A student must speak to a Designated School Official (DSO) in the Office of International Affairs (OIA) before deciding to withdraw, cancel enrollment or if they are dismissed from the university. The student should also speak to their academic advisor or graduate coordinator. This will ensure the student is fully aware of the consequences to their visa status, university admission/readmission and fees/reimbursements.
Withdrawal or Cancellation
Our office is required to notify the Department of Homeland Security if a student withdraws, cancels or stops going to school. If the student does not inform OIA prior to the withdrawal or cancellation, there is no grace period permitted for the student to leave the United States. The student's SEVIS record will be terminated for "Unauthorized Withdrawal". The student will lose lawful F-1 or J-1 visa status and must depart the US immediately. If the student spoke to an international student advisor in OIA and officially withdrew or canceled enrollment, the SEVIS record will be terminated for "Authorized Early Withdrawal". You can find the forms required to request an official leave on the Registrar's webpage located at http://registrar.ucmerced.edu/forms.
If a withdrawal is due to a medical condition and the student has been approved by OIA for a Reduced Course Load, the SEVIS record will not be terminated for the applicable semester.
Students dismissed by the university may lose their lawful F-1 or J-1 visa status. During the first semster on probation, students are strongly encouraged to see an OIA advisor to avoid violating visa status and to discuss possible options.
The Educational Leave program allows a student to suspend academic work, leave the campus, and later resume their studies with minimal procedural difficulties. Please refer to our Leave of Absence page located online at https://iss.ucmerced.edu/students/current/leave.