Any Student who needs to leave the US to return home for any reason, but cannot finish the semester will need to have their SEVIS I-20 record terminated for Authorized Early Withdrawal. This termination is not because of a violation, it is to notify the US government the student has permission to leave the US early to return home.
Until the termination is authorized in the government database by an international advisor in the Office of International Programs, the student must maintain proper F-1 status (attending class, staying registered, etc…)
Once the international advisor approves the termination, the student must leave the US within 15 days from the date of termination.
If a student wants to return home in the summer, the student does not need to be terminated for Authorized Early Withdrawal as long as they have been in their current F-1 status for one academic year prior to the summer term.
Failure to follow the above rules will result in the student being terminated for a violation of status which can affect their ability to return to the US.
It is recommended the student completes all the steps below in the same day to avoid any complications.
- All tuition, fees, and related charges must be paid on the student’s account before they start the Authorized Early Withdrawal process.
- The student must submit a typed or written letter, or email explaining why he/she wants to leave. Whatever the letter states, the international advisor will submit to the US government.
- The letter must be signed and dated. An email does not need to be signed. Whatever the student writes, he/she may need to provide proof if asked at the US border upon his/her return.
- Provide a copy of an airline ticket that shows the student is returning home. The date of departure from the US must be less than 15 days from the date of termination.
- Once the copy of the airline ticket and letter are presented to the international advisor, the international advisor will provide a letter to the student. The student will submit this letter to the Wilson Advising Center to drop from his/her courses.
- The student will receive a form from the Wilson Advising Center when his/her classes have been dropped, the student will need to submit this form to the international advisor in the same day.
- There is a specific deadline to withdrawal from ASU in order for the student to avoid receiving failing grades. If the student misses the deadline and receives failing grades (which will negatively affect their GPA), the student is still eligible to receive a termination for Authorized Early Withdrawal.
- Once the SEVIS I-20 record is terminated the student has 15 days to leave the US.
Returning to ASU
If a student wants to return to school at ASU and the semester start date is less than 5 months from the date of termination, the student can request the international advisor to reactivate the student’s SEVIS I-20 through the US government.
- This will allow the student to reenter the US with the same I-20 number.
- The student can return to the US no earlier than 30 days before the school start date.
- The international advisor can only request the record be reactivated within 30 days before the school start date.
- It can take the US government up to 3-4 weeks to reactivate the I-20. The school does not have the ability to make this process faster.
If a student wants to return to school at ASU and the semester start date is more than 5 months from the date of termination, the student will need to receive a new SEVIS I-20 with a new SEVIS number.
- The student will need to pay a new SEVIS I-20 fee on the I-20. The SEVIS fee can be paid at www.fmjfee.com.
- Because the SEVIS I-20 number is different than the number listed on the visa, the student will need to contact the US embassy in his/home country to determine if a new visa is required.