Authorized Early Withdrawal

If you are an F-1 student and have an emergency that requires you to withdraw from classes and leave the U.S., you may request an Authorized Early Withdrawal (AEW).  If you are considering an AEW during a fall or spring semester, submit the AEW form to the International Student Services Office (ISSO) before dropping classes. Withdrawing from classes without prior authorization is a violation of F-1 status. Upon applying for AEW, your SEVIS record will be terminated. You may request to reactivate your SEVIS record if you are able to return to the U.S. to resume your studies within 5 months.

Please note, the ISSO cannot guarantee the reactivation of your F-1 SEVIS record after termination due to AEW. Reactivation requests are adjudicated by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). SEVP has the discretion to request additional documentation for reactivation requests, including but not limited to proof of enrollment or proof of attendance. Students who request AEW after the first day of classes or did not enroll full-time in the semester they requested AEW have a higher risk of denial. If your reactivation request is denied, you must apply for a new I-20 and F-1 visa in order to re-enter the U.S., and you must re-establish eligibility for benefits such as CPT or OPT.

For further information please read the Authorized Early Withdrawal (AEW) Guide.

Process

  1. Submit a completed AEW request form and a copy of your course schedule for the current and future semester to the ISSO at [email protected].
  2. If you are enrolled, you may withdraw from classes after you receive notification that the AEW has been approved.
  3. Your F-1 record will be terminated 5 business days after ISSO receives the AEW form or from the date you indicate you will leave the U.S.

Implications of AEW

  • Upon termination of the F-1 SEVIS record, all F-1 benefits, such as employment (CPT, on-campus job) cease immediately.
  • SEVIS records of F-2 dependents sponsored under your F-1 will also be terminated.  F-2 dependents in this situation are not allowed to remain the U.S.
  • If you have not already left, you must leave the U.S. within 15 days of the termination date or the next Census Day, whichever comes first.
  • If you do not leave the U.S. within the stated times, you will be out of status and in the country without authorization.
  • If you wish to return to the U.S. more than 5 months later to study, you will need a new I-20. See below for additional information.
  • In order to reactivate your current SEVIS record within 5 months, the ISSO must submit a correction request to SEVP. SEVP has the discretion to deny such request. The ISSO cannot guarantee your SEVIS record will be reactivated.

Early withdrawal from your program may have effects on your academic record.  We strongly advise you to check in with the following offices as well:

Additional information

  • Approval for an AEW only affects your immigration status. The ISSO will not withdraw you from classes, or notify other university offices regarding the withdrawal of your F-1 status. You must take action with relevant offices including the Registrar’s Office, Bursar’s Office, University Housing, scholarship granting office, etc.

Returning F-1 Students

If you left the U.S. after obtaining an Authorized Early Withdrawal (AEW) from ISSO, and you wish to return to the U.S. to continue your academic program, you will need to do the following:

  1. Contact your Academic Department to verify you will be able to:
    a. Return to your academic program and
    b. Enroll in sufficient face-to-face credit hours to maintain your F-1 status
  2. Request a new I-20 from the ISSO. Submit the appropriate request according to how long you were outside of the U.S. as a result of AEW. Count the time from the date you left to the date you intend to return.
Outside U.S. less than 5 months Outside U.S. more than 5 months
Obtaining a Valid I-20. 60 days prior to the next semester start date, submit to [email protected] the AEW SEVIS Activation request form to request a correction of your SEVIS record.

ISSO cannot guarantee reactivation of your SEVIS record.
Submit documents to obtain an Initial I-20.
Next steps. If the correction request is approved, you can use your current I-20 to re-enter the U.S. You may still use the same visa if it is unexpired. Your OPT and CPT benefits eligibility has not changed. You will have a new I-20 and a different SEVIS number. You will have to apply for a new F-1 visa.  You will need to re-establish eligibility for F-1 benefits such as OPT and CPT.
Re-entering the U.S. We recommend you to enter the U.S. no earlier than 30 days prior to the start date of your new semester. You cannot enter the U.S. more than 30 days prior to the program start date on your I-20.You must enter the U.S. no later than the program start date on your I-20.