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Coronavirus Information and Resources for UC Davis International Students and Scholars

  • Guidance for Fall 2021 Planning (April 29, 2021)
  • Please visit Fall 2021 Planning for International Students for more information and guidance as you plan for the fall quarter. 
  • Guidance for F-1 Nonimmigrant Students for Winter and Spring 2021 (Dec. 18, 2020)
  • On Tuesday, December 8, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) provided an update for winter and spring 2021 academic terms, directing F-1 nonimmigrant students to continue to follow previous SEVP guidelines originally issued in March 2020 and used for fall term 2020.

    This guidance enables schools and students to engage in distance learning in excess of regulatory limits due to the public health emergency generated by COVID-19.

    Read the full statement from SISS
  • Guidance for F-1 Students for Fall 2020 (Sept. 1, 2020)
  • Read the updates from SISS
  • Planned SEVP Guidelines for F-1 Students for Fall 2020 Have Been Rescinded (July 16, 2020)
  • On July 14, the University of California Office of the President confirmed that the Trump administration has canceled its plans to adopt and enforce new Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) guidelines and related FAQs for fall 2020, which were announced by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on July 6 and July 7, respectively. At this time, we are analyzing what this reversal means to UC Davis international students, but we are hopeful that this decision not to move forward with the guidelines adds more stability as you plan for fall.

    We remain committed to supporting you and will update this webpage with guidance as soon as we have more information to share.

    Read the full statement from SISS
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security Publishes New SEVP Guidance for Online Courses for Fall 2020 (July 6, 2020)
  • The U.S. Department of Homeland Security published new guidance for the U.S. Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) related to online courses for fall 2020 that concerns students on F-1 nonimmigrant visas (please note: this applies only to F-1 and M-1 students). Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS) within Global Affairs and campus leadership will provide more information as soon as possible to support affected students. Please follow updates on this topic through our announcement as new information becomes available. 

Last updated: July 13, 2021
Originally posted: March 14, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Questions and Answers for UC Davis International Students and Scholars

You may have questions about how coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting life on the UC Davis campus. The questions below have been frequently asked of SISS advisors. If you don't see the answer to your question here, or if you have questions about or want to discuss your unique circumstances, please contact your SISS advisor for an appointment.  For questions about graduate education, please email gradservices@ucdavis.edu.

Information Menu

Campus Information

  • Where can I find the latest information about UC Davis campus news?
  • For news about the reopening or status of campus, please visit the Campus Ready website.
    For news on the topic of COVID-19, please see the latest campus updates. 
    To read Chancellor Gary S. May’s weekly updates, please visit the Checking In With Chancellor May page.
    Learn more about reported tests on the UC Davis COVID-19 Dashboard.
  • Is campus closed? 
  • For spring 2021, UC Davis plans to operate with a combination of in-person and remote courses. This means that some campus services, facilities, and offices will be open. Please visit the Campus Ready website to learn more about access to campus and requirements before you access facilities. 

    Please see our FAQ for fall 2021 planning if you are considering your options for the fall.

  • What is UC Davis doing in response to COVID-19?
  • The well-being of our students and the entire campus community is our top priority. COVID-19 vaccinations are available on campus for students and all community members 16 and older. Students coming to campus can receive their vaccines here. Through Healthy Davis Together, a partnership between UC Davis and the city of Davis, the community has access to free, rapid saliva asymptomatic COVID-19 testing at locations on campus and throughout Davis. The New York Times recently featured Healthy Davis Together. UC Davis also conducts environmental sampling to detect COVID-19, including testing air filters in buildings on campus and monitoring sewage both on campus and in the city of Davis.

    We encourage you to regularly visit these resources to learn more about resources and the plans for returning to campus:

    Campus Ready

    - Campus Ready: Student and Families

    - Campus Ready: Academics and Staff

    Frequently Asked Questions for Students

  • Do I need to self-isolate or quarantine when coming to campus from outside the U.S.?  
  • If you are fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved on the World Health Organization's (WHO) vaccine status tracker or if you received a vaccine in the United States, you do not need to self-isolate or self-quarantine when you arrive. Vaccinated travelers are advised to follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) travel guidance, which offers information about testing, self-quarantining, and monitoring symptoms.

    If you are unvaccinated or not yet fully vaccinated, you will need to self-quarantine. According to the CDC travel guidance, you should get tested before you travel, wear a mask and take other precautions during travel, get tested again 3-5 days after you arrive, self-quarantining after travel for 7 days with a negative test or 10 days without a test, and self-monitor for symptoms. 

    Find guidance on requirements for self-isolation or self-quarantine after travel on the UC Davis Campus Ready Quarantine and Isolation webpage. 

  • Can I travel during academic breaks?
  • We do not advise that you travel domestically or internationally during winter break. There are health risks associated with traveling, and for international students, and reentering the U.S. may be restricted.

    Students who are traveling back to Davis from winter break will be expected to be tested at the campus testing kiosk within seven days of their return and no later than Sunday, January 10. Please visit the COVID-19 Testing Program​ page for information on how to make a testing appointment. Students should practice “shelter in place” until the test results are received (usually within  24-48 hours). Those traveling from overseas may also be subject to "shelter in place" for 14 days. New students moving into the residence halls or Student Housing and Dining Services managed properties will be required to test prior to moving into their room. More information will be provided to these students during the contracting process. 

  • Is the COVID-19 vaccine required on campus?
  • The University of California has proposed a vaccine requirement for all students once the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the vaccine. This policy is currently under review, but is proposed to begin as early as fall 2021. At this time, the vaccine is not required, and UC Davis will communicate any changes to this rule.

    If you want to receive the vaccine when you arrive, people aged 16 and older can receive the vaccine in California. Student Health and Counseling Services has information about how to sign up.

  • How can I find a COVID-19 vaccine in Davis?
  • All people aged 16 and older are eligible to receive the vaccine in California. Student Health and Counseling Services has information about how to sign up.
  • Do I need an influenza vaccination?
  • As posted on the Campus Ready website, "According to the University of California Executive Order, all students, faculty, and staff living, learning, or working on premises at any UC location must receive a flu vaccine, unless they receive an approved medical exemption or disability or religious accommodation." Starting November 1, 2020, and through the 2020-2021 flu season, members of the UC Davis community will be required to certify they have received the flu vaccine or an exemption or accommodation (or have a request for exemption or accommodation pending) before being allowed to access UC premises. Learn more about the flu vaccine requirement on the Campus Ready website.

    If you have questions about vaccinations, please communicate with Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) through its Health-e-Messaging Portal. (Please be aware that it may take a few days to get a response.)

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SISS Advisors and Services

  • Can I see an SISS Advisor?
  • Yes. SISS Advisors are taking phone and online appointments. Student and Scholar Advisors are often assigned by the first letter of the student's surname. You can also find your advisor and a list of the issues they handle in our Staff Directory. 

    For students

    Sharon Ericsson (Y, Z)
    Matthew Kaminski-Lucas (A-G)
    Meredith Lucas (I, K, M, O, T, V, W)
    Robert Nagel (L, S, U)
    Tammy Silver (student-athletes, students in Graduate School of Management or School of Law programs)
    Students with the surname beginning with H, J, N, P, Q, R, and X, contact siss@ucdavis.edu

    For scholars
    J-1 advisors: Daniel Padron (A-K) and Mary Alurwar (L-Z)
    H-1B advisors: Gayle Nerli and Simone Kueltz 
    E-3, TN advisor: Gayle Nerli 
    Permanent Residence and O-1 advisor: Kimberly Haky

  • How do I schedule an appointment with my SISS International Student Advisor?
  • Read below to find the right advisor for you, and click on their name to schedule an appointment.

    Intake Advisors advise on the following topics: Change of Major, Concurrent Enrollment, DMV (Driver License), EAP Enrollment Verification, I-515A Form, I-94 Issues, iGlobal Issues, In-Absentia Form, Inviting Family to US, F-1 and J-1 On-Campus Employment, F-1 OPT Packet Review, Passport Renewal/Lost, F-1 Program Extension, Reduced Course Load Final Quarter, SSN/ITIN, Transferring, Visa Renewal, Travel Questions.  
    SISS Student Intake Advisors: 
    Stephanie Partridge  
     
    Student Advisors advise on the following topics: Changing Degree Level (Bachelor/Graduate), Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Dismissal, OSSJA, Dropping below 12 units for academic difficulties, Dropping below 12 units for medical, F–1 OPT/STEM questions, J–1 Academic Training (AT), J–1 Program Extension, J–2 Work Authorization, Leave of Absence/PELP, Updating/adding a dependent. Advisors are assigned based on the first letter of your surname. 
     

    SISS Student Advisors:

    Sharon Ericsson (Y, Z)
    Matthew Kaminski-Lucas (A-G)
    Meredith Lucas (I, K, M, O, T, V, W)
    Robert Nagel (L, S, U)
    Tammy Silver (student-athletes, students in Graduate School of Management or School of Law programs)
    Students with the surname beginning with H, J, N, P, Q, R, and X, contact siss@ucdavis.edu

    You will find all advisors listed on our Staff Directory.
  • How do I schedule an appointment with my SISS Scholar Advisor?
  • Advising appointments will be conducted by phone or online with Zoom. Scholars should directly email their scholar advisor to set up an appointment. A list of advisors by specialty is below. Please note that J-1 advisor are assigned based on the first letter of your surname. 

    J-1 advisors:
    Daniel Padron (A-K)
    Mary Alurwar (L-Z)


    H-1B advisors:
    Gayle Nerli
    Simone Kueltz 


    E-3, TN advisor:
    Gayle Nerli 


    Permanent Residence and O-1 advisor:
    Kimberly Haky
  • How do I pick up a document?
  • Scholar document pick-up and drop-off at SISS will be restricted to campus staff, faculty, and mail services personnel and only permitted if necessary for the welfare of a scholar.

    Student documents will be signed and sent electronically through Global, except for OPT/STEM OPT requests, which will be shipped. Students must arrange shipping. Instructions for setting up shipping are provided when the request is approved and the document is issued.
  • Is SISS processing immigration requests? 
  • Yes. Please work directly with your SISS advisor.
  • Can SISS help with rebooking or changing canceled flights?
  • Follow airline guidance and directly contact airlines for re-bookings/refunds/changes. 

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Remote Learning

  • Will classes be remote in fall 2021? 
  • On April 26, UC Davis announced plans for a full return to activities in fall 2021. UC Davis recognizes the need for flexibility in some cases, particularly for those with health conditions and international students affected by travel restrictions. Although some online courses are planned, the majority of classes are planned as in-person instruction. In the April 26 statement, Chancellor Gary S. May and Provost Mary Croughan wrote:

    “We are closely monitoring the situations at U.S. embassies and consulates abroad and continuing to advocate through various channels on behalf of our international community. We know that an inability to acquire a visa and other travel restrictions may prevent some students from being on campus in the fall, so we will do our best to have some alternative instruction options in place. In some cases, students may need to adjust their academic plans in consultation with their academic advisor. We also ask that departments and faculty help ensure that international students are not disproportionately impacted by situations beyond their control. As of now, we expect that all international students should be able to arrive in person for winter quarter, and thus anticipate that winter courses will be delivered in the same manner as they were before the pandemic. We will continue to monitor the ability for international students to arrive by winter quarter, and will consider the extent to which additional remote course offerings may be necessary in winter.”

    For information about fall 2021 planning, please visit our announcement.

    We encourage you to regularly visit these resources to learn more about resources and the plans for returning to campus:

    Campus Ready

    - Campus Ready: Student and Families

    - Campus Ready: Academics and Staff

    Frequently Asked Questions for Students

  • What happens to my legal status while UC Davis has a combination of remote and in-person classes?
  • Due to COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security continues a temporary suspension of its typical requirement for in-person classes, with some exceptions. 

    Studying outside the U.S.
    - New students: May take 100% remote classes this fall. SEVIS status will begin once you enter the U.S.
    - Continuing and transfer students: May take 100% remote classes this fall. SEVIS status will be maintained as long as you take at least 12 units.

    Studying inside the U.S.
    - New and transfer students who were enrolled in a U.S. academic institution (high school, other college or university) in spring 2020: May continue taking 100% remote classes this fall. You will remain in SEVIS status as long as you maintain 12 units.
    - New students, transfer students who were not previously enrolled in a U.S. academic institution: Must take at least one in-person class this fall. You will remain in SEVIS status as long as you maintain 12 units. 
  • How do I access resources to take my remote classes?
  • Remote classes will utilize various resources. Your instructor will provide more information about this. Students can find more information, updated frequently, in the Student Resources section of the Keep Teaching website. Students will want to regularly check the Student Resources page, and ensure they have access to several online resources.
     

    VPN: Use the UC Davis Library VPN to log into campus site. Please note that your connection speed may vary.  

    Canvas: If you are accessing Canvas from outside the U.S., this may be available to you without the VPN.

    Zoom: It is recommended that you use zoom.us to connect. There is a Zoom Guide for Students available for troubleshooting. If you are accessing Zoom outside the U.S., this may be available to you without the VPN.

    Google: If you cannot access Google from outside the U.S., you may need to use a VPN.

    Library Resources: Available to all students. If you are accessing this resource from outside the U.S., use the UC Davis Library VPN. Learn more about library resources.

    Resource FAQ for Students

    More information will be added about additional resources as they are available. You can find more information about accessing online tools from international locations on the Keep Teaching website. Students should also review the Student Resources page to learn more about available technology, connecting to WiFi, and other information as it is updated with new information. 

    If you are having trouble accessing resources for your classes, please reach out first to your instructor. Instructors are best able to assist you or connect you with someone who can assist you. If your issue remains unresolved with your instructor, you may reach out to your SISS Advisor.

  • How do I access campus VPN for remote classes?
  • Students should use the UC Davis Library VPN. Please note that your connection speed may vary. Learn more about library resources

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Health and Well-Being

  • What do I do if I feel sick?
  • Stay home if you feel sick! If you have symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your healthcare provider immediately.  

    Follow instructions on the Campus Ready website about reporting illnesses and other resources. Students can contact Student Health and Counseling Services at (530) 752-2300 to request a phone appointment. Learn more about what is happening in Yolo County by visiting Yolo County Health and Human Services online or by calling (530) 666-8614 for general COVID-19 information.  You can also find more information about COVID-19 through Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO). Please follow the advice of your medical care team. 
  • Where can I get tested for coronavirus (COVID-19)? 
  • Please visit the UC Davis Campus Ready COVID-19 Testing website for information about available testing on campus, scheduling an appointment, and FAQs to help answer your testing questions. 
  • Do I need to self-isolate or quarantine when coming to campus from outside the U.S.?  
  • If you are fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved on the World Health Organization's (WHO) vaccine status tracker or if you received a vaccine in the United States, you do not need to self-isolate or self-quarantine when you arrive. Vaccinated travelers are advised to follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) travel guidance, which offers information about testing, self-quarantining, and monitoring symptoms.

    If you are unvaccinated or not yet fully vaccinated, you will need to self-quarantine. According to the CDC travel guidance, you should get tested before you travel, wear a mask and take other precautions during travel, get tested again 3-5 days after you arrive, self-quarantining after travel for 7 days with a negative test or 10 days without a test, and self-monitor for symptoms. 

    Find guidance on requirements for self-isolation or self-quarantine after travel on the UC Davis Campus Ready Quarantine and Isolation webpage. 

  • Is the COVID-19 vaccine required on campus?
  • The University of California has proposed a vaccine requirement for all students once the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the vaccine. This policy is currently under review, but is proposed to begin as early as fall 2021. At this time, the vaccine is not required, and UC Davis will communicate any changes to this rule.

    If you want to receive the vaccine when you arrive, people aged 16 and older can receive the vaccine in California. Student Health and Counseling Services has information about how to sign up.

  • How can I find a COVID-19 vaccine in Davis?
  • All people aged 16 and older are eligible to receive the vaccine in California. People currently in California can schedule a vaccine appointment through the My Turn website.

    Individuals in all U.S. states can also find availability through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

    Student Health and Counseling Services may have additional information about how to sign up.

    Some airports may offer the vaccine to travelers. To learn more, please visit SFO vaccination sites and LAX vaccination sites.
  • Do I need an influenza vaccination? 
  • As posted on the Campus Ready website, "According to the University of California Executive Order, all students, faculty, and staff living, learning, or working on premises at any UC location must receive a flu vaccine, unless they receive an approved medical exemption or disability or religious accommodation." Starting November 1, 2020, and through the 2020-2021 flu season, members of the UC Davis community will be required to certify they have received the flu vaccine or an exemption or accommodation (or have a request for exemption or accommodation pending) before being allowed to access UC premises. Learn more about the flu vaccine requirement on the Campus Ready website.

    If you have questions about vaccinations, please communicate with Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) through its Health-e-Messaging Portal. (Please be aware that it may take a few days to get a response.)

  • How can I stay healthy?
  • The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) advise that proper hand washing, covering sneezes and coughs, avoiding touching your face, and social distancing (keeping 6 feet/2 meters distance) are all good preventative measures. Follow local protocol or requirements for face coverings. Take a moment to visit the CDC and WHO to learn more. 

    The UC Davis campus asks all members to commit to the following while on campus:
    - Wear face coverings inside and outside 
    - Maintain physical distance
    - Wash your hands frequently
    - Monitor your symptoms
    - Stay home if you are sick or test positive for COVID-19
    - Disinfect your personal and shared space regularly
  • I’m scared and/or feeling anxious. Who can I talk to? 
  • There are many resources available to you to address stress during these uncertain times. Below are some resources for students and scholars. 

    For students
    UC Davis Counseling Services (may be limited to students inside the U.S. or California only)
    Each Aggie Matters
    You Got This workshops
    Student Health and Counseling Services podcasts
    Academic Assistance and Tutoring
    Undergraduate academic advising
    Graduate academic advising

    For scholars
    Academic and Staff Assistance Program
    Staff and Faculty Health and Well-being
    Healthy UC Davis

  • Can I waive the UC Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) if I am outside the U.S.? 
  • With proper documentation, students who are outside the U.S. for fall quarter can waive SHIP. Please note there is a $50 last fee if you apply for a waiver between Sept. 1 and Oct. 15, 2020, with a deadline of Oct. 15, 2020. Please follow instructions from Student Health and Counseling Services if you would like to pursue a waiver.  

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Travel

  • Can I travel during academic breaks?
  • At this time, we do not advise that you travel domestically or internationally during spring break or at any time. UC Davis urges everyone to avoid traveling, limit gathering to people in your household, and to continue to wear face coverings and adhere to all public health guidance

    All members of the campus community should continue to avoid all non-essential travel. Please find the latest travel updates on the Global Affairs Travel Advisory page to stay informed.

  • What do I do if my home country shuts down all travel and I can’t leave the U.S.?
  • The situation surrounding COVID-19 is dynamic and changing constantly. Please work directly with your Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS) advisor if you are concerned about your ability to return home due to restrictions your home country may be considering or have already implemented.
  • Should I return home to my home country? 
  • UC Davis advises that travel outside the U.S. should be limited since reentering the U.S. may be restricted. Our SISS advisors are, as always, available for specific questions related to your visa and/or immigration status. Please contact SISS if you are an international student considering leaving the U.S.

    If you are considering returning home, please consider the following practical questions:

    Have you met with your Dean’s Office Advisor/Graduate Coordinator to discuss how this will impact your academic progress?

    Is your visa valid? If your visa is expiring soon, consider the result if you were to require a new visa in order to return to the U.S. when classes resume in person. If you had only a few weeks of notice to obtain a new visa, this could lead to issues with your immigration and academic status. Many embassies are closed for an extended period of time.

    Do you have a valid I-20/DS-2019 travel signature?

    Are you aware of the travel restrictions to and from your home country?

    Do you have an off-campus housing lease? If you vacate your apartment, you will be responsible to make monthly payments until the end of your contract.

    Do you know how to store your vehicle/personal items if you will be gone for an extended period of time?

  • Can I travel outside the U.S. right now?
  • At this time, we do not advise that you travel domestically or internationally during spring break or at any time. UC Davis urges everyone to avoid traveling, limit gathering to people in your household, and to continue to wear face coverings and adhere to all public health guidance

    All members of the campus community should continue to avoid all non-essential travel. Please find the latest travel updates on the Global Affairs Travel Advisory page to stay informed.


    Should you choose to travel outside the U.S., when you come back, you may undergo more scrutiny at the border. To assist with re-admission to the United States students should carry an official transcript (request through Office of the Registrar) and reissued I-20 from SISS (request through iGlobal), and a letter of support from SISS (request through iGlobal). Please work with your SISS advisor prior to traveling. 

    If you decide to travel, please use caution and refer to guidance from the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for travel restrictions, health notices and, U.S. port of entry screening due to COVID-19. Be sure to check information also for transit airports. 

  • Can I return to the U.S. with the same I-20 if I have been away for more than five months?
  • Per guidance from the United States government on March 27, the five-month rule that would have required a new I-20 should no longer apply while universities are offering temporary remote instruction due to COVID-19. If you are fully enrolled in at least 12 units online and have been maintaining enrollment while outside the U.S., you are considered to be maintaining status and can use the same I-20. 
     
    We recommend that you re-enter the U.S. with the following documents: 
    - Your passport valid for six months in the future
    - A valid student visa
    - I-20 with a valid travel signature. SISS recommends requesting an updated I-20 through iGlobal before you travel

    If you are returning after being away for more than five months we additionally recommend returning with the following: 
    - Official transcript from the Office of the University Registrar  
    - An updated I-20 with a remark stating that you were studying outside the United States due to COVID–19 (request through iGlobal)
  • What should I do to help stay informed if I must travel? 
  • If you are a UC Davis employee, you are required to register all business trips with travel security. You can also register personal travel. Please see the Travel Announcement from Global Affairs for more information and the latest travel updates.
  • I am a current J-1 scholar from a country not affected by travel restrictions and planning to travel home for a vacation.
  • UC Davis advises that travel outside the U.S. should be limited since reentering the U.S. may be restricted. This is a dynamic situation that can change with short notice or no warning. Please review our latest travel announcement for more information about this topic. Please be aware that other countries could change travel restrictions without notice, flights may be canceled, or new re-entry restrictions could be imposed when returning to the United States. We recommend that you also connect with your country’s local Embassy or Consulate for additional guidance on specific travel advice by your home country government. If you decide to travel, please use caution and refer to guidance from the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories and Suspension of Routine Visa Processing and Presidential Proclamations, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for travel restrictions, health notices and, U.S. port of entry screening due to COVID-19. Be sure to check information also for transit airports.  

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U.S. Immigration Policy/Presidential Proclamations

  • How do I get a visa?
  • On April 26, 2021, the U.S. State Department announced a National Interest Exception for students from certain countries. This emergency measure grants travel into the United States. Please read more about the National Interest Exception to see if you qualify.  

    If you do not qualify for the National Interest Exception, keep checking visa appointment wait times for consulates and embassies in your preferred city so you can request an appointment as soon as they are available.

  • If I left the country and wish to return to the U.S., can I come back?
  • Although there are existing travel restrictions associated with COVID-19, at this time, these restrictions do not impact students or scholars who are current visa holders from returning to the country. If you are a student, you must immediately work with SISS to obtain a reissued I-20 with a notation that will help ease your processing through customs. Please be aware that the State of California may require you to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in California.  

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Student Employment and OPT

  • I want to apply for OPT. Can I leave the U.S.? 
  • The I-765 application for work authorization requires that the individual applies from within the United States. We recommend you stay in the U.S. so as not to jeopardize your ability to take advantage of your OPT/STEM OPT benefits. USCIS will not mail government documents abroad. The I-797 approval notices and the EAD card are all considered government documents. 
     
    If your EAD card is approved while you are outside of the United States, you will be obligated to have written notification of a job offer in order to be eligible for re-admission to the United States. 
  • Can F-1 students work remotely for on-campus employment?
  • Yes, if your current job has no other option but for you to work remotely during this time, you can continue with this employment. Students must notify SISS by going into iGlobal, clicking on Employment, and then submitting the Telework During COVID-19 e-form.  
  • How do I obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Card?
  • Students applying for an EAD card apply for a Social Security Number through the I-765 application. Others who are getting a Social Security card for on-campus employment or CPT, and who have never had a Social Security card issued in the past, must have a face-to-face interview. At this time, as Social Security offices are closed. Please discuss this issue with your employer or department ahead of time, and work with Intake Advisor Stephanie Partridge to learn about your options. International students may need to wait until Social Security offices reopen. 

    There are limited situations when a student may be able to demonstrate a dire need for the card immediately. For example, if the student will lose the job offer without the card. If this is the case, the student would call the West Sacramento field office at (866) 726-8136 to explain the situation. This information would be forwarded to the manager who would decide whether a face-to-face interview is warranted. If the request is denied, the student will have to wait until the field office reopens. 
  • I am on F-1 OPT or STEM OPT Extension and I have been furloughed or laid off. How does this impact my OPT or STEM Extension unemployment days?
  • Furlough, leave of absence, laid-off, and termination have different meanings. You should confirm in writing with your employer exactly what your employment status is. 

    A furlough or paid or unpaid approved leave of absence may still be considered employment for OPT/STEM OPT purposes. F-1 regulations allow for “time off taken consistent with leave-related policies applicable to the employer's similarly situated U.S. workers in the area of employment.” If this is your situation, request documentation from your employer (usually your supervisor or HR) confirming that your period of furlough or official leave of absence. 

    A termination or lay-off would be an ending of the employment and would result in the beginning of days of OPT or STEM OPT unemployment. You will need to report your end date with your employer in iGlobal through Limited Access Client Services. If you are on first-year OPT, use the OPT Report Employment link. If you are on STEM OPT, use the Changes to a STEM Employer link. 
  • I am a new international student studying remotely from outside the U.S. during fall quarter. Am I accruing employment benefits? 
  • New first-year students studying from outside the U.S. this fall are not able to earn OPT or CPT at this time. Your eligibility for this benefit will begin when you enter the U.S. on your F-1 visa.  

    Continuing students studying outside the United States will continue to earn eligibility for this benefit. 

    Transfer students who were already earning this benefit and are attending UC Davis this fall from outside the U.S. will continue to earn eligibility for this benefit. 

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Planned Educational Leave Program (PELP)

  • Is Planned Educational Leave Program (PELP) an option for me? 
  • Planned Educational Leave Program (PELP) allows any continuing undergraduate or graduate level student to temporarily suspend academic work at UC Davis while maintaining academic status with the University. Undergraduates are eligible for only one term of PELP during their academic career at UC Davis. For graduate students, the maximum leave is up to one year. PELP application deadline is the 10th day of instruction for each term. 

    We recommend that you meet with your Dean’s Office International Academic Advisor or Graduate Coordinator to discuss whether PELP or withdrawal is the best option.  If your academic advisor agrees that PELP is the right choice for you, you must complete the Voluntary Departure form in iGlobal, which can be found in iGlobal under Departures from UC Davis. To maintain your status, you must depart the United States no later than October 14, 2020. 

    Returning F-1 students can request reactivation in iGlobal. Returning J-1 students should contact their SISS Student Advisor
  • If I go on Planned Educational Leave Program (PELP) and I’m in my home country and can’t get back within 5 months to be reactivated, will I need a new I-20?
  • Yes, SISS will reissue a new I-20 for your return for Fall Quarter 2020 or later. F-1 students should request a new I-20 through iGlobal. They will pay the SEVIS fee and receive a new SEVIS ID number. They can return 30 days before the start of the term, and their CPT/OPT eligibility will restart. Be sure to check your visa and passport expiration dates. J-1 students should contact their SISS Student Advisor

    If you cannot return in time to start classes the quarter you are due back, you may miss your pass time to register and it could lead to issues with your visa, immigration, and academic status. 

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J-1 Scholars

  • How do I attend the J-1 scholar orientation? 
  • A PowerPoint orientation has replaced in-person J-1 orientations. New J scholars will receive an email from SISS providing the link to the PowerPoint.  
     
    New H-1B scholars can schedule an orientation directly with our H-1B advisor Gayle Nerli by emailing her directly at generli@ucdavis.edu
  • Can scholars still get a DS-2019 travel signature?   
  • In lieu of a signature, our SISS scholar advisors will provide a travel support letter to confirm good standing by email. J-1 scholars are still required to submit a completed iGlobal travel signature eform request to SISS. For information on travel restrictions, please refer to the travel update from Global Affairs
  • My J-1 scholar program ends soon and I am unable to fly home. What should I do?
  • If you are unable to fly home as planned because of flight cancelations, a limited number of available flights, and ongoing travel restrictions, please contact your SISS scholar advisor to discuss your immigration status and possible options, such as a DS-2019 extension or a change of status (if eligible). 
     
    Find your SISS scholar advisor in our People Directory and contact them directly to schedule an appointment. We also urge you to contact your home country’s embassy or closest consulate to notify them about your situation. It is our understanding that many embassies are posting special communications on their websites and social media for their citizens in the U.S. in order to make contact with them.  
  • What steps have to be taken regarding new J-1 scholars who are unable to arrive in the US as planned to start their J-1 program? 
  • Host departments should submit iGlobal J-1 amendment requests to change J-1 program start dates to later dates. New dates will be determined based on travel restriction information available at the time. 
  • I am a J-1 scholar and have questions about the impact of the current situation on my J-1 program activities. 
  • Contact SISS if you have questions about J-1 status maintenance. Please speak with your UC Davis host professor if you have concerns related to your J-1 program activities. SISS will continue to fulfill government reporting requirements.  
  • My J-1 visa is expiring soon, and I can’t return to my home country as planned due to coronavirus issues. What should I do?
  • If scholars are unable to return to their home country as planned, we can extend the J-1 program, provided that the host department supports it and the scholar has time left in J-1 status (based on J-1 category). Please contact your J-1 scholar advisor if you have concerns or questions. 

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Finances and Taxes

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Message to UC Davis International Students and Scholars

March 10, 2020

Dear international students and scholars,

We continue to follow the developments of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and monitor situations on campus and around the world. Your safety, wellbeing, and educational experience are our priorities. As such, we are writing to assure you that protocols are in place to support you. We are also writing to reiterate campus updates and remind you of the information and resources available to support you during what we understand may be a challenging time for you and your family.

Campus Information

There are no reported cases of COVID-19 on the Davis campus. UC Davis is preparing for all scenarios. Classes remain in session in Davis and Sacramento. Campus leadership has advised for maximum flexibility for students and faculty who either should not or do not wish to attend in-person classes to complete the work of the quarter via alternate means. Frequent updates are being made to support our campus community, including:

Travel Information

Travel outside the U.S. should be limited since reentering the U.S. may be restricted. Our Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS) office is, as always, available for specific questions related to your visa and/or immigration status.

Health and Wellbeing Resources

We also recognize that staying can be stressful, so we want to remind you that there are numerous campus resources available to you, including:

It is critical to follow the recommendations for preventative care, which have the greatest likelihood of protecting us as individuals and as a community.

Please know we are here for you during this uncertain time. If there are other ways that we can support you, please let us know.

Sincerely,

Joanna Regulska
Vice Provost and Associate Chancellor of Global Affairs 

Wesley Young
Director of Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS), Global Affairs
  


Translation for Chinese students, scholars, and their families:

亲爱的国际学生和学者:

我们持续追踪新型冠状病毒(2019冠状病毒疾病)的进展和掌控校园及世界各地的形势。您的安全,福祉和教育体验是我们的首要任务。因此,我们致信的目的是希望您知悉我们有相应的规程为您提供支持。我们也希望借此信向您转述校园的最新情况和重申可以帮您和您的家庭度过时艰的信息和资源。

校园信息

戴维斯校园迄今没有2019冠状病毒疾病案例的报道。加州大学戴维斯分校正在为所有可能出现的情况做准备。戴维斯和萨克拉门托地区照常上课。对于不能或者不愿到场上课的学生和教职人员,校方领导层支持在选择替代方式完成本学季课程方面享有最大的灵活度。学校提供持续更新的信息以支持我们的校园社区,包括:

旅行信息

由于重新入境美国设有限制,美国境外旅行需要受限。我们国际学生学者服务办公室 (SISS) 会一如既往地向您提供服务,解答关于签证和移民身份的具体问题。

健康和福祉资源

我们也意识到留学访问在此的您也许承担着压力,我们希望提醒您这里有大量的校园资源向您开放,包括:

遵循预防措施建议非常重要,因为这能够最大程度地保护我们自己和我们的社区。

请记得我们在这里陪您度过这个充满不确定性的时刻。请告知我们是否有其它可能的方式向您提供支持。

Joanna Regulska
Global Affairs 副教务长兼副校长

Wesley Young
Global Affairs 国际学生学者服务办公室主任

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