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International Student & Scholar Services

FAQs for Current Students

Immigration Status
  • Does switching to online instruction affect my immigration status?
    • At this time, the Department of Homeland Security has approved F-1 and J-1 students to continue their study online whether in the U.S. or from abroad through the summer 2020. As long as you continue to regularly attend your online classes and stay enrolled in at least 12 credits (for undergraduates), 9 credits (for graduates), and 6 credits (for EDBA students), your SEVIS record will remain active.
  • Do I need to enroll in classes for Summer 2020 to keep my visa status?
    • Summer 2020 will be normal vacation period for you if you plan to enroll in Fall 2020 and the program end date on your I-20 is through December 2020 or beyond. In the summer, you may enroll in any number of credit hours in any modality (face-to-face or online) or not enroll at all.
    • If you are expecting to graduate in Summer 2020, you may enroll in online courses and continue to maintain your immigration status.
  • I moved from my current off-campus residence and relocated to a new U.S. address, do I need to update OISSS with my new address?
    • Yes, you are always required to notify OISSS of any change of address within the U.S. If you move from one off-campus address to another or from on-campus to off-campus, you must notify us.  If you are an F-1 student, please complete the Change of Address If you are a J-1 student, please complete the J-1 Tracker.
  • Due to travel restrictions, difficulty obtaining a student visa, or personal reasons, I may not be able to join in-person classes this fall. Will I be able to continue to take classes remotely from outside the U.S.?
    • The college is committed to supporting you in your academic pursuits. With various travel restrictions, U.S. embassy visa services suspended, and individual concerns, we recognize that some of you may not be able to join in-person classes with us this fall.  Faculty are preparing to best support students who face these challenges.  It may be possible that your classes will be offered through either synchronous or asynchronous learning if you cannot join in person.  Since immigration regulations related to allowing students to take courses remotely while abroad vary per students’ situations, OISSS can advise you on the process for maintaining or regaining your immigration status.
Travel and Visa
  • I’ve returned to my home country to continue my classes for the rest of the semester. Is there anything else that I need to do?
    • OISSS is asking for all F-1 students to complete the Change of Address regardless of whether they have left the U.S. or stayed in the U.S. If you have not already completed the form, please do so immediately.
    • All J-1 students and scholars are asked to complete the J-1 Tracker. If you have not already completed form, please do so immediately.
  • The spring 2020 was my final semester and I’m thinking of returning or have returned to my home country. Is there anything special that I need to do or consider?
    • The primary concern is whether you had planned to apply for OPT, the one-year work authorization F-1 students are eligible for. If you are NOT interested in applying for OPT and planned to return to your home country after you program completion, you do not need to do anything else.
    • If you were planning to transfer to another school in the U.S. to start a new program, you should contact OISSS to discuss the transfer of your SEVIS record to the new school. This process must be completed prior to the end of your 60-day grace period.
    • If you wish to apply for OPT, we recommend that you DO NOT leave the U.S. You should submit your OPT application as soon as possible and OISSS will continue to assist in preparing the OPT application. If you chose to leave the U.S> before applying for OPT, please let us know and we can explain your options. The government has been asked to consider adjusting the requirements to be in the U.S. when you apply for OPT. Until they make that change, we can help you think of other options. You can learn more about the OPT application requirements here.
  • I left the U.S. without getting a travel signature. What should I do so I can reenter the U.S. later?
    • Please check the date of your last travel signature. If the last travel signature will be less than a year ago when you plan to reenter the U.S., you will be able to reenter with that I-20. If the signature will be older, OISSS will issue you a new I-20 and email it to you. We ask that you complete the Request Form to ask for a travel signature.
    • J-1 students and scholars must still have an original DS-2019 and travel signature for reentry. OISSS will issue a new DS-2019 and mail it to you if you have left the U.S. We ask that you complete the Request Form to ask for a travel signature.
  • When I’m ready to come back to the U.S., what do I need for reentry?
    • As always, students will need to bring their I-20 or DS-2019 with a valid travel signature, along with their valid passport (valid for at least 6 months into the future from the date of entry) and a valid F-1 or J-1 visa.
  • What about travel within the U.S.? Can I visit family or friends elsewhere in the country?
    • When making decisions about whether to visit family or friends elsewhere in the U.S., OISSS strongly encourages you to follow the recommendations made by the S. Center for Disease Control when deciding on travel within the U.S.
    • If you decide to travel outside of the local area, you are advised to carry your original immigration documents including your I-20 or DS-2019, passport, F-1 or J-1 visa, and a print-out of your I-94.
  • I’m almost at the end of my program or grace period but having difficulty finding flights home. What can I do?
    • OISSS encourages you to reach out to your country’s embassy here in the U.S. for travel assistance. If you cannot depart within your grace period, please notify OISSS and provide documentation of your efforts for a timely departure -  purchase of a flight home or work with your embassy for a humanitarian flight.
  • My visa expired and I left the U.S. or am planning to leave the U.S. for the summer. What do I do?
    • Currently, all U.S. embassies and consulates around the world are not providing visa services for F-1 and J-1 students. There is no timeline in place for when they will resume such services or how quickly you may be able to get a new visa once services do resume. OISSS recommends that, if you are currently in the U.S. and have an expired visa, that you carefully consider any international travel, understand the potential risks/delays, and contact us directly for further assistance.
Optional Practical Training
  • I’m in my post-completion OPT and my employer has reduced my hours or furloughed me due to covid-19. Does this mean that I’m out of status?
    • The Dept. of Homeland Security has determined that for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, students working on OPT for less than 20 hours per week will be seen as engaged in OPT and will be maintaining status.
    • However, students that have been furloughed or laid off are considered to be unemployed and would begin accruing unemployment.
    • To make any changes to your employer(s), be sure to submit the Employer Update Form.
  • It’s my final semester of classes and I planned to apply for OPT. What should I do?
    • First, if you have not already left the U.S., we recommend that you stay in the U.S. It is a requirement by USCIS that a student be physically present in the U.S. in order to be eligible for submitting an OPT application.
    • OISSS will continue to assist graduating students with preparing their OPT application. You should review our website to obtain OPT information and the required forms. Once you have all the required forms, please scan and email all the forms to We will provide additional guidance, issue the new I-20 and email it to you so you can send your complete application to USCIS. We are also happy to arrange a Webex advising session, if desired.
  • Can I work remotely for my employer while on OPT or STEM OPT?
  • Yes, you may work remotely for your employer if you are currently on OPT or STEM OPT. If you are currently on STEM OPT, you do not need to submit an updated Form I-983 to report the remote work.
  • My employer applied for the H1B on my behalf but I was not selected. What can I do?
    • Each situation like this can be very different. Please reach out to OISSS directly for assistance.
  • My employer submitted my H-1B application. Can I leave the U.S. now?
    • Please consult your employer and their immigration counsel before you make any international travel plans. OISSS cannot answer travel related questions regarding your H-1B petition sponsored by your employer. 
Curricular Practical Training
  • I stayed in the U.S. and have been approved for CPT. If my employer wants me to work, can I continue going to the office?
    • Yes, you may continue if you are currently approved for CPT and your employer wants you to continue the internship.
  • What if my employer has requested that we work remotely? Can I work remotely on CPT? Can I work remotely for my CPT employer from abroad?
    • Yes, you may continue your internship by working remotely whether in the U.S. or from abroad if you are currently approved for CPT.
  • Can I apply for CPT for my summer internship from outside the U.S.?
    • Yes, at this time, if you are eligible for CPT, OISSS will continue to process your request as normal until we hear otherwise.
Post-Graduation Options
  • I graduated in May 2020 and my plan was to return to my home country. Now, I would prefer to stay in the U.S. What are my options?
    • You have 3 options:
  • Remain in the U.S. and apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) (for F-1 students) or Academic Training (for J-1 students).
  • Remain in the U.S. during the grace period after your program end date (which you can find on your I-20 or DS-2019). The grace period is 60 days for F-1 students and 30-days for J-1 students.
  • Pursue another degree in the U.S. and transfer (if eligible) your SEVIS record to another institution.
  • Change to another non-immigrant classification (H-1B for example).