SEVP has published an official FAQ including the following key items for current F-1 international students, as same implementation of March 13 guidance:
- Current students: Woodbury will maintain I-20 in active status for those who will be enrolled in online classes remotely.|
- Electronic Form I-20 issuance: I-20 issued electronically or electronic travel signatures will be permitted during the COVID-19 emergency, until students have a need for an updated I-20.
- On-Campus Employment: If the current on-campus employment opportunity has transitioned to remote work or the employment can be done through remote means, students may continue to engage in on-campus employment remotely.
- Curricular Practical Training (CPT): Students may engage in CPT during their time abroad, provided they are:
- Enrolled in a program of study in which CPT is integral to the program of study;
- Their DSO authorized CPT in advance of the CPT start date; and
- Either the employer has an office outside the United States or the employer can assess student engagement and attainment of learning objectives electronically.
- Optional Practical Training (OPT)
- USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) has not developed any official policy that students can apply for OPT from outside the U.S.
- Students on OPT are allowed to work less than 20 hours a week during the COVID-19 emergency.
- Students on OPT or STEM OPT may work remotely if their employer has an office outside of the U.S. or the employer can assess student engagement remotely.
- One-year residency requirement for CPT and OPT: Time spent studying outside of the United States during the COVID-19 emergency will count toward the one-year requirement (equivalent to two academic semesters) for CPT and OPT as long as a student maintains I-20 is in active status.
- Returning to the U.S.
- Students who continue to make normal progress in their course of study and maintain I-20 in active status are allowed to return to the U.S. However, students should refer to their local S. embassy website for any updates about visa issuance and travel restrictions before making a travel plan. Also, Department of Homeland Security and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) websites provide information about current travel restrictions to the U.S.
- Once the COVID-19 emergency is over and Woodbury resumes normal in-person operation, students should seek to return to the United States within 30 days of the next available semester start date.
- 60-day grace period: SEVP recognizes that some students may find it difficult to return home during the COVID-19 emergency due to limited or cancelled flights or travel restriction on inbound flights from the U.S. Please contact me at Lauren.Seo@woodbury.edu to discuss alternative options.
To help you better understand the SEVP COVID-19 guidance, I will be hosting live Question & Answer sessions on the following dates:
- July 16 (Thursday) at 10-11am (US, Pacific Time)
- July 16 (Thursday) at 5-6pm (US, Pacific Time)
- July 21 (Tuesday) at 10-11am (US, Pacific Time)
July 21 (Tuesday) at 5-6pm (US, Pacific Time)
- July 22 (Wednesday) at 10-11am (US, Pacific Time)
- July 22 (Wednesday) at 5-6pm (US, Pacific Time)
- July 23 (Thursday) at 12-1pm (US, Pacific Time)
If you have any questions and if you would like to join the Q&A sessions, contact me at Lauren.Seo@woodbury.edu or 818-252-5265.
Please stay safe.
Senior International Student Advisor/DSO
Last Updated on July 16, 2020