This message was sent to all students with an active, initial, change of status or transfer-pending F-1 record at JHU on July 7, 2020.
You have probably read JHU’s message regarding fall 2020 guidance from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). As you navigate this complicated, unfavorable situation, OIS is committed to providing you with comprehensive, individualized information as it impacts your visa status.
As a starting point, we created the Fall 2020 SEVP Student Impact Grid that details a variety of student scenarios and the impact for each situation. In addition to reviewing the grid, it is important that you understand the fall 2020 instructional model for your JHU school so you can determine whether it falls under Category 1 (Fully Online Model) or Category 3 (Special Hybrid Model) on the grid. At this time, most JHU schools and programs are expecting to operate under Category 3 since they will offer a combination of online, hybrid, and in-person courses. If you have any questions about your school’s fall 2020 instructional model, please reach out to your JHU department or academic advisor. Please note that this grid is subject to change pending additional guidance or FAQs from SEVP, or if there are significant changes to JHU schools instructional models. OIS will update the grid as needed.
Of particular note, SEVP guidance also clearly states that, if a school changes its instructional model at any point in the semester to completely remote instruction (for any reason), all F-1 students in the U.S. must make plans to depart once such a change is made.
In addition to the impacts outlined on the grid stemming from the SEVP fall 2020 guidance, there are still several other restrictions and potential barriers to entry to the U.S. that students should consider. OIS monitors all these situations closely:
· Worldwide Suspension of Routine Visa Services at the U.S. Embassies; see notice here. If you are outside the U.S. and your F-1 visa stamp is expired, you must obtain a new F-1 visa before you can re-enter the U.S.
· COVID-19 U.S. travel restrictions; see our full FAQ here
· Controls at U.S. Mexico and Canada Land Borders; see notice here
· Travel bans on select countries; see our FAQ here
· Availability of international flights to the U.S.
SEVP’s guidance requires OIS to update all F-1 student records and to reissue I-20s in many cases.* To do so, we will need to collect information from our students, so please expect follow up communication from us in the near future.
*F-1 students on Optional Practical Training are not impacted by this most recent guidance. F-1 students who are engaged in OPT may remain in the U.S. No additional guidance has been provided by SEVP regarding OPT.
We realize that you have many factors to consider when making plans for fall semester. We also understand that this is an incredibly stressful time and that this new guidance may impact your life in ways far beyond your visa status. For additional support, we strongly urge you to take advantage of all the various health and wellness resources for JHU students. Additional information is available at https://wellness.jhu.edu/.
If you have any questions, you can reach OIS at email@example.com or 667-208-7001. We appreciate your patience in awaiting a reply, as currently inquiry volume is extremely high and we may require more than the normal 1-2 days to respond.