International students who are interested in taking an academic or medical leave of absence from the University of Colorado Boulder should be aware of the F-1 regulatory restrictions and requirements. In most cases, a non-immigrant student cannot remain in the United States in F-1 visa status if s/he is not enrolled full-time.

  • An F-1 international students taking a leave of absence from CU (withdrawing from all classes during the fall or spring semester) must either leave the United States, apply for a change of status to another immigration classification, or transfer their SEVIS records to another school.
  • F-2 dependents must also leave the U.S. or apply for a change of status to another immigration classification if the F-1 is on a leave of absence.

For information about CU Boulder's withdrawal policies, please review the Office of the Registrar’s Leave of Absence webpage and Withdrawal webpage.

Graduate/Law/MBA Students

In addition to applying for an immigration leave of absence, you must also apply for an academic leave of absence from the Graduate School if you will withdraw from or not enroll in classes for a fall or spring semester. Graduate students who do not apply for a leave of absence will be discontinued and must reapply to the university in order to return to CU Boulder.

Before you initiate the formal CU Boulder leave of absence or withdrawal process with the Office of the Registrar, you must consult with ISSS and receive an immigration-based approval for the leave of absence.

NOTE: If you are having medical issues and are considering taking a leave of absence, please talk with an ISSS advisor about Medical Reduced Course Load requirements.