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For various reasons, such as having taken a leave of absence or having a change in a research subject, you may not be able to complete your degree program before the End Date on your I-20. (This date is listed in Section 5 on the first page of your I-20 if you are on an F1 visa, or in Section 3 of the first page of your DS-2019 if you are on a J-1 visa.) If you are unable to complete your degree on time, then you must petition to have your stay at Northeastern University extended.
The process is to fill out ISSI Form 129: Certification of Program Extension for International Students, submit it to your academic advisor, and then turn it in to the ISSI for review.
If you need to take time off from the University for non-medical reasons, such as being required to return home for military service, you may fill out and submit a request to the ISSI for a Non-Medical Leave of Absence.
Please note that if you take a non-medical leave, or if you permanently and voluntarily withdraw from the University, you will lose your F-1 visa status and be required to leave the United States within 15 days.
If you become a Permanent Resident of the United States (also known as a Green Card holder) you will need to notify the ISSI so that we may update your status with SEVIS and also with other offices on the campus. Please bring your Permanent Residency Card to our office so that we may update you files.
The ISSI can provide you with a letter that you can send home to your family and friends in order to help them gain a visa to visit you in the United States while you are a student at Northeastern University. This is particularly valuable when your family wants to come to Northeastern to see you graduate and receive your degree. Please fill out the Request for a Letter of Invitation and bring it to our office. Within 5 business days your letter will be complete and ready you to pick up.
If you are experiencing academic difficulties (as detailed on the Reduced Course Load Form), or a medical condition that limits your ability to study full-time, you may petition to take less than a full course load, and still remain in status with your student visa. You will need to fill out the Recommendation for Reduced Course Load form, have it signed by your academic advisor, and then submit it to the ISSI for review.
Northeastern University is recognized around the world for its robust co-op program. Co-op allows students to work and gain vital experience in a field related to their program of study.
Student on an F-1 visa may engage in Curricular Practical Training (CPT), or co-op, after receiving approval from a co-op faculty member or an academic advisor/SEVIS contact (for graduate level required internships), and after receiving legal authorization from the ISSI.
You begin the process of applying for CPT by filling out the CPT Request Form.
If you have decided to leave Northeastern University for another institution in the United States at which you will still be using your F-1 visa, you need to notify the ISSI so that we may transfer your record to your new school. To request a transfer of your SEVIS record to another college, please fill out and submit to the ISSI a Transfer Out Notification Form for F-1 Students.
Have a question that is not included in this list? Don’t worry. The ISSI is ready and able to help. Call for an appointment to see a counselor (617-373-2310), or if it is urgent—stop by 405 Ell Hall.