Returning to a Program of Study After Taking a Leave of Absence Outside the U.S. for More Than Five Months.
If you are an F-1 student who left the University of Minnesota, have been out of the United States for more than five months, and wish to return to pursue a program of study, you will need to take the following steps:
- Contact your academic department to make sure your program is still active. If it is not active, you will need to apply for readmission.
- Once you have been readmitted, contact ISSS to let us know that you
plan to return. You will be directed to an F-1 adviser who will
assist you in the process of making the necessary arrangements to
reenter the US and return to the University of Minnesota.
- You will need a new I-20 if you are starting a new program or if you will be continuing in your previous program. To receive a new updated I-20 you must complete the Returning Student Financial Certification Form. Send the completed and signed form to the ISSS adviser who has been assisting you. You can send it by e-mail or fax it to 612-626-7361. (If you send the form by fax, be sure to include at the top of the form the name of the ISSS adviser who should receive it.) If you will be holding an assistantship, you must also include a copy of your award letter.
- The State Department recommends that you apply for a new entry visa at a US consulate – even if your previous entry visa is still valid. Contact the nearest US Embassy for information.
- You must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee before entering the US and present proof of payment to the embassy when you apply for your F-1 visa. See more information on how to pay the SEVIS fee. You will be asked to provide your SEVIS ID#, therefore, you will need to wait until you receive your new I-20 to complete the payment process.
- You may enter the United States up to 30 days prior to the “report-by” date indicated in section 5 of your I-20.
- To reactivate your U of M e-mail account before you return, go to UMN Onestop.
- See dates and deadlines available for registration. Remember to check for any holds that could prevent you from registering.
Upon re-entry, you MUST check–in with ISSS. Failure to do so will result in the loss of your F-1 status. Bring your passport, I-94, and I-20, as well as any dependents’ documents to ISSS during F1 Advising walk–in hours. You can also request to make an appointment if walk-in hours conflict with other obligations. Make sure to identify yourself as a “returning student” when you check in at the ISSS Welcome Center. ISSS has placed a temporary “AI” hold on your record. This hold will be removed after you have checked in and your documents have been processed.