Returning Students

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Returning for Fall or Spring Terms

Students who have withdrawn from UC Berkeley for one or more semesters and would like to resume their programs in the fall or spring terms must first be readmitted to get access to campus systems for enrollment purposes.  Students resuming their programs in summer must follow different procedures (see below).

  • Undergraduate Student Readmission
    Work with your College to apply for Readmission to UC Berkeley. Readmission is not guaranteed, and the decision ultimately rests with your college or school. Each college and school has different expectations, deadlines, and requirements. Please consult your college or school for detailed information. For instructions, applications, and deadlines, see Applying for Readmission. Readmission for summer session only is not required (see below).

  • Graduate Student Readmission
    Contact your Graduate Department for information regarding readmission after a withdrawal or leave of absence. The Graduate Division and your department, school, or group will review your application and academic record and notify you of their decision. Inquire with your Academic department for deadlines and other required steps specific to your application.

Returning in Summer

Obtaining your new F-1 or J-1 Documents

Your I-20/DS-2019

Once your readmission is approved (or your summer enrollment is completed), Berkeley International Office can issue the I-20 or DS-2019 document for your return to UC Berkeley. You will need to complete the Non-Immigrant Information Form.

Your F-1/J-1 Visa and I-901 SEVIS Fee

If you are returning from abroad, after spending a semester out of the US, you must obtain a new visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.  You must also pay a new I-901 SEVIS Fee at least 3 days prior to your visa appointment. Current guidance states that the SEVIS number on your I-20 or DS-2019 should match the SEVIS number on your U.S. visa when you enter the U.S. You may return to the US no more than 30 days prior to your program start date.

If you are transferring your SEVIS record back to UC Berkeley, you are not required to obtain a new visa or pay a new SEVIS fee. Your SEVIS ID on your new I-20 and visa will remain the same. You may arrive to the US anytime before your program start date.

Back at CAL: Required Arrival Confirmation

All returning students are required to complete the Online Arrival Confirmation before classes start in order to officially activate their F/J status

F-1 or J-1 Employment

F-1 or J-1 students are eligible to begin working on campus at any point during the 30 days prior to their program start date.

Off-Campus Employment
F-1 or J-1 students who have been withdrawn for a semester or more may not be eligible for off-campus employment, depending on the reason for the withdrawal. Due to the complexity of this matter, it is best to consult with an Advisor in Berkeley International Office before beginning any off-campus employment after a semester or more of withdrawal from UC Berkeley.

To be eligible for Practical Training (CPT/OPT), F-1 students must be in F-1 status for at least 2 academic semesters. J-1 students must be in J-1 status for at least one semester to be eligible for Academic Training.

If you are returning to complete your degree in less than 2 full-time semesters, please contact a BIO Advisor for more information regarding your CPT/OPT eligibility.