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Message for returning international students

 

We want to share with you important information related to the recent announcement about the spring 2022 semester starting online. This message is for students who are returning to UConn and have active I-20 or DS-2019 forms. Please read carefully, and send us your questions.

Arrival Date for students who live off-campus:

International students who are returning to UConn and live off campus have flexibility to arrive when you like, as long as you arrive by January 30 to begin classes in person on January 31.  Arriving after January 18 carries some risk; see more below.

Students who live on-campus

The University has delayed move-in for most on campus students until January 29-30.  We know that international students may have already purchased flight tickets to move in based on the original schedule, or may not have another place to stay in the U.S. 

  • January 15 or 16th, with approval from Res Life  
  • You may also delay your arrival to move in on January 29 or 30. Delaying your arrival also carries risk; see more below. If you do not submit the early arrival request form by January 6, UConn Residential Life will presume you are moving in January 29 or 30. 

What to know if you delay your arrival

  • You must be able to participate in your coursework online from your location. If time zone differences or internet restrictions prevent you from participating fully in your online coursework, you should consider traveling here before classes begin January 18. Please be advised that the UConn VPN may not be available to access courses in China. 
  • If you begin your in-person courses online from your home country, and then you cannot arrive in person to participate due to unexpected reasons (flight cancellations, illness, visa delays, travel lockdowns) you will still owe tuition, even if you cannot complete the course as planned. See the refund schedule for course tuition
  • Graduate students who will arrive after January 18 (or after January 5, if a Graduate Assistant) need approval from The Graduate School, and your Graduate Assistant supervisor, should you have a GA. The late arrival request form can be found under the “Account & Forms” area of your Application Status Portal for new students, and on this website for returning students. 
  • Due to federal laws, Iranian graduate students may only participate in courses online while outside the U.S. under limited circumstances. If you are an Iranian graduate student who cannot arrive before January 18th, your case must be reviewed by the appropriate offices at UConn. 

Returning from travel abroad

Returning students arriving from abroad need to carry their passport, unexpired F or J visa, and I-20 or DS-2019 with a recent travel signature from ISSS (signed within the last 12 months). You can find your I-20 or DS-2019 form in your ISSS Portal account by logging in to isssportal.uconn.edu and click on your Academic Objective record, listed under the term/year that you started your program. Find your scanned I-20 copies under "Attached Documents". Check the date of your last travel signature on page 2, and if you need a new one, submit a Travel Information Record . You must download, print and sign your I-20 or DS-2019 to have with you at immigration. 

Students who will delay their arrival until January 29/30 can carry a spring 2022 travel letter in your carry-on luggage, in case you are asked to document why you are arriving late.  

We know that you still may have many questions. If you need help please contact international@uconn.edu or make an appointment with your ISSS advisor

Message for new Storrs grad and undergrad int’l students

 

We want to share with you important information related to the recent announcement about the spring 2022 semester starting online. This is for new international undergraduate and graduate students to UConn, including students who started their UConn programs abroad and will arrive for the first time. Please read carefully and send us your questions.

 

Arrival date for students who live off campus

International students who live off campus have flexibility to arrive when you like, as long as you arrive by January 30 to begin classes in person on January 31. Submit the ISSS Arrival Confirmation form so that ISSS knows when you will arrive. Arriving after January 18 carries some risk; see below for more information.

Arrival date for students who live on campus

The University has delayed move-in for most on campus students until January 29-30.  We know that international students may have already purchased flight tickets to move in based on the original schedule. This means you may move in:

  • January 13, 2022 between 8:30 and 4:30 pm., with approval from Res Life
  • You may also move in January 15 or 16th, with approval from Res Life  
  • Graduate students living in on-campus housing may have arranged different move-in dates individually with Res Life.  Follow the instructions provided to you by Res Life, and submit your ISSS Arrival Confirmation form, so that ISSS knows when you will arrive. 
  • You may also delay your arrival to the move on the weekend of January 29 or 30. Please see more details about that below. If you do not submit the early arrival request form by January 6, UConn Residential Life will presume you are moving in January 29 or 30. 

What to know if you delay your arrival

  • You must be able to participate in your coursework online from your location. If time zone differences or internet restrictions prevent you from participating fully in your online coursework, you should consider traveling here before classes begin January 18. Please be advised that the UConn VPN may not be available to access courses in China. 
  • If you begin your in-person courses online from your home country, and then you cannot arrive in person to participate due to unexpected reasons (flight cancellations, illness, visa delays, travel lockdowns) you will still owe tuition, even if you cannot complete the course as planned. See the refund schedule for course tuition
  • Graduate students who will arrive after January 18 (or after January 5, if a Graduate Assistant) need approval from The Graduate School, and your Graduate Assistant supervisor, should you have a GA. The late arrival request form can be found under the “Account & Forms” area of your Application Status Portal for new students, and on this website for returning students. Undergraduates do not need to seek special approval to arrive after January 18, as long as you are here by January 30.
  • Due to federal laws, Iranian graduate students may only participate in courses online while outside the U.S. under limited circumstances. If you are an Iranian graduate student who cannot arrive before January 18th, your case must be reviewed by the appropriate offices at UConn. 

If I delay arrival, will ISSS update my I-20 or DS-2019 form?

Students who already have their visa will not need an updated I-20 or DS-2019 form. You can carry a spring 2022 travel letter in your carry on luggage in case you are asked to document why you are arriving late. Students who will have their visa appointment after January 11th and will not arrive by January 18th may request an updated I-20 form or DS-2019. You will need to email international@uconn.edu and provide your date of visa appointment and planned travel date.

ISSS In Person Orientation

The required in-person ISSS orientation and welcome activities January 14-17 will be postponed to a later date after in-person classes begin. Instead, we will offer a synchronous online orientation program on January 14 and 17 to help you adjust to your first few weeks of remote learning. We will send you more details soon.

We know that you still may have many questions. If you need help please contact international@uconn.edu or make an appointment with your ISSS advisor.  

Message for new international graduate students at Storrs campus

 

ISSS would like to share with you important information regarding arrival to campus for the fall 2021 semester to help you in your planning. Classes at all UConn campuses begin August 30, 2021. Please read the following information carefully to help you plan your arrival.

International Graduate Student Welcome Program

 

ISSS invites new graduate students at the Storrs campus to attend the International Graduate Student Welcome Program on Monday, August 23. This program complements your online international student orientation, and will include both in-person and virtual elements. This includes graduate students who began their program abroad, and who will arrive at UConn for the first time in the fall.

 

Students who are fully vaccinated may participate fully in the International Graduate Student Welcome Program. Students who are not fully vaccinated may likely participate in only some aspects of the orientation program. We strongly encourage all new international graduate students at Storrs to attend this program, which will help orient you to life at UConn and meet others. We will provide more details to you regarding the International Graduate Student Welcome Program soon.

Student Arrival Dates

If you will live on-campus:

New international graduate students living on-campus at Storrs may move into their room early, on Friday, August 13. There is an extra charge/fee associated with early move-in, and specific details about how to sign up and the cost for early move-in will be provided to you by Residential Life. New international graduate students who cannot move-in on August 13 should follow the standard move-in calendar, posted here. New graduate students who cannot arrive for the early move-in date can move in August 28 or 29. Contact livingoncampus@uconn.edu with any on-campus housing questions.

 

Living off campus:

If you will live off campus you may enter the U.S. with your F or J visa up to 30 days before the program start date listed on your Form I-20 or DS-2019. If you are a Storrs campus student and you will attend the International Graduate Student Welcome Program, please arrive by August 24. If you will not be fully vaccinated, you should arrive at least 7 days before the International Graduate Student Welcome Program to fully participate, or at least 7 days before classes begin, and follow all guidelines listed in this email regarding testing and quarantine.

 

Airport shuttle:

ISSS will sponsor an airport shuttle for students from Bradley International Airport  (Windsor Locks, Connecticut) to Storrs, Connecticut on the following dates:

 

Friday, August 13, 2021

Sunday, August 14, 2021

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Tuesday, August 24, 2021 – drop off at UConn Storrs campus only.

 

ISSS will provide more information about the airport shuttle, and a form to sign up for the shuttle, very soon.

COVID-19 Testing, Vaccination, and Quarantine Requirements

COVID-19 Vaccination:

The University requires that all UConn students be vaccinated for COVID-19, unless you have been approved for an exemption from this requirement for medical or non-medical reasons. Students who wish to apply for the exemption should submit the exemption request form by July 15. Links to the exemption requests form can be found here. Do not submit the exemption form if you plan to be vaccinated upon arrival to the U.S.

 

You are considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after completing a full course of a vaccination approved by the World Health Organization. If you are unable to be fully vaccinated in your country, the University will allow you to get your vaccination when you arrive. Students who need to be vaccinated upon arrival can register for an open appointment with the on-campus vaccination clinic starting in August. As an international student, you will be allowed to move to Storrs campus residence halls on the designated early arrival day of August 24 even if you are not fully vaccinated, but you will need to follow all guidelines described below.

 

Please upload proof of your vaccination status, even if you are not yet fully vaccinated and even if it is not a WHO-approved vaccine, to myhealth.uconn.edu as soon as you are able to, and no later than July 31 (when possible).  If you will not have access to a WHO approved vaccination upon arrival, do not apply for the vaccination exemption. Instead, register for a vaccination appointment when available. More information on the University’s vaccination requirement can be found here.

 

COVID-19 testing:

After international travel:

All international students who fly to the U.S. from another country are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test in order to fly to the United States. Learn more here. Please also submit proof of your negative COVID-19 test result to myhealth.uconn.edu. Upon arrival in the U.S., you should be tested again, and then again 5-7 days after arrival. Students who attend the Storrs campus can be tested through on-campus student health and wellness (SHaW) services.

 

Residential students who are not yet fully vaccinated, no international travel:

Students who are not fully vaccinated, but will live on campus and did not travel from outside the U.S., must also be tested prior to arrival, upon arrival, and within 5-7 days after arrival.

Quarantine:

Your vaccination status will determine if you will need to quarantine upon arrival to the U.S. or arrival to campus, whichever comes first.

 

Quarantine Scenario 1: If you are fully vaccinated, living on-campus or off-campus:

Quarantine is not required. If you traveled from an international destination, you will still need pre-arrival testing, arrival testing, and testing 5-7 days after arrival for COVID-19 (as described above) and monitor for symptoms.

 

Quarantine Scenario 2: If you are not fully vaccinated, and arrive from a U.S. location, or from an international location that is not subject to geographic entry-restriction*:

 

Students living on campus:

In addition to the COVID-19 testing described above, you will need to follow a modified residential quarantine for 7 days. During the modified quarantine:

 

  • Students are permitted to attend class and participate in essential research functions conducted at UConn.
  • Students in clinical rotations should follow the recommendations of their clinical setting.
  • No close contacts (<6 ft. for >15 min) outside defined residential pod.
  • Continue to wear masks, physically distance, and avoid crowds and social gatherings.
  • May leave primary residence for Dining Hall take-out service.
  • May engage in outdoor activities by yourself or with members of defined residential pod.
  • May participate in limited, university sponsored, socially distanced outdoor activities.
  • No prolonged indoor activity outside of primary residence other than to attend class, engage in essential research, and access take-out food service.
  • Adhere to all control measures advised by the university.
  • Daily symptom check during the modified quarantine period.
  • May leave primary residence to obtain medical care and participate in required testing for COVID-19.

 

Students living off-campus:

Follow the modified quarantine guidelines above for seven days (but in your off-campus residence), or ten days if you are unable to follow the COVID-19 testing schedule after arrival.

 

Quarantine Scenario 3: If you are not fully vaccinated, and arrive after international travel from a country subject to entry-restriction*:

 

Students living on campus:

In addition to the COVID-19 testing described above, you will need to follow a medical quarantine for 7 days after arrival to the U.S. If you arrive in the U.S. before your move-in date, you should complete the 7-day quarantine and related COVID-19 testing before you move into your on-campus housing and upload your testing results to SHaW. Otherwise you may complete the medical quarantine on-campus.

 

During the 7-day medical quarantine:

  • You will live in temporary housing for residential quarantine.
  • No close contacts (<6 ft. for >15 min).
  • May only leave primary residence for Dining Hall take-out service.
  • No in person class attendance. If you must miss classes due to quarantine, the University will support you to remain engaged with your coursework.
  • No in-person work attendance.
  • Daily active monitoring of temperature (2x/day) and daily symptom check
  • Testing for COVID-19 day 5-7 after arrival from an entry restricted country.
  • May leave primary residence to obtain medical care and participate in required testing for COVID-19.

Students living off-campus:

Follow the general medical quarantine guidelines above for seven days (but in your off-campus residence), or ten days if you are unable to follow COVID-19 testing schedule after arrival.

 

*Entry restricted countries as of June 2021: Brazil, China, India, Iran, South Africa, Ireland, United Kingdom, and Schengen Area countries of Europe, which are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

 

 

Summary of Arrival, Testing, and Quarantine Policy

Travel description: Covid-19 Testing Quarantine Arrival Date- Living On Campus Arrival Date- Living Off Campus
Domestic travel: Fully Vaccinated: None required

 

Not fully vaccinated:

Pre-arrival, upon arrival and 5-7 days after arrival

Fully vaccinated: None required

 

Not fully vaccinated:
Modified quarantine for 7 days

Early arrival: August 13

 

Standard arrival:

 

August 28-29

If you are already in the U.S. on an F or J visa, you may arrive at any point in summer, by your program start date.
International travel (not traveling from an entry restricted country): All students: Pre-arrival, upon arrival, and 5-7 days after arrival Fully vaccinated: None

 

Not fully vaccinated: Modified quarantine for 7 days

Early arrival: August 13

 

Standard arrival:

 

August 28-29

You may arrive up to 30 days before the program start date on I-20.
International travel from entry-restricted country: All students: Pre-arrival, upon arrival, and 5-7 days after arrival Fully vaccinated: None

 

Not fully vaccinated: Medical quarantine for 7 days

Early arrival: August 13

 

Standard arrival:

 

August 28-29

You may arrive up to 30 days before the program start date on I-20.

 

If not fully vaccinated, arrive at least 7-10 days before classes begin.

 

 

What to do next:

  • We know that you probably have a lot of questions about your situation. Please attend a live webinar to learn more about arrival and returning to campus, and ask your questions to SHaW, Res Life, and ISSS staff.

When: Tuesday, July 6 at 8:30 am9:30 am, EST.

Link to meeting:

https://uconn-cmr.webex.com/uconn-cmr/onstage/g.php?MTID=e277313e6e231215f85ab85d960f36f70

Event number 120 869 7786

Event password: UConn2021

 

  • Upload your COVID-19 vaccination record status, even if you are not yet fully vaccinated to uconn.edu by July 31 (when possible). Contact studenthealth@uconn.edu with any questions. Check your myhealth.uconn.edu portal for response from Student Health Services (for your privacy).
  • Fill out your ISSS Fall 2021 Study Plan, if you have not already done so. Please also complete this form if you will not study in-person for fall 2021.
  • Watch for emails from ISSS with a link to fill out a new student arrival form. In this form you will confirm your arrival date, request early arrival, and register for the new student welcome program and airport shuttle.

COVID-19 Vaccinations

Dear international students and scholars,

This week, State of Connecticut has published a planned schedule for COVID-19 vaccination eligibility in the state of Connecticut. https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/News/Press-Releases/2021/02-2021/Governor-Lamont-Announces-Connecticut-Will-Continue-Age-Based-Approach-To-COVID-Vaccine

International students have asked whether they will qualify for a vaccination under the state of Connecticut policy. It is our understanding that community vaccinations will be available based on where you work or live. Having a temporary visa status should not disqualify someone from receiving the vaccine, if otherwise eligible. We will provide international students with updates that would impact international students, if we learn of any.

Also, please watch for any announcements from UConn SHaW regarding vaccine updates for students. Vaccination programs available for students will include international students who otherwise meet eligibility requirements.

Please understand that this is an evolving situation, and much information has yet to be finalized. Please refer to the UConn SHaW COVID-19 information page for more student information. https://studenthealth.uconn.edu/updates-events/coronavirus/

 

For more information, contact: ISSS at international@Uconn.edu

Notice from Chinese Embassy Regarding Boarding Requirements to Fly to China

 

Dear international students and scholars,

 

For students and scholars who have a home residence in China, we would like to bring your attention to a recent announcement from the Chinese embassy regarding boarding requirements and testing procedures effective November 6, if you will be flying to China.

 

The new procedures can be found here: http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/notices/t1828184.htm

 

We know that this may make it more difficult for students and scholars who were planning to travel home for the winter break. Please reach out to ISSS if you have any specific needs that arise from this change and we will work to help you find a solution.

 

For students and scholars who decide to and are able to depart before this new rule is effective, remember that you do not have to get a travel signature from ISSS before you leave. Just be sure to report your travel to ISSS when convenient to do so, and we will make sure that you have access to a travel signature for your return to the U.S. https://isss.uconn.edu/travel/

 

 

We recommend that you contact the Chinese consulate in New York and/or your airline, if you have questions about the specific policy or travel plans. http://newyork.china-consulate.org/eng/

International Students and University COVID-19 Announcement

Dear International Students,

 

Yesterday a message was sent out to the University community alerting students and faculty to the possibility of UConn courses moving to online course instruction, and advising students to take important items with them if traveling for spring break, in case students are asked to return home due to COVID-19 concerns.  We want to clarify some aspects of this message for international students.

 

The message, which can be viewed in full here, reads in part:

 

The COVID-19 pandemic will come to the state of Connecticut and it will likely directly impact UConn. In that case, we are prepared for the possibility of moving classes to an on-line only format and having students return home when possible.  This has already occurred at some universities in the country.

 

It is strongly recommended that students bring all necessary academic materials (textbooks, laptop, notes, etc.) during the Spring Break period in case the decision is made to not return to in-class instruction.  Should the University determine that instruction will be offered online, students may not have the ability to return to the residence halls.

 

The University understands that international students who live in residence halls may not be able to return home. Therefore UConn will allow international students who live in residence halls to remain living on campus if students are directed to return home, and you are unable to do so. The University will provide more information to you, when available, about the process and expectations for students who remain on campus. Students who currently live off-campus will not be required to return to their home countries, and may stay in their off-campus apartments.

 

​If in-person classes are suspended through the end of the semester, it may be possible for students to complete the term from your home country, but there are many factors to consider when deciding whether to return home or remain in the U.S. If classes are only suspended temporarily, students who elect to go home may be unable to return to resume in-person studies due to visa/entry restrictions currently in place for travelers arriving from China and Iran. Because of the complexity of international travel with both options, it is important that you discuss your plans with ISSS if you are planning to leave the U.S.  In the event that online coursework or a closure of residence halls is announced, we will follow that announcement with further instructions for international students to maintain communication with ISSS.

 

Please know that the University takes your safety very seriously, and any decisions that are made require careful consideration. Therefore we do not have all the answers to your questions at this time, but please know the University is planning for the needs of international students. Thank you for your patience, and we will let you know of changes as we learn of them.

 

Important Notice on Spring Break International Travel

Dear International Students and Scholars,

 

It will soon be Spring Break, and ISSS would like to remind international students and scholars again that we require at least one week to process your travel signature request for international travel. PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT UCONN HAS SUSPENDED ALL UNIVERSITY-SPONSORED STUDENT INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.  Due to the fast-changing circumstances related to coronavirus, we would like to urge students who are traveling internationally for personal reasons to carefully consider travel risks. We do not know when countries will be deemed high risk for travel, and therefore disruptions like flight cancellations, U.S. entry restrictions, or quarantine requirements could delay your return to UConn.

 

Any delayed return to campus can lead to unintended consequences related to academic program completion or keeping your I-20/DS-2019 active. While we will provide you with a travel signature on your DS-2019 or I-20 if eligible, please consider these risks and keep in close communication with ISSS if your travel plans change.

 

If you will travel internationally:

 

  • Submit your travel information record as soon as possible so that we can review your plans and issue a travel signature, if necessary.
  • Consider purchasing a travel insurance that will cover you in your destination country. Make sure that the plan covers epidemic situations, and coverage for medical evacuation.
  • We do not recommend that any students conduct personal travel to countries deemed by the Center for Disease Control as a Level 3 risk for coronavirus (currently China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea). If you need to travel to a country designated Level 3 for coronavirus, please communicate these plans to your ISSS advisor as soon as possible for further guidance. If you choose to travel to Level 3 countries for personal reasons, you will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return to the United States. There is also a risk that you will not be allowed reentry to the United States (current entry restrictions are in place for travelers from China and Iran – this could expand to other countries).   
  • Be sure to evaluate local conditions in your travel destination before you go, and continually while you are there.
  • Practice basic hygiene for protecting yourself from illness, such as washing hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, and avoiding contact with people who are sick.

 

Travel Signature Instructions

Students and exchange visitors who are traveling outside the U.S. during Spring Break must submit their request to ISSS for a travel signature no later than Friday, March 6 in order to receive it by Friday March 13. ISSS is not doing an in-person travel signature week prior to spring break.

All students who are traveling outside the U.S. must:

-Complete a Travel Information Record online through the ISSS Portal to report your international travel

 

If you need a travel signature on your most current I-20 or DS-2019, you must also bring to the ISSS front desk:

  1. Your Form I-20/DS-2019
  2. An enrollment verification form listing the current semester, and all past semesters studied at UConn. Students at Storrs campus can request this from the Information Desk of Wilbur Cross Building. Visiting scholars and research students do notneed to submit an enrollment verification form to get a travel signature.

 

How do I know if I have a valid travel signature already?

If you have an I-20 form, page 2 of the Form has a section called “Travel Endorsements”. If you already have a travel signature on this page that was signed within 12 months of your planned return date to the U.S., you do not need a travel signature. If you are on post-completion OPT, the travel signature must be less than 6 months old.

If you have a DS-2019 form, the bottom right corner of the form has a section called “Travel Validation by Responsible Officer”. If you already have a travel signature on this page that was signed within 12 months of your planned return date to the U.S., you do not need a travel signature.

Remember, even if you already have a valid travel signature, you still must report your travel to ISSS through the Travel Information Record.

 

Both the submitted Travel Information Record AND your I-20/DS-2019 and enrollment verification must be submitted by Friday, March 6 for pick up by Friday, March 13. 

 

Visiting Scholars and Research Students: If your travel is for academic purposes related to your current research at UConn, you must also submit a completed J-1 Scholar Out of Country Research Request and upload this into your Travel Information Record.

Please contact ISSS if you have any questions, and read more information and Travel FAQs on the ISSS travel webpage.

 

SEVIS Fee to Increase June 24th, 2019

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has published a new rule impacting international students and exchange visitors. The SEVIS I-901 fee will increase effective June 24th to $350 for F-1 students and $220 for J-1 Exchange Visitors.

Read the rule from the Federal Register here.

The I-901 SEVIS Fee is paid by all F-1 and J-1 visa applicants who are starting a new academic program.  Students who take a break in their studies or exchange program and return to the U.S. with a new Form I-20 or DS-2019, with a new SEVIS ID number, also need to pay the fee.

Students and exchange visitors who complete multiple programs and maintain F-1 or J-1 status by transferring their SEVIS record, or by following SEVIS Change Education Level or Matriculation procedures, do NOT pay a new SEVIS I-901 fee.

Students who already paid the fee when they started their program do not need to pay the fee again.

New incoming students and exchange visitors who pay the SEVIS I-901 fee before June 24th will be assessed the old rates of $200 for F-1 students and $180 for J-1 Exchange Visitors. If you pay June 24th or after, you will pay the new fee rate.

Only F-1/J-1 principal visa holders pay the SEVIS I-901 fee – you do not have to pay a separate fee for your dependents.

 

Contact ISSS with any questions or concerns you have – international@uconn.edu.