Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Leave of Absence

Taking a Leave of Absence (F-1 students)

The following information is important for F-1 students who are making plans to take a Leave of Absence (LOA) from the Institute. You should consult with your Academic Adviser and your International Student Adviser before submitting your Leave of Absence Petition to ensure that your best interests are protected.

Qualifying for an LOA

A student may register for a Leave of Absence for up to two years if he/she has successfully completed at least one semester, is in good academic standing, and all financial obligations due to the Institute are paid in full. In order to begin the LOA process, you will need to pick up an LOA Petition from the Records Office.

Once you have all of the required signatures on the LOA Petition please bring a copy of the completed form to the Office of Student Services to be added to your file.

Departure Guidelines

If you return home or go somewhere else outside of the U.S:

  1. A student in F-1 immigration status has 15 days to remain in the U.S. after the LOA petition has been approved.
  2. If your LOA will be less than 5 months and your F-1 visa will be valid upon your return, you only need a valid signature on your current Form I-20.
  3. If your planned LOA will be 5 months or longer, you will need a new Form I-20 for re-entry into the U.S.

If you remain in the U.S. to:

  1. Transfer to another school

    You are required to have a Form I-20 from the school you will transfering to. In order to maintain you F-1 status, the transfer process needs to be initiated prior to leaving the Institute. You need to report to the new school no later than 15 days after the first day of classes.

  2. Participate in a Paid or Unpaid Internship in the U.S.

    You are required to change your immigration status to accommodate the internship program. Please consult with the supervisor of the internship to see what type of visa is required in order for you to participate in the internship.

    • To change your visa status, you will need to apply for a change of status with the Immigration Services while in the U.S. or apply for a new visa at an U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

    • Once you plan to return to your studies at the Middlebury Institute, you are required to change your status back to F-1 by either re-entering the U.S. on an F-1 visa or applying for a change of status back to F-1 within the U.S.  Please note that no F-1 eligibility for off-campus employment (CPT or OPT) will be given to you unless you have accumulated one-year enrollment in F-1 status.