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Date: Aug 2020

The following message went to incoming international undergraduate students who were issued or had requested an I-20 for fall 2020.


Dear JHU International Class of 2024:

Last evening, the university sent you an announcement of the change to all-online courses and co-curricular activities for undergraduates this fall, and we can only imagine how disappointing this news must be for you. The decision was made after consultation with Johns Hopkins’ world-renowned experts in public health and medicine in consideration of the worrisome rise in COVID-19 infections throughout the United States and in Maryland. Johns Hopkins has always committed to putting the health and safety of its students, faculty, staff, and Baltimore neighbors first, and despite considering many options, university leaders concluded that bringing undergraduates back to campus this fall posed an unacceptable risk.

We are deeply saddened that, under the latest guidance from the federal government about international student visas, this decision means that those of you who are not already in the country in F-1 status will not be able to come to the United States this fall on an F-1 visa.

We know that these circumstances pose extra challenges for many of you, particularly those who must contend with unreliable or censored internet access or who live in time zones that make taking place in synchronous activities burdensome. You remain at the forefront of our thoughts, and Johns Hopkins will continue to advocate on your behalf. We are committed to serving you and keeping you apprised of the immigration impacts to your personal situation. Please visit our guidance and FAQ for information on next steps you may take now.

Also, if you experience hardships due to the university decision, please be sure to complete the Resource Support Application sent to you by Student Affairs.

We look forward to welcoming you in the U.S. as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic environment in the U.S. and government guidance for spring 2021 and beyond allow. As always, please direct your questions to or 667-208-7001.


The Office of International Services

This message went to all international students at JHU who have an I-20 for fall 2020 and to all students who have a pending New International Student eForm on August 3, 2020.

By now you have likely heard that on July 24 SEVP issued updated guidance and FAQs for fall 2020 that specifically addressed new students. The guidance states that new F-1 students are only permitted to enter the U.S. to begin a program of study if their program is not 100% online and the student will not take a course load that is 100% online. Students transferring their F-1 record to JHU and students beginning a second degree program at JHU who are outside the U.S. at this time are also considered “new students” according to this guidance.

Some JHU schools will have completely online and remote instruction for fall and others will be offering a combination of remote and in-person instruction and research. Per SEVP guidance, new students whose JHU programs will be completely online or remote cannot enter the U.S. for fall. New students whose JHU programs will offer in-person instruction or research should confirm with their program that they will be able to enroll in at least one in-person course for fall 2020. If that is possible, then they may enter the U.S. for fall.

All students should review OIS’s updated COVID-19 Immigration-Related FAQs for details [the Fall 2020 SEVP Student Impact Grid shared in previous communication is no longer available].

· Newly F-1 students and students transferring their F-1 record to JHU will find FAQs specific to their situation in the Newly Admitted Students section.

· F-1 students beginning a second or subsequent degree program at JHU will find FAQs specific to their situation in the Continuing Students section.

Students who have been issued a fall I-20 and are unable to enter the U.S. for fall should follow the instructions in the FAQs to notify OIS.

Please keep in mind that SEVP could issue new guidance for spring 2021. The current guidance applies only to fall 2020. We will communicate any spring updates to you once they are known.

If you have questions after reviewing the FAQs, please reach out to OIS at or 667-208-7001. Thank you for your consideration.


Office of International Services