Leave of Absence

Maintenance of lawful F-1/J-1 student immigration status is contingent upon full-time enrollment. If a student withdraws from studies, takes a leave of absence or is suspended, the student's permission to remain in the U.S. in student status is void.

If the student notifies ISSS prior to the official separation (withdrawal  or suspension) from Babson, the student is permitted 15 days to depart the U.S.; otherwise, the student must leave the U.S. immediately.

 To maintain lawful status, a student must take one of the following actions:

  • transfer immediately to another DHS-approved institution

  • apply immediately for a change of immigration status 

  • leave the U.S. immediately

If the student chooses to transfer, ISSS will release the student's SEVIS record to the new school.  If you have reason to believe you may take a leave of absence, withdraw or be suspended from Babson, please contact ISSS to discuss your options before the leave of absence or suspension become official.

Entry to the U.S.

If you wish to make short-term, temporary visits to the U.S. during the period that you are on leave, suspended or withdrawn from the University(except if on an ISSS approved medical leave), you should not enter in F-1/J-1 status but rather on a different visa, such as a B-2 visitor's visa. You may enter in student status only if you are returning for the purpose of resuming your studies.

Medical Leave of Absence

The exception that allows an F-1/J-1 student to stay lawfully in the U.S.  without transferring to another school or changing immigration status is an authorized medical leave of absence. In addition to approval for a leave by Babson's Office of Academic Services, a student must also receive ISSS approval BEFORE withdrawing from classes.  Determination of a qualifying medical leave is made by ISSS and only upon review of proper documentation.*

*The student is required to provide an original letter from the licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or therapist providing treatment.  The letter should explain that the student is unable to register for coursework for the duration of the leave.  The letter is not required to contain specific details about the medical condition, but it must be on official letterhead and bear an original signature (a fax or e-mail will not suffice).

Immigration regulations stipulate a maximum of only 12 months of medical leave per degree level. While on an approved medical leave of absence, a student's SEVIS record is kept active.  After traveling outside the U.S., a student with an approved medical leave may return to the U.S. using current immigration documents (valid passport, valid F-1/J-1 entry visa and I-20/DS-2019 with a valid travel signature).

While on a medical leave in the While on a medical leave in the U.S., you are not permitted to engage in any student-based employment in the U.S., whether on-campus or off-campus. If you wish to take a leave of absence to pursue employment or any other activities in the U.S., you will have to change your immigration status accordingly and should speak with ISSS about your plans.