Fall 2021 Regulatory Guidance

International Services understands that students have many questions as to how the COVID-19 pandemic, SEVP regulatory requirements, Visa processing delays, and Travel restrictions will affect your academic registration, travel plans, and F-1 status for the upcoming semester. The guidance International Services provides to international students is based on published guidance from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) which can be located here.

Adelphi University is committed to ensuring that you can continue your academic program safely and in accordance with all regulations. Services available to students include individualized academic advisement from your academic department, and regulatory guidance from your designated school officials in International Services. Working together with your academic advisor and International Services, you will be able to develop an individualized academic plan that allows you to continue your studies and which also provides regulatory guidance regarding your status.

International Services continues to actively monitor guidance released by SEVP and communicate any changes with our international student and academic community as efficiently as possible.

Can’t find your question below and need additional assistance? Contact us at is@adelphi.edu and we will gladly get back to you.

International Services Regulatory Assistance

International Services is deeply committed to providing regulatory guidance and assisting our international student and academic community. Interested individuals who need assistance can obtain accurate information and services through one of the following methods:

  1. Email Us at is@adelphi.edu. A qualified representative will respond to all student inquiries.
  2. Submit a Request for all essential office services using the International Services Portal
  3. Meet with us Virtually: Join our Monthly Chats to get to know us and ask your questions and share your
    concerns
  4. Join Us for one of our ongoing Regulatory Workshops to learn about the CPT and OPT process
  5. Schedule a Virtual Advisement Session: Office Hours are available for international students and scholars
    who wish to consult with one of the office Designated School Officials and gain regulatory guidance. For
    more information, please check here.

SEVP Guidance

At this time, SEVP has not released updated regulatory guidance for the Fall 2021 semester. This guidance is expected to be released this coming summer. SEVP continues to actively monitor COVID-19 and provide up-to-date information. Due to the fluid nature of this situation, all guidance provided may be subject to change.

Nonimmigrant students should continue to abide by SEVP guidance originally issued in March 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.

As a result, International Services is not able to provide students with definitive regulatory answers regarding physical presence in the U.S., and limitations to online courses for the next semester until such guidance has been posted.

For reference, the most updated guidance can be found at each of the below sites:

Returning Student Guidance

Students who are identified as a returning student if you meet the following guidelines:

  • Actively enrolled at a U.S. school on March 9, 2020
  • Maintaining valid F-1 status
  • Continuing the same educational level as March 9, 2020

The guidance listed below is specific to returning active status students who will be enrolled for the Fall 2021 semester in the same academic level as listed on your Form I-20 since March 9, 2020. This guidance is subject to change.

Location of Studies

Students who were actively enrolled and in valid F-1 status on March 9, 2020, and are otherwise complying with the terms of their nonimmigrant status, can continue to enroll in virtual courses and maintain valid F-1 status whether from inside the United States or abroad.

Online Courses

Per the March 2020 guidance, yes, nonimmigrant students in valid F-1 status who are continuing their academic program may remain in the United States to engage in a full course of study online

Progression / Change of Level Student Guidance

Students who are identified as a progressing / change of level student if you meet the following guidelines:

  • Maintaining valid F-1 status
  • Beginning a new educational level as a result of a program progression or change of level I-20 for the Fall 2021 semester

The guidance listed below is specific to returning active status students who have progressed into a new academic program or changed their education level for the Fall 2021 semester.

Location of Studies

No, students who are beginning a new academic level must be physically in the U.S. in order to be in valid F-1 status.

Online Courses

  • Per the March 2020 guidance, yes, nonimmigrant students in valid F-1 status who are continuing their academic program may remain in the United States to engage in a full course of study online
  • This includes students who have remained in the U.S. in active status and are starting a new program of study that is 100 percent online.

New Student Guidance

Student who are identified as a new student if you meet the following guidelines:

  • You have an I-20 that has been issued in one of the following categories
    • Initial
    • Transfer Pending
    • Change of Status
    • Reinstatement
  • You will be beginning a new educational level as a first semester student at Adelphi University
  • You have secured an F-1 visa and have been admitted to the U.S. by the program start date listed on your Form I-20

The guidance listed below is specific to new international students who will be beginning  a new academic program at Adelphi University for the Fall 2021 semester.

Location of Studies

  • No, students who are considered new students must be physically in the U.S. in order to maintain valid F-1 status.
  • This includes students in transfer pending status
  • First-year students who are attending Adelphi for their first semester but are unable to obtain a visa in time, or enter the U.S. for this semester may enroll in online courses from their home country. A variety of courses will be available, including a specially created first-year seminar. These students will not be considered maintaining valid F-1 status and will need to continue their visa application process, however, in order to attend Adelphi in person for the next available semester.

Online Courses

  • The ability to enroll in a fully online course of study is dependent upon the I-20 issued to you by Adelphi University. Please refer to the determinations below.
    • Initial Status Form I-20
      • No, students in initial status must engage in academic courses which have a physical in-class requirement.
    • Transfer Pending Form I-20
      • Yes, students who are in transfer pending status and inside the U.S. can enroll in a fully online program of study.
    • Reinstatement Form I-20
      • No, students in initial status must engage in academic courses which have a physical in class requirement.
    • Change of Status Form I-20
      • Enrollment in this classification is dependent on the change category. Please consult with your DSO.

Travel Guidance

Because of the changing array of travel restrictions and delays, students should refer to the U.S. Department of State for updates about visa processing, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) for current travel restrictions to the United States.

For specific information regarding travel as an international student, please visit our website: Travel as an International Student

Additional travel information for students in F-1 status can be found here:

Travel Questions

International travel is not recommended at this time due to ongoing travel restrictions, public health guidance, and immigration policy changes which can not be prepared for. However, students maintaining valid F-1 status who wish to travel should bring the following documents with them for re-entry into the United States:

  • A Valid Travel Endorsed Form I-20 (the DSO travel signature must be within one year of re-entry)
  • A Current Passport (valid for at least six months after the date of your reentry)
  • A Valid F-1 visa

Students who continue to maintain valid F-1 status by making normal progress in their academic program during COVID-19, and enrolling in a full course of study remain eligible for admission into the United States while the temporary measures related to COVID-19 are in place, and for this reason, the five-month temporary absence provision will not apply.

You will need to have the following required documents for entrance into the U.S. for re-entry

  • A Valid Travel Endorsed Form I-20 (the DSO travel signature must be within one year of re-entry)
  • A Valid Travel Endorsed Form I-20 (the DSO travel signature must be within one year of re-entry)
  • A Valid F-1 visa

Students who continue to make normal progress in their program during COVID-19 remain eligible for admission into the United States while the temporary measures related to COVID-19 are in place, and for this reason, the five-month temporary absence provision will not apply.

If you have an F-1 visa, your visa will not be canceled if you are studying from your home country and maintaining valid F-1 status.

Students who need to request a Travel Endorsement SIgnature from the Designated School Official, located in International Services should complete the “Request Travel Signature” student request located in the International Services portal. To access the portal and get started, click on the Login button International Services Portal.

To check the start a new request, edit a Pending Request or check the status of a submitted request, please log into your account and navigate to the “Requests” tab. This Portal is not compatible with mobile devices. Please plan in advance for your request as the process can take up to 5 business days to complete.

Travelers Prohibited from Entry to the U.S.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with specific exceptions, noncitizens who were physically present within the following countries during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States may not enter the United States at this time. Travelers Prohibited from Entry to the United States.

Countries Affected and Exceptions:

National Interest Exceptions for Certain Travelers from the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland

  • Students traveling from the Schengen Area, the UK, and Ireland with valid F-1 and M-1 visas do not need to contact an embassy or consulate to seek an individual NIE to travel. Students seeking to apply for new F-1 or M-1 visas should check the status of visa services at the nearest embassy or consulate; those applicants 4who are found to be otherwise qualified for an F-1 or M-1 visa will automatically be considered for an NIE to travel.
  • Travelers who wish to visit the United States to offer vital support to critical infrastructure sectors, as well as academics, J-1 students, and journalists who have a valid visa in the appropriate class, an ESTA authorization, or who are seeking to apply for a visa, and believe they may qualify for a National Interest Exception should contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate before traveling. If a National Interest Exception is approved, they may travel on either a valid visa or ESTA authorization, as appropriate.

Visa Services

In response to significant worldwide challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of State visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates may be delayed.

Students who need to apply for an F-1 visa should consult the instructions on their embassy or consulate website.

Visa Guidance can be located at the sites listed below:

Employment

On-Campus Employment

Students continue to remain eligible for on-campus employment positions, if the employment has transitioned to remote work or the employment can be done through remote means.

Off-Campus Employment

International students are not eligible to work off-campus without authorization from USCIS or International Services. Any off campus employment without authorization would be considered a violation of status.

Curricular Practical Training

Students may engage in CPT during their time abroad, provided they are:

  • Students may engage in CPT during their time abroad, provided they are:
  • 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

In order to file for OPT, you must be physically in the U.S. Students who would like information on how to file for OPT should refer to our website which includes a students eligibility for OPT, the application process, employment categories, travel guidance, student reporting requirements, and important related links. Optional Practical Training

Remote Employment and OPT

Students currently participating in OPT, including STEM OPT, may work remotely if their employer can assess student engagement using electronic means. Students participating in STEM OPT do not need to submit an updated Form I-983 to report remote work. However, requirements to submit an updated Form I-983 for other changes remain in effect.

Severe Economic Hardship

Students who would like additional information for off campus employment as a result of COVID-19 with USCIS should refer to our website which includes information regarding the requirements, and application process for severe economic hardship employment with USCIS. Severe Economic Hardship Employment

Quarantine Guidance

Information regarding travel advisory and quarantine requirements for students can be located here.

Leave of Absence

From a regulatory perspective, international students are required to be enrolled in a full course of study each academic semester in order to maintain valid F-1 status.

Active international students requesting a leave of absence would need to request an authorized early withdrawal from their academic program. Students will not be able to maintain valid F-1 status and have a leave of absence. Following your request for a university leave, you would need to depart the United States.

  • If you are an undergraduate student, you will need to contact Academic Services
  • If you are a graduate student, you must contact your academic dean of your individual school
  • If you are enrolled in one of our various AUI programs which include English Language Training, EAP, AAP, MAP, and AMAP, you must contact your AUI student services advisor Contact AUI
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