The following message was emailed by the Office of International Services to currently enrolled F-1 students on March 18, 2020.
We are reaching out to address concerns you may have regarding your visa status now that we have confirmation that courses will continue via remote instruction for the rest of Spring 2020.
UPDATE ON REMOTE INSTRUCTION
As we mentioned in our email communication on March 13, the move to remote instruction will not have a negative effect on your visa status during this term regardless of whether you remain in the U.S. or depart. Please review our general guidance for F-1 students below. We will also continue to update our FAQs for current students as the situation progresses. If you have not yet decided whether to remain in the U.S. or depart, you can discuss your personal circumstances with an advisor from OIS to weigh the pros and cons for your specific situation.
MAINTAINING F-1 STATUS
During this time, you must still maintain your F-1 status by doing the following:
- Enroll in a full-time course load unless you have been approved for a reduced or no course load by OIS.
- Update your U.S. local address within 10 days of a change. You do not need to report an address change if you departed the U.S. and are residing abroad at this time.
- If your I-20 will end at the end of this term but you need additional time to complete your program of study, you must apply for an extension at least 30 days before the I-20 end date regardless of whether you are within the U.S. or abroad.
If you are completing your degree program this term and plan to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT), you must be in the U.S. at the time you file your OPT application with USCIS.
OTHER IMMIGRATION CONSIDERATIONS
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 visa status:
- withdraw from classes or take a leave of absence
- drop below full-time status
- depart the U.S. and complete your degree program remotely from abroad
OIS staff are available by phone and email to answer questions you may have. Please review information regarding our operational changes on our website.