Returning After a Break in Studies

Returning students are defined as students who, in the past, were accepted and enrolled at Northwestern University but withdrew from NU for medical leave, financial burdens, family emergencies or required military service. These students' SEVIS records were terminated based on "Authorized Early Withdrawal."

How to return after a break

1. Request re-entry to NU with the Registrar's Office.

Instructions for re-entry are located on the Office of the Registrar's website.

2. Complete and submit required documentation.

Once your re-entry has been approved by your program/department, you will need to complete and compile the following documents.

  • Download and complete the I-20 Request Form (for F-1 visas) or DS-2019 Request Form (for J-1 visas)
  • Supplemental documents (financial documents and copy of passport) must be attached.

Send them directly to your assigned OISS adviser at least three months before the start of the quarter you hope to return to Northwestern.

The Office of International Student and Scholar Services also requires an email from your academic advisor or dean indicating your approved re-entry and the estimated amount of time needed to complete the degree requirements (and/or your new expected graduation date). 

3. Final steps after your I-20 or DS-2019 is issued:

  • Complete a shipment request via eShipGlobal so that the OISS can mail your document directly to you.
  • Pay the SEVIS Fee.
  • Obtain a visa stamp, as instructed for new students.
  • Check-in with the Office of International Student and Scholar Services upon their arrival to NU.
  • When planning your schedule, be sure to enroll full-time during the first quarter you return.