Office of Global Engagement
International Students and Scholars

The primary responsibility of a student in J-1 status is to be enrolled in a full-time course of study. By taking a leave of absence a student is no longer full-time enrolled and this will affect their J-1 status. OISSS is required to appropriately update the student's J-1 SEVIS record when a student takes a leave of absence. If considering a leave of absence, a student in J-1 status is required to contact OISSS as soon as possible.

Types of Leaves of Absence

  • Personal leave of absence
  • Medical leave of absence  
  • Leave of absence for employment purposes
  • Certain types of study away

Departure from the U.S.

During a period of approved leave of absence a student is not allowed to remain in the U.S. in J-1 status and the student is required to depart the U.S. prior to the start of the leave of absence, unless the student transfers their J-1 record to another full-time program or applies for a change of status with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Remaining in U.S. During a Medical Leave of Absence

A student approved for a medical leave of absence, who intends to seek treatment in the U.S. (doctor's note required) during the approved period of leave, may remain in the U.S. with an active J-1 record issued by Brown if the student obtains a Reduced Course Load Authorization from OISSS. J-1 students must maintain appropriate health insurance during the medical leave of absence if remaining in the U.S. for treatment.

Impact of Leave of Absence on Funding

Depending on the source of funding, the student's ability to retain that funding after returning from a leave of absence or even ability to take a leave may determined by the organization providing the funds.

For an extension to your J-1 status, you must apply 30 days prior to the expiration of your current immigration document.
All J-1 students are required to be enrolled in a full-time course of study every academic semester for the entire length of their academic program
When transferring from one school to another school within the United States, you must carefully follow certain procedures to maintain lawful J-1 status.