F-1 Student medical withdrawal

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Information for F-1 students seeking medical reduced course load

Requirements and authorization

If you are an F-1 student experiencing a temporary medical condition that prevents you from studying full time, you may request permission for a medical reduced course load (Medical RCL). This process will allow you to remain in the U.S. while enrolled part time, or, if medically necessary, without any enrollment. 

  • Authorization is granted on a semester-by-semester basis and requires the submission of updated medical documentation for each additional semester of your medical withdrawal request.

  • No more than 12 months of medical withdrawal requests can be granted at your current degree level. 

To qualify for a Medical RCL:

Step 01

You will be required to make a withdrawal request with your academic department medical designee.

Step 02

You will be required to provide the ISSC with a copy of your medical documents.

You must submit recent medical documentation to the ISSC from a U.S. licensed medical doctor, clinical psychologist or doctor of osteopathy that recommends a reduced course load based on a temporary illness or medical condition. The ISSC will also accept documentation from ASU Health Services.

The medical document must be signed and dated, and refer to the specific term for which you are requesting a medical reduced course load, (e.g., spring 2020).

Step 03

You will be required to make an appointment with an ISSC staff member to review any immigration-related impact as a result of your medical withdrawal request.

Documentation from medical care provider

Under U.S. federal regulations, 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(iii)(B), an international student in F-1 student status may be authorized to enroll on a part-time basis (or, if necessary, withdraw from enrollment altogether) if the student has a temporary illness or medical condition necessitating a reduced course load. In order to obtain authorization for a reduced course load on medical grounds, the student must provide medical documentation substantiating the condition and recommending a reduced course load. 

  • Verification of the existence of a medical condition alone is insufficient to authorize a student for a medical reduced course load. 

  • Documentation must be provided by a U.S. medical doctor, licensed clinical psychologist or doctor of osteopathy specifically recommending part-time study (or no study) on medical grounds.

Documentation must meet the following requirements:

 The documentation must be provided on official letterhead and must be signed by a U.S. medical doctor, licensed clinical psychologist or doctor of osteopathy, or from ASU Health Services.

 The documentation should be dated and refer to the specific term (e.g., spring 2020) that the student is requesting a reduced course load.

 The documentation must clearly identify the student as the patient experiencing the illness or medical condition.

 The documentation must verify the existence of a medical condition and recommend that the student take a reduced course load (or no course load) for medical reasons for the term specified.

 Updated documentation may be required for each term of reduced course load requested by the student.