Returning UCB Students

Returning from Abroad

Students who have ended a previous F-1 or J-1 record and are returning from abroad must:

1.  Apply for re-admission by submitting a Readmission Application. Undergraduate students will work with College Advisor to file an Undergraduate Application for Readmission. Graduate students will work with their Department to gain readmission.

2.  When readmission is granted, complete BIO's Non-Immigrant Information Form (NIF) - see below- to request a new I-20 or DS-2019 through Cal Central.

3.  Pay the SEVIS fee using the SEVIS ID from your new I-20 or DS-2019 at

4.  Obtain a new visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. (Current guidance states that the SEVIS number on your
I-20 or DS-2019 should match the SEVIS number on your U.S. visa.)

5.  Students may enter the U.S. no more than 30 days prior to the I-20 or DS-2019 start date.

6.  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 eligiblity.

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Students who have withdrawn from UC Berkeley for one or more semesters and would like to resume their programs in the fall or spring terms must first be readmitted to get access to campus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.

  • 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

Readmission is NOT required to enroll in Summer classes only. If you are returning for Summer only and will require an I-20, please contact However, if you plan to continue your enrollment into the Fall term, your readmission must be approved before you are able to enroll for summer.

Obtaining Your I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1) for Your Return

The process for obtaining an I-20 or DS-2019 from Berkeley International Office depends on the purpose of your return to the University and how long you will stay.  If your return is:

  • For Summer Only
    Please contact if you will return to complete your final semester in Summer and will NOT continue into the Fall.
  • For Summer and Continuing Through Fall
    Upon Fall readmission approval, you will be able to enroll for summer classes and apply for your new I-20 or DS-2019. Please see Fall Admits Starting in Summer for instructions about enrollment and completing the Nonimmigrant Information Form (NIF). Please note, full-time enrollment for Summer is required prior to completing the NIF.
  • For Fall or Spring Term
    Upon readmission approval, you will be able to apply for your new I-20 or DS-2019. Visit Nonimmigrant Information Form (NIF) for more information.
  • To Complete Your Dissertation in Summer
    You may not need an I-20 or DS 2019 document. Contact Berkeley International Office to determine the most appropriate status for you depending on your length of stay in the U.S. and your future plans.

Back at CAL: Arrival Confirmation with Berkeley International Office

All returning students are required to complete an Online Arrival Confirmation before classes start to report your arrival to the University. 

Employment Eligibility

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.