Leave of Absence

During your studies you might foresee circumstances which will make it necessary for you to focus on things other than your academic work. These circumstances may vary from illness to family-related or other upcoming priorities. If you feel this is applicable to you, please contact the Student Life Officer (SLO) and/or your tutor to discuss your situation.

Usually it is with your tutor that you start to formalise a leave of absence. After you and your tutor agree that a leave of absence is the best step for you, you can submit the Leave of Absence request via Osiris “Cases” –> My cases -> Start case -> choose “UCU leave of absence”. You will be informed about the outcome of your request, please ensure to log in and also check for any specific teacher or tutor comments.


Please note that a leave of absence can only be requested before the start of the semester. If you wish to leave during the semester (i.e. you are already enrolled in courses), you should have the same conversation with your tutor or the SLO, but submit a course withdrawal request for all courses you are currently enrolled in [via a curriculum request]

A leave of absence usually lasts one semester, or two semesters at most. In this period you will live off-campus.

If your leave of absence starts in the Spring semester, you may want to terminate your enrolment in Studielink. At the end of an academic year (31 August) your enrolment will be automatically terminated. If you terminate your enrolment earlier, you will be reimbursed the remainder of your tuition fee (termination of enrolment as of 1 July or 1 August does not entitle you to a refund).

Please note that termination of your Studielink enrolment will have consequences for your visa/residence permit if you have one (see section below). It also affects your entitlement to financial support from DUO (“Studiefinanciering”), your OV travel card, your Solis mail and access to the University Library. Find out more about terminating your enrolment. If you still have questions after reading this page, please contact Utrecht University’s Student Services.

If you are a non-EU/EEA student and you terminate your enrolment while your residence permit is valid, it becomes void and you will be required to leave the Netherlands within 28 days. The university can request a new travel/residence permit for you prior to your return from a leave of absence (see the section Returning from a Leave of Absence below).

You may also opt to stay enrolled, however your visa/residence permit for study purposes will only remain valid under the following conditions:

  • You must remain enrolled as a student at Utrecht University. This means that you cannot apply for a partial refund of your tuition fees
  • You must remain registered at the Dutch municipal database (BRP)
  • You must continue to meet the IND’s requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress 

Apart from the above-mentioned (financial) consequences correlating with your Studielink enrolment, you may be entitled to a refund of your campus fees and/or housing deposit. You can check this in the document “Leaving University College Utrecht” on this page. If you are indeed entitled to a refund of campus fees, please contact the University College Finance department. For the housing deposit, you can fill out a form to be found here.

As mentioned before, you cannot continue living on campus. Everything you need to know about leaving your room (from deregistration at the municipality to insurances and check-out procedure) can be found in the document “Leaving University College Utrecht” on this page.

Your check-out date will be confirmed in the Leave of Absence decision you will receive.

When you return from your leave of absence, please contact your tutor and the Student Life Officer in time for the next semester (no later than the date set in the approval decision prior to your leave). This will be to discuss how your leave period has worked, and to jointly assess your readiness to resume study/residential life, including necessary arrangements for course registration. After you have agreed upon your return date, you will have to re-enrol for UCU through Studielink.

Make sure to do that in time: for the Fall semester re-enrol before 1 September, for the Spring semester re-enrol before 1 February. Please contact UCU’s Registrar’s Office with your explicit intention to re-enrol, no later than 3 weeks before this deadline, as individual permission is needed to facilitate re-entry in Studielink.

An earlier request to re-enrol is needed if you are a non-EU/EEA student, as you will also need a new entry visa/residence permit. This must be requested 3 months before your intended return. Please contact UCU’s Registrar’s Office with your explicit intention to re-enrol, we will then also enable your access to apply for a new entry visa/residence permit through the university’s visa application process. Please note you will again need to pay your tuition fees in full, when applying for a renewal of your entry visa.

We intend to welcome you back after your leave of absence, but it may be possible that you decide that you are not going to resume your studies at University College Utrecht at all. In that case, please contact your tutor and the Registrar’s Office to inform us about your decision and check the document “Leaving University College Utrecht” to make sure there are no remaining issues.