How will COVID-19 affect my I-20?
Our office is currently processing I-20s for admitted students as normal. We are shipping them by courier once per week, and can provide electronic copies upon request. For more detailed instructions on how to submit a request through Terra Dotta, please visit our Admitted International Student Checklist.
- If you currently hold a valid I-20 through another US institution, we will issue your I-20 after your SEVIS record has been transferred to us. We expect the temporary COVID-19 federal guidance to continue, so you should be able to remain in the US and begin your studies as usual this summer or fall, even if instruction remains online. We do not recommend that you travel outside the US over the summer due to rapidly-changing travel restrictions that may make it difficult to return to campus in the fall.
- If you are currently studying outside the US or do not hold a valid I-20, we are currently issuing initial I-20s with the assumption that normal in-person instruction will resume this fall. Students who wish to take classes this summer would have to do so from outside the US, as current federal guidelines do not permit students to begin their studies in the US if instruction is entirely online. Should our campus make the decision later this summer to move Fall 2020 online, you will be given the option to either 1) start online from outside the US and have your I-20 program start date deferred to Spring 2021 or 2) request to defer your enrollment (and not take any classes at UW–Madison or another institution).
If you are studying outside of the US and don’t have an F-1 visa yet:
After receipt of all required documents, it takes about 2–3 weeks for your I-20 to be processed before it is shipped. Shipping via courier takes about 5–7 days, and standard air mail may take up to 2–4 weeks.
If you are studying inside the US and already have an F-1 visa:
Please note that our office is not able to issue your I-20 before your SEVIS release date. After receipt of all required documents, it takes about 2–3 weeks for your I-20 to be processed before it is shipped. Shipping via courier takes about 5–7 days, and standard air mail may take up to 2–4 weeks.