I have started my third year working towards a master’s degree in software engineering. …

… I have just been diagnosed with a serious illness and my health has been steadily deteriorating, which prevents me from doing well in school. My parents really want me to come back home so that they can help me get healthy and strong again. I think that, if I stay with my parents in my home country for a few months, I could come back to continue my study next year. What do I need to do to assure that I comply with immigration regulations and will be able to return next year?


First, you need to discuss your circumstances with your DSO and obtain authorization for early withdrawal from school. With the DSO’s authorization, you can stay in the United States up to 15 more days from the withdrawal date to get ready for departure.

Please note that, if you plan on being absent for five months or more from the U.S., you will need to obtain a new F-1 visa and return as an initial student. Absences of less than five months do not require a new visa. (16.Sep.2013)

Questions frequently reach us from students on a variety of matters. This is a sample question, answered by an attorney in our firm. More information can be found in the student section of MurthyDotCom.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.