Visa Authorizations & Requests

Information and forms relating to visa authorizations and I-20 requests for international students.

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Dropping A Class / Studying Less Than Full-Time

You are required to study full time to maintain valid F-1 visa status. Permission to enroll in less than 12 credits or to drop a class must be approved in advance by CIE.

For permission to drop a class (even if you will remain enrolled full-time) or for permission to take less than 12 credits, submit your request via the ISS Portal.

NOTE: F-1 visa regulations allow RCL Authorization for the following reasons only:

1. Academic Difficulty Due To:

  • Initial difficulty with English language
  • Initial difficulty with reading requirements
  • Unfamiliarity with US teaching method
  • Improper course placement

Reducing your course load due to an academic difficulty may only be done once. If approved, you must still remain enrolled in at least 6 CREDITS with at least one in-person class. 

2. Medical Conditions Such As:

  • Injury
  • Illness
  • Mental health

Reducing your course load because of a medical condition may be done for up to three semesters. This informational handout for medical (PDF, 67KB) may be shared with your doctor.

3. Fewer Than 12 Credits Remaining to Complete Program

  • This may only be done during the semester in which you will graduate with a degree, diploma or certificate. You must enroll in at least one in-person class during your final semester.

IMPORTANT: Poor class attendance or otherwise not making satisfactory academic progress can cause a visa violation. Active participation for the duration of the course is required. If you do not attend regularly, stop attending, or never attend a class you may be given a grade of “WNA” (“Withdrawn due to Non-Attendance”). Loss of legal F-1 visa status could result if the withdrawal lowers your course load to fewer than 12 credits. 

Need Academic Support? Madison College offers a variety of services to help students meet their goals.

Extending Your I-20

An I-20 extension is required when you need more time to complete your program and your I-20 is expiring. 

When to Apply

At least ONE MONTH BEFORE the I-20 expires. Processing an I-20 Extension typically takes 2-3 weeks and must be completed before the I-20 expires to avoid visa violation.

How to Apply


  • Complete a Program Extension Request online
  • Upload financial support documentation
  • Request an I-20 Extension Recommendation from your academic advisor

Reprinting Your I-20

Can't find your I-20? Spilled coffee on it? Don't worry! Submit a request via the ISS Portal to reprint your I-20.


The first step to transfer your visa status to another college/university is to be admitted by another college.

After being admitted, submit your transfer-out request via the ISS Portal to:

  1. Upload a copy of your admission letter to the new college/university.
  2. Select your desired date of transfer,
  3. Share a copy of the new college's transfer form to be completed by CIE, if one is required by your new college/university.
  • The transfer release date must be after you have completed all course requirements for the semester at Madison College.
  • If you are working on campus or with an off campus work authorization, all paid employment must end before the transfer release date.  
  • If you will be graduating from your current program at Madison College, the transfer release date must be no later than 60 days after your graduation date.
  • If your I-20 is expiring and you will not be graduating, the transfer release date must be before your I-20 expiration date.
  • SUGGESTION: If traveling abroad after you have finished at Madison College, you should use the I-20 from your new college to return to the U.S. In this case you may wish to select a transfer release date that falls immediately after completing all course requirements. If you are unable to get your new I-20 before leaving the U.S., you should arrange for your new college to mail it to you abroad. The new college will only be able to make you a new I-20 after the transfer release date. 

Some colleges may provide you with a form to be completed by CIE. We will return the form directly to the new college, unless otherwise requested.

With the above information, CIE will schedule your I-20 record to transfer in SEVIS on the transfer release date or as soon as possible after this date. You will be notified by email after the transfer has been successfully scheduled.

If you change your mind, please notify CIE immediately. SEVIS only allows for cancellation or change before the scheduled release date.

Changing / Adding Programs

If you would like to add another program to your academic plans or change to a different program:

During your first semester 

After your first semester 

Requesting F-2 Dependent I-20

An international student may be accompanied to the U.S. by their dependent(s) at any time. Dependents are defined as spouses and/or unmarried minor children. Children over the age of 21 are not eligible to enter as the dependent of an F1 international student. An international student’s dependents may apply for their F-2 visa at the same time that the international student applies for an F-1 visa, or they may apply for their F-2 visa at a later date. If they are granted the visa, they may enter the United States when the international student does, or they may enter the U.S. at a later date.

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