The following message was emailed by the Office of International Services to currently enrolled F-1 students on March 11, 2020.
By now, you have likely read the message from President Daniels cancelling in-person classes and transitioning to remote instruction until at least April 12. We are reaching out to address concerns you may have regarding your F-1 status during this time.
First, we want to assure you that the move to remote instruction will not have a negative effect on your visa status. As you are aware, it is important for F-1 students to maintain their visa status which typically includes restrictions on the number of online (remote) courses you can count towards full-time enrollment. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), the U.S. Government entity that manages the F-1 visa program, issued a statement this week recognizing the need for universities to hold classes remotely as a preventive measure under these special circumstances. Therefore, engaging in online courses during this time is not considered a violation of your F-1 status.
Second, please know that you do not need to take any action in regard to your F-1 visa status as a result of this change other than continuing your coursework remotely as directed by the institution. However, if you choose to do any of the following, you should contact OIS for guidance BEFORE doing them because these actions will likely impact your F-1 status:
- withdraw from classes or take a leave of absence
- drop below full-time status
- depart the U.S. and complete your degree program online from abroad
In accordance with University guidance for on-campus events, we are cancelling all in-person OPT sessions through April 12. The exact same information from those sessions can be viewed online (see “OPT Application Process” step 1).
Finally, University offices remain open at this time so OIS staff continue to be available to answer your questions during walk-in hours, by phone, and via email. Contact info for OIS locations can be found on our website.