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International Student Services

Returning to the UW

Returning from a leave of absence has implications on your immigration status and benefits such as CPT and OPT.

Returning Pathways

Pathway 1:
I-20 Reactivation

Eligibility: away from studies only 1 quarter

Effects on OPT and CPT: Eligibility remains the same as it was prior to your Leave of Absence

Next Vacation Quarter: After completing the next 3 quarters of full-time study (including summer quarter, when applicable)

Process: Go through SEVIS Reactivation process. SEVP ultimately decides whether to reactivate your record.

SEVIS Reactivation process

Pathway 2:
New I-20

Eligibility: away from studies more than 1 quarter

Effects on OPT and CPT: Ineligible until you have completed 3 quarters after your return

Next Vacation Quarter: The first summer quarter after your return, unless your first quarter back is summer

Process: Go through Returning Student process. ISS will issue you a new I-20 and immigration record.

Returning Student process