Returning Students

These instructions are intended for undergraduate students who are resuming studies at the University of Illinois after an academic absence.

Returning graduate students must contact their home department to initiate re-entry to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Graduate College will issue the new I-20 for return.

If you wish to return to the University of Illinois to resume your studies:

  • You must first contact your College to indicate your wish to resume studies:

COLLEGES (partial list)

  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) - (please route e-form to Dustin Tarter in LAS)
    Attention to students in LAS: The College must first approve your petition to re-enter, before signing off on the ISSS advisor's form. Once the petition is approved, the College will automatically fax the advisor's form to ISSS.

  • Division of General Studies (DGS)

  • College of Engineering

  • College of Business
    Attention to students in Business: The College must first approve your petition to re-enter, before signing off on the ISSS advisor's form. Once the petition is approved, the College will automatically fax the advisor's form to ISSS.

  • College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)
    Attention to students in ACES: The College must first approve your petition to re-enter, before signing off on the ISSS advisor's form. Once the petition is approved, the College will automatically fax the advisor's form to ISSS.

Once you have received approval from your college, you may then apply for a new I-20 or DS-2019. Please follow the instructions below to apply for a return from academic absence at ISSS.

I-20/DS-2019 Application Steps

  1. Complete the student section of the Resuming Studies at the University of Illinois e-form in iStart.

    • If you have reactivated your netID and password:
      • Log into iStart and choose CLIENT SERVICES. Log in with your netID and password. Choose the Return from Academic Absence e-form under "F-1 Student Services".

        If you need assistance with reactivating your netID or password, please contact the CITES Helpdesk.

    • If you have NOT reactivated your netID and password, you may still access the e-form:
      1. Call ISSS (217-333-1303) or send us an e-mail (isss@illinois.edu) to let us know that you would like to access the e-form via "limited services". Please also provide a valid non-UIUC e-mail address. You will then be granted access to Limited Services.
      2. Log into iStart and choose LIMITED SERVICES
      3. Click “Email me my PIN”
      4. Enter your UIN
      5. Check your e-mail account for PIN number
      6. Use the PIN when you log back in to LIMITED SERVICES, along with your UIN and DOB. You’ll see the Return from Academic Absence e-form under "F-1 Student Services".
  2. Once you've filled out all of your information, you will need to route the form to your academic advisor by choosing the appropriate name from the drop-down menu. Once your advisor completes the form, they will submit it to ISSS. The new I-20 will be ready in five business days from the date your advisor submits the form, if the application is complete.

Mailing Options

Please visit our mailing options page for more information about having documents sent to you.

Financial Support

  1. a. Family or personal funds - you must supply us with an affidavit of support (for personal sponsors) and a bank statement showing the amount in US dollars. The statement should have been issued within the last six months.

    b. A sponsoring agency - ask that a letter be sent to ISSS specifying the amount of money that you will receive and the duration of the scholarship. If the University will be billing your sponsor directly for tuition and fees, ask that your sponsor provide a billing authorization to the University Student Financial Services and Cashier Operations.

If you are unsure about how much funding is required for your program, please contact ISSS.

SEVIS Fee

Because your new I-20 will be issued to you under a new SEVIS ID you must get a new entry visa and pay the one-time SEVIS fee of $180 for J-1's and $200 for F-1's (changed from $100 as of 10/27/08). This fee needs to be paid before applying at a U.S. embassy for an entry visa online at www.fmjfee.com or by submitting form I-901 with a check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank and payable in U.S. currency or at a Western Union that offers the I-901 QuickPay service. Canadian citizens must also pay this fee prior to entering the U.S.

Entry Visa

If you have been absent from the U.S. for LESS than five months and your previous F-1 entry visa has not expired, you can enter using it. In all other circumstances you will be required to obtain a new F-1 entry visa. For more information on applying for a new visa, please visit this page.

Upon arrival to campus

  1. Report to ISSS with your immigration documents immediately upon your return in order to have your F-1 or J-1 status validated. U.S. immigration law requires us to report your arrival on campus, verify your status, and update copies of your visa documents for our records.

  2. Report to your academic department to inform them of your arrival.
    You will not be able to register until you have notified both your department and ISSS of your return. Failure to report to ISSS will result in termination of your F or J status.
    Note: You will have to spend at least one academic year in F-1 status prior to applying for practical training permission.

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