ISSS has confirmed updated guidance from the U.S. government regarding international students and distance learning for the Spring 2021 semester.
Please note the following rules and requirements:
- Current students who were enrolled March 9, 2020 or earlier: Students who were enrolled in a U.S. academic program on March 9, 2020 and have continued to maintain F-1 visa status may study fully online while in the U.S. Also, if you are studying full time from your home country, ISSS may keep your SEVIS record active while you are gone, even if your total absence exceeds 5 months.
- Current students who arrived after March 9, 2020: Students who arrived in the U.S. to begin your program after March 9, 2020 were required to take at least one in-person or hybrid course during Fall 2020 as part of your full-time enrollment. In Spring 2021, this requirement continues, and you must have at least one in-person or hybrid course as part of your Spring 2021 full time course load.
- New students for Spring 2021: Students who will travel to the U.S. to begin a program for Spring 2021 must have at least one in-person or hybrid course as part of your full-time enrollment.
- Former students returning on an initial attendance I-20: Students who were present and enrolled in a program of study on March 9, 2020, but who have not maintained continuous F-1 status, and will return to the U.S. on an I-20 issued for initial attendance, should enroll in at least one in-person or hybrid course if returning to the United States for Spring 2021 semester.
- SEVIS Transfer and Change Education Level Students: Students who are new to their UConn program for Spring 2021, but were in the U.S. on March 9, 2020 studying at another institution, or in a different UConn program, and have continued their F-1 status through the SEVIS Transfer process or Change Education Level process may study fully online while in the U.S.
- Change of Visa Status Students: Students who are requesting a change of visa status to F-1 with an I-20 start date of Spring 2021 or earlier should enroll in at least one in-person or hybrid course as part of your full-time enrollment. While this situation is not directly addressed in the government guidance, we suggest you follow this, even if you were present and enrolled at a U.S. institution in another visa status on March 9, 2020.
- J-1 Visa Students: If you are in the U.S. on a J-1 student visa for study, we anticipate the same rules will apply as noted above. We are still awaiting official guidance from the Department of State on this matter, but in past semesters the Department of State has mirrored the guidance for F-1 students.
Questions? Please contact email@example.com and your message will be forwarded to your ISSS Advisor.