Guidance for F-1 Nonimmigrant Students for Winter and Spring 2021

Student walking with red umbrella

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.

The March 2020 guidance applies to nonimmigrant students who were actively enrolled at a U.S. school on March 9, 2020, and are otherwise complying with the terms of their nonimmigrant status, whether from inside the United States or abroad. This states that these students may continue to take 100% online courses whether they are inside or outside the United States.

Nonimmigrant students who have a start date on their I-20 after March 9, 2020, and who entered the United States after March 9, 2020, to begin a program of study in the United States must enroll in at least one in-person class. All students who entered the United States to start taking classes in fall quarter 2020 must continue to take at least one in-person class in both winter and spring terms. Students who will enter for winter quarter 2021 will also have to take at least one in-person class in both winter and spring terms.

International students who do not fit in the above categories or who have other questions about their requirements should reach out to their SISS Advisors

No matter where you are, we wish you the best of luck as you continue your studies, and hope you enjoy a restful winter break. Our office will be closed for the university winter break, and SISS Advisors will not be available for questions at that time, but we look forward to connecting with you when we return on January 4, 2021.

Previous updates for Fall 2020 (Sept. 1, 2020)

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