannot remain in active status and you must depart the United Status. You must apply for an “Authorized Early Withdrawal”.
The only exception that would allow you to remain in the U.S. is if you have a documented medical condition and are approved for a "Medical Reduced Courseload".
An “Authorized Early Withdraw” (AEWD) is a SEVIS event that will safeguard your SEVIS record for up to five months while you are outside the U.S.
An Authorized Early Withdraw is separate from any “leave of absence” request you must make with your academic department. The leave of absence request can be submitted through your TUportal.
Applying for an authorized early withdrawal will involve your academic department (or TCALC if you are a TCALC student) as well as your international student advisor. You should contact your academic department to make them aware of the fact that you will miss a session or a semester. You should follow any directions they give regarding returning to the university.
It is very important that you understand that applying for an authorized early withdrawal involves the termination of your SEVIS record. If you return to resume your classes in the U.S. within five months of your last semester/session of attending classes, we will be able to reactivate your SEVIS record and there will be no break in your SEVIS program.
If you do not request that ISSS re‐activate your SEVIS record, you will not be permitted to re‐enter the U.S. The request should be submitted 60 days before you plan to re‐enter the U.S.
If you return to the U.S. more than five months after receiving the authorized early withdraw, you would need to:
- Apply for a new I‐20 (receive a new SEVIS ID number)
- Pay the SEVIS fee for the new SEVIS ID number
- Be in F‐1 status for an academic year before being eligible for most types of off‐campus employment
An F‐1 student who has been granted an Authorized Early Withdrawal by this office may remain in the United States to prepare to depart the United States for up to 15 days following the withdrawal date noted in SEVIS. If you do not depart within 15 days of the authorization, we will not be able to re‐activate your SEVIS record when you return.
When the Authorized Early Withdrawal is approved, your SEVIS record will be terminated and you must discontinue any authorized employment.
Before applying for the Authorized Early Withdrawal, you must speak with your academic advisor and inform him/her that you will not be registering for the upcoming semester and/or that you will be withdrawing from the current semester. Make sure you are fully aware of the steps you need to take in order to return to Temple University or TCALC to resume your studies. In addition, you must make sure you are eligible to register for the semester you plan to return to before we can reactivate your SEVIS record.
Before you return to the U.S., you must also ensure that your F‐1 visa is valid; if it is not, you must apply to renew your visa. If you need to apply for an F-1 visa during your absence, please provide proof from the consulate/embassy specifying the place, date and time of the visa interview so ISSS can request to expedite the re‐activation of your record.