Leaving KU

Academic Early Withdrawal

Immigration regulations require ISS to properly update the student’s SEVIS record whenever a student decides to leave KU.  Be sure to read the details that pertain to your specific situation below and follow the required procedures.  As always, we encourage you to speak with an ISS advisor if you have any questions. 

If you decide to continue your studies at another SEVIS-approved school in the U.S., you must submit a request for an ISS immigration advisor to transfer your SEVIS record electronically to that institution. 

Keep in mind:

  • Transfer out requests must be submitted and processed BEFORE the end of your 60-day grace period following your program completion date or Optional Practical Training (OPT) end date.
  • The course of study at the transfer-in school must begin at the next available term, which must be within 5 months of the transfer release date from KU or within 5 months of the program completion date on your I-20, whichever is earlier.
  • In the case of a student authorized to engage in post-completion OPT, the student must be able to resume classes within 5 months of the transfer release date from KU or the date the OPT authorization ends, whichever is earlier.
  • You must upload a scan of the admission letter (or any documentation confirming your admission) in your e-form request. The admission term/semester must be listed in this documentation.
  • The “Transfer Release Date” is the date on which your SEVIS record will transfer from KU to the new school. You must maintain status at the transfer-out school until the transfer release date.
  • Any on-campus employment or OPT must end on the transfer release date.
  • On the requested transfer release date, ISS will no longer be able to access your SEVIS record.  Your new school will be able to provide you with an updated I-20 only after the transfer release date.
  • In some cases, a SEVIS transfer may not be an option for you. Visit with an ISS immigration advisor to discuss other ways you may be able to accomplish your transfer.

How to Request a Transfer:

  • Submit this request ONLY once you have decided to transfer to a specific institution.  DO NOT submit the request if you are still waiting on hearing from other schools.
  • Log into iHawk and submit a “Transfer Out” request under "F-1 Student Services" -> “Leaving KU”.
  • Once you have submitted the e-form request, come to the ISS office and meet with an immigration advisor during drop-in advising hours to have your "Leaving KU" (Transfer Out) request reviewed and processed.

If you plan to withdraw from KU before completing your program, submit the “Withdrawing from KU” e-form in iHawk. Your request must be reviewed and approved before you drop any courses.  An approved request ensures you will have 15 days to leave the U.S. Withdrawing from the university and dropping your courses without authorization will result in a loss of legal F-1 status, and does not allow for a 15-day grace period.  If you are already outside the U.S. and decide not to return to resume your degree/program, you must still complete and be authorized for a withdrawal in order for your immigration record to remain in good standing.

Keep in mind:

  • You must leave the U.S. within 15 days of the authorization in your SEVIS record.
  • On-campus employment permission ends on the date of authorized withdrawal.
  • Do not drop/withdraw from classes before receiving authorization from ISS.
  • If you are already outside the U.S., you must have the authorization for withdrawal approved by the 20th day of class in the fall or spring term for which you are not enrolling.
  • If you later decide to return to KU as a student, you will need to apply for re-admission (or a return from absence) through the appropriate admissions office, obtain a new SEVIS I-20, and pay a new SEVIS fee to the U.S. government.

How to Request Early Withdrawal:

  • Log into iHawk and submit the “Withdrawing from KU” request under "F-1 Student Services" -> “Leaving KU”.
  • Once you have submitted the e-form request, come to the ISS office and meet with an immigration advisor during drop-in advising hours to have your "Leaving KU" (authorized early withdrawal) request reviewed and processed.
  • It is your responsibility to confirm that your withdrawal is authorized by a KU ISS advisor before the deadline or prior to dropping below full time. 

F-1 regulations allow a 60-day grace period following the completion of your program at KU – officially May 31 (for Spring), August 1 (for Summer), or December 31 (for Fall), regardless of what your current I-20 lists as your program end date.  The 60-day grace period is provided to allow preparations for departure from the U.S.

Keep in mind:

  • On-campus employment is not permitted after the program completion date (during the 60-day grace period).
  • Departure from the U.S. forfeits any remainder of your grace period.
  • If you later decide to return to the U.S. as a student, you will need to apply for admission and obtain a new I-20.

Complete the Exit Form:

  • Log into iHawk and submit the “Exit Information” form under "F-1 Student Services" -> “Leaving KU”.
  • This request will be processed without meeting with you.  You will be contacted by email if there is an issue or once the request is processed. If you do not get a response within 7 days, please email ISS@ku.edu to follow up on your request.