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Leave of Absence Authorization

There are many kinds of unpaid leave and your eligibility depends upon your appointment status with the university, but in general, a Leave of Absence must be authorized by your Human Resources contact in your department.

All J-1 scholars who will be out of the country for more than 30 days for business, or for more than 60 days for personal travel, should notify the International Faculty & Scholars Office (IFSO). An unauthorized leave of absence may result in a termination of your J-1 immigration status/SEVIS record.

24-Month bar on certain J-1 categories

All J-1 Exchange Visitors in the Professor or Research Scholar category (Box 4 of your Form DS-2019) are subject to a "24-Month Bar" on "repeat participation" in those categories. Scholars subject to the bar may not return to the U.S. as a J-1 scholar in the Professor or Research Scholar categories for a 24-month period once our office has completed or terminated your program.  This 24-Month Bar will be in effect regardless of the duration of the program: whenever an Exchange Program ends and the SEVIS record becomes "inactive," the five-year window is "closed" and you must wait 24 months before beginning a new program as a J Professor or Research Scholar.  Unused time from the five-year window may not be saved for use later.

To take advantage of the full five years of the J Research Scholar category, you would need to maintain an "active" SEVIS record if you plan to return to UC San Diego after a period of absence.

Requirements for keeping an "ACTIVE" SEVIS record

  • Must engage in on-going collaboration with UC San Diego faculty sponsor during period of absence
  • Provide foreign site of activity address
  • Leave of absence not to exceed six months
  • Maintain required level of health insurance coverage
  • Submit the Leave of Absence Request Form (PDF) to IFSO signed by scholar and faculty sponsor. Please allow 10 business days for processing.
  • If date of return falls after expiration of current J-1 program, DS-2019 Extension Application will need to be submitted via ISD with Leave of Absence Request (along with recharge fee)
  • If entering U.S. during leave of absence for brief period (e.g., attendance at a professional conference), must enter in J-1 status (not B-1, WB, etc.); contact your scholar advisor for more information

Before returning to the U.S.

Prior to your return to the U.S., the UC San Diego sponsoring department should contact our office for further assistance.

A valid J-1 visa stamp is required for re-entry. Therefore, you may need to contact the U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad to apply for a new visa.

Upon arrival, you are required to check in at IFSO with your immigration documents.

IFSO Listserv!

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Contact IFSO!

International Faculty & Scholars Office (IFSO)
Phone: (858) 246-1448