Academic Withdrawal, Dismissal and Leaves of Absence

Academic Withdrawal

All F-1 or J-1 students are required to be enrolled during Spring/Fall semesters; summer is usually not required unless it is the first semester of enrollment or return after an absence.  If they choose to not enroll or to withdraw in the middle of a semester, the immigration status must end and the student must depart the U.S. within a fixed period of time.  All students who communicate their decision to withdraw while a semester is in session need to be referred to ISSS which must then approve the request to withdraw.  Students who choose to simply not return in-between semesters should also be referred to ISSS.

Deadlines are now in place for students who want to withdraw and then hope to return for the next immediate session (either spring or the 8-week summer session).  These deadlines, along with the withdrawal instructions, may be found here.

Retroactive Withdrawal

As of May 2014 the Student and Exchange Visitor Program informed ISSS that retroactive withdrawals and drops under any circumstances are not permissible.  If an international student is interested in withdrawing they must do so while the semester to be withdrawn is still in session.

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.  ISSS does send an email notification to each student once the dismissal lists are announced, detailing what steps to take and when.

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, usually via the iHawk e-form system. 

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.