Academic Withdrawal, Dismissal and Leaves of Absence

Academic Withdrawal

ISSS defines withdrawal as the decision to not enroll with the University of Iowa in a given semester.  Generally all F-1 or J-1 students are required to be enrolled during Spring/Fall semesters with the exception of summer.  If they choose to not enroll or to withdraw mid-semester, they lose their status and must depart the U.S. within a fixed period of time.  All students who communicate their decision to withdraw mid-semester need to be referred to ISSS which must then approve the request to withdraw.  Students who choose to simply not return in-between semester should also be referred to ISSS. 

Retroactive Withdrawal

The options are limited for international students to retroactively withdraw due to federal immigration policy.  Students must be able to show evidence that they were seen/treated by a U.S. M.D., D.O., or licensed psychologist for a medical condition during the time the semester was in session.  If a student is unable to provide such documentation but still wants to retroactively withdraw, the student will lose legal immigration status.  In such cases, please refer students to ISSS to discuss the situation before a retroactive withdrawal is attempted.

Academic Dismissal

When a student is academically dismissed from the University of Iowa, there are immediate immigration consequences.  If you learn one of your advisees has been dismissed, please communicate this information to ISSS and encourage the student to come speak with us so ISSS can review what, if any, options the student may have other than departure from the U.S.

Returning After Leave of Absence

Students who have been absent for less than 1 year from the University of Iowa are not required to be re-admitted.  Instead, those students will need to work with ISSS in order to ensure they have the appropriate immigration documentation to return.  Please be aware that ISSS may contact the academic advisor to determine how much time the student needs to complete his/her program. 

Students who have been absent for more than 1 year from the University of Iowa must apply for readmission.  The Office of International Admissions will issue their immigration documentation.