Medical Leave of Absence

A student should request a medical leave of absence (MLOA) if he/she needs to take time off from class due to a medical reason (ex: pregnancy, surgery, physical or mental illness).

  • An MLOA allows a student that is sick or injured to stay in the USA without studying; students can also travel to their home country using a MLOA;
  • MLOA has no negative impact on a student’s visa status;
  • Students are limited as to how much time they will be permitted to stay in the USA on a MLOA; for more information, please contact Vina Titaley at OISS for advising (

Steps to request a medical leave of absence:

1. Print out and complete the OISS Medical Leave of Absence Request form

This form must be filled out and signed by a Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Osteopathy (DO), or clinical psychologist. The doctor or psychologist must be licensed to practice in the USA.

2. Request a letter from your doctor that is printed on the letterhead (special paper with the doctor’s logo). 

This document must be written and signed by a Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Osteopathy (DO), or clinical psychologist that is licensed to practice in the USA. It must state whether you have extenuating medical circumstances that prevent you from attending classes, and it must tell us what the overall medical condition is (though it does not need to include serious details). For example, the letter can say “the patient has extenuating medical circumstances due to a back injury, and cannot attend classes at this time.”

Important Note: The dates and medical reasons on both documents must match. If the documents do not match, it is likely the ELI will have to request  new paperwork.


3. Submit both completed documents to the OISS Office, 26 East Main Street. 

Both documents will be reviewed by the ELI. If there are any issues, the student will be contacted by email. Once the ELI approves, documents will be sent over to OISS for their final approval. Your MLOA request must be approved by both the ELI and OISS.

Note for sponsored students: You must also receive permission from your sponsor to take a Medical Leave of Absence. If you do not obtain their permission, you may lose your scholarship.


4. Receive the final decision about your MLOA by email.

After we have received the final approval from OISS, the ELI will send you an email.

  • If your MLOA is approved, the email will give you instructions about what to do next.
  • If your MLOA is denied, the email will give the reason for denial and information about what you can do to have your MLOA approved.


Do you have a question about the MLOA policy and procedures? Contact us at

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