While in the United States, students in F-1 non-immigrant status must be continuously enrolled full time during the academic year until the completion of their programs of study. If you take a non-medical leave of absence, withdraw voluntarily, or are suspended or required to withdraw from the University, you are required to leave the United States within 15 days of this action. The only exception to these rules is a medical leave of absence.
If you take a leave of absence, withdraw from your program, or are dismissed, you must contact ISSS immediately to discuss your immediate plans and any plans you may have to return.
The only exception that allows you to stay in the United States without transferring to another school or changing to another non-immigrant status is a medical leave of absence. Once your school has approved a medical leave of absence, you must also receive approval from the International Students and Scholars Office. In addition you should provide ISSS with a completed Less than Full Load Authorization form together with a letter from your physician stating your medical condition and advising you are unable to register as a student at the time the leave is granted. If the doctor's letter meets immigration regulations, you are allowed to stay in the United States during the semester as long as you register for the following semester. Under immigration regulations, only one year of medical leave is allowed per degree level and may be authorized in semester increments only.
If you are on a medical leave and depart the United States, you may return using your current documents (valid passport, valid F-1 entry visa and recertified I-20).
For all the above categories, F-1 students are required to depart the United States. Your current F-1 status is "terminated" in the SEVIS database and you will need to request a new initial I-20 to return to the U.S. Apply for your new I-20 by contacting ISSS and following the instructions below.
When you return to the U.S. using your new initial I-20, you must report in person to the ISSS office so that your return to Florida Tech can be reported to SEVIS. Bring the new I-20 and your passport within the first week of your entry to the U.S. This is very important as you will lose your F-1 status if SEVIS is not updated in a timely manner.
To Return to the United States and Florida Tech:
Student must report to the International Student and Scholar Services office upon return to the U.S. to provide copies of your I-20 and any other relevant documents (new F-1 visa if applicable.) Student will not be able to register for classes until those copies are provided.