Academic Changes

F-1- Postdoctoral Fellows

International postdocs, sometimes find themselves in unusual situations or develop new interests that require a change of appointment. If a postdoc maintains his/her status, he/she may make such changes as long as he/she follows DHS procedures. Postdocs should consult the international student advisors at the institution which recommended OPT to discuss the impact of any change.

J-1 Postdoctoral Fellows

Postdocs on J-1 status may be more limited than F-1 postdocs in making academic changes. It is assumed that participants in the Exchange Visitor Program are in the U.S. to pursue a very specific objective; once the objective is met, participants are to return home with their newly acquired knowledge and skills. Minor changes in the program, however, may sometimes be viewed as a continuation or fulfillment of the original objective and be allowed to happen. If a postdoc plans on a program change, it is essential to consult OISSS or, if appropriate your program sponsor, well in advance before taking any action.

Absence from the U.S. During the Academic Year (Study Abroad/Overseas Research)

International postdocs sometimes find an opportunity to participate in study/research abroad to enhance their academic experiences or as required by their appointment. Regulations may permit postdocs to be overseas with the approval of their department.

J-1 postdocs should contact OISSS for advising on the potential impact that an absence from the U.S. will have on their immigration status.

All F-1 postdocs should consult their international student office if they plan to be absent from the U.S. for an extended period of time.  This absence could result in the termination of F-1 status and loss of any granted OPT.

Leave of Absence

International postdocs may decide to take a leave of absence from their appointment. If wishing to do, postdocs should immediately inform OISSS or their home international student office and their department. The policy is posted here.