For Current International Students who are Outside the U.S.

This web page contains information for international students who are actively enrolled at UConn from outside the United States.

Spring 2021 Course Enrollment and Support

If you are studying in online courses from your home country, we want to let you know of your options if you are struggling with any or all of your courses. First, please reach out to your professor, your academic advisor, ISSS or any of your other campus resources if you need support. ISSS has information on our website about academic resources that are available to you, for both academic support and English language/writing support.

To keep your I-20 active while you are away, you must take at least 12 credits (undergraduate students), 9 credits (graduate students).  If you would like to take less than the required minimum credits, these are your options:

  • New students who started your programs abroad in Summer 2020, Fall 2020 or Spring 2021: you do not yet have an active UConn I-20, so you are allowed to study part-time and it will not impact your visa status. If you have a UConn scholarship or graduate assistantship though, you may be required to keep a certain number of credits.
  • Current students who started before Fall 2020 – if you wish to keep an active I-20 while you are away, you must study full-time, OR you must be approved by ISSS to take a Reduced Course Load for part-time study. Please email your ISSS Advisor to see if you can take a Reduced Course Load for part-time study.
    • If you are not approved to take a Reduced Course Load, you can still choose to terminate your current I-20, which means you are not required for visa purposes to study full-time. You will need to request a new, initial I-20 form to return to the United States. You must talk to your ISSS advisor about these options.

Continuing Students Who Will Return to UConn in Spring or Summer 2021

Important information for current international students outside the U.S. who will return to UConn, and who:

  • Were enrolled at UConn Spring 2020 or earlier
  • Have maintained full time enrollment each semester while abroad
  • Have not been notified by ISSS that your I-20 or SEVIS record is cancelled or terminated

Many students are now planning their return to UConn in Spring or Summer 2021. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Request a recent travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 form.  Fill out a Travel Information Record to request your travel signature, and report your travel dates to ISSS.  For the Departure Date, list the date that you left the U.S. For Return Date, list the date that you plan to return to the U.S. After receiving your form, ISSS will issue a new I-20 with updated electronic travel signature, and you will receive a message with instructions to retrieve this form in your ISSS Portal. Download the I-20, print and sign it for your return travel or visa appointment.
    1. Timeline to complete the travel information record: At least one month before your travel to the U.S., or at least one month before your appointment for visa renewal, if applicable.
  2. If you already have a Form I-20 or DS-2019 with recent travel signature, you still must report your travel to ISSS by completing the Travel Information Record. In the form, you will tell ISSS that you do not need a travel signature, and that you are just reporting your travel dates. Please report confirmed travel dates, not planned or approximate travel dates.
  3. Check the expiration date of your F-1 or J-1 visa. If it will expire before your return date, you must renew your U.S. visa before you travel.
  4. Check the expiration date of your passport. If it will not be valid more than six months after your arrival to the U.S., you must renew your passport before you travel.
  5. Plan for travel restrictions and pre-flight COVID testing requirements. If you are currently in a country that does not allow direct travel to the U.S. (cannot have been present in that country within 14 days prior to arrival) then you must make other arrangements to travel to the U.S., or delay your travel.
  6. If you will travel to the U.S. in the middle of Spring term or in the middle of summer, and you do not have the UConn Student Health Insurance Plan, you must make sure to have other comparable insurance that will cover you in the U.S.

If you did not maintain full time enrollment while outside the U.S., you will need to ask ISSS to issue you a new I-20 form for your return to UConn. Request that new I-20 form here.

Overview of Enrollment Options for Spring 2021

NOTE: ISSS is awaiting updated information from the University before we can update this information with Fall 2021 information. 

This table will help you understand your possible options for Spring 2021, and what you need to do for each option.

Option 1: Study in the United States

First Term Students:

(you started your program Fall 2020)

-You must have an I-20 for UConn with a program start date of 1/19/2021.

 

-You must have an unexpired F-1 visa for UConn.

 

-You must have a passport valid at least 6 months after you will arrive in the U.S.

 

-Register full time, with at least one in-person or hybrid course (this could change). Meet with your academic advisor to discuss course options.

 

-Arrive to the U.S. by your assigned move-in date (if you will live on-campus) or by 1/19/21 (if you live off-campus)

 

-Submit Student Health History form by 11/2/2020

 

-Complete New Student to Do List, including Submit Arrival Documents, in ISSS Portal by 1/19/21.

Continuing Students:

(you started your program before Fall 2020 and you have an ACTIVE I-20)

-You must have a UConn I-20 with travel signature less than 12 months old on date of entry

 

-You must have an unexpired F-1 visa for UConn

 

-You must have a passport valid at least 6 months after you will arrive in the U.S.

 

-You may return to resume fully online classes (this could change). Meet with your academic advisor to discuss course options.

 

-Arrive in the U.S. by your assigned move-in date (if you will live on campus) or by 1/19/21 (if you live off-campus)

 

-Submit the Spring 2021 Student Check In (Active Students), by December 7 (undergraduates) or December 19 (graduate students).

 

-Submit an Immigration Document Update to provide ISSS with a copy of your most recent I-94, and any updated visa or passport documents, after you arrive.

Option 2: Study Online in Home Country

First Term Students:

(you started your program Fall 2020)

-Enroll in UConn courses marked Online (these are asynchronous – do on your own time) or Distance Learning (these are synchronous, so you join the class at the listed class day and time). Meet with your academic advisor to discuss course options.

 

-If you have a Form I-20 with 1/19/21 start date, submit the SEVIS Defer – Request to Update I-20/DS-2019 form by December 7 (undergraduates) or December 19 (graduate students)

 

-If you have an I-20 with 8/30/2021 start date, instead, submit the Spring 2021 Student Check In (Active Students), by December 7 (undergraduates) or December 19 (graduate students)

 

-If you don’t have an I-20 form, or if your initial I-20 form was terminated or cancelled, submit the Spring 2021 Student Check In (Active Students), by December 7 (undergraduates) or December 19 (graduate students)

 

Continuing Students:

(you started your program before Fall 2020 and you have an ACTIVE I-20)

-Enroll in UConn courses marked Online (these are synchronous – do on your own time) or Distance Learning (these are asynchronous, so you join the class at the listed class day and time). Meet with your academic advisor to discuss course options

 

-You must enroll full-time, or qualify for a Reduced Course Load, if you wish to keep your I-20 active (this could change)

 

-Submit the Spring 2021 Student Check In (Active Students), by December 7 (undergraduates) or December 19 (graduate students)

 

-If you received a new I-20 from UConn due to a break in your F-1 status, and it has a 1/19/21 start date, you must submit the SEVIS Defer – Request to Update I-20/DS-2019 form by December 7 (undergraduates) or December 19 (graduate students)

Option 3: Enroll in a UConn Education Abroad Program (undergraduates only, if available)

First Term Students:

(you started your program Fall 2020)

-Email abroad@uconn.edu by November 11 if you are interested in enrolling in a UConn partner institution for Spring 21 

 

-Register for online or distance learning classes when your registration period opens, in case you are unable to enroll in a partner institution.

 

-Apply for and commit to an Education Abroad program. Your Education Abroad advisor will provide you information on how and when to apply after November 11.

 

-If you have an I-20 currently with 1/19/21 start date, submit the SEVIS Defer – Request to Update I-20/DS-2019 form by December 7

 

-If you have an I-20 with 8/30/2021 start date, submit the Spring 2021 Student Check In (Active Students), by December 7

 

-If you don’t have an I-20 form, or if your initial I-20 form was terminated or cancelled, submit the Spring 2021 Student Check In (Active Students), by December 7 (undergraduates) or December 19 (graduate students)

Continuing Students:

(you started your program before Fall 2020 and you have an ACTIVE I-20)

-Email abroad@uconn.edu by November 11 if you are interested in enrolling in a UConn partner institution for Spring 21

 

-Register for online or distance learning classes when your registration period opens, in case you are unable to enroll in a partner institution

 

-Apply for and commit to an Education Abroad program. Your Education Abroad advisor will provide you information on how and when to apply after November 11

 

-Submit the Spring 2021 Student Check In (Active Students), by December 7.

 

F-1 Visa Rules for Enrollment

Normally F-1 visa students are not allowed to take more than one online class per semester as part of their full time course load. During Spring 2020 (post-pandemic) and Fall 2020 semesters, this restriction was temporarily lifted. We do not yet know whether this restriction will continue to be lifted for Spring 2021. We also do not yet know if there will be different requirements for students coming to UConn for initial attendance (a new I-20) or for returning students. Our enrollment advice presented in this message is based on the guidelines that were in place for Fall 2020. If this changes, we will notify students as soon as possible.

Travel Letter for Students who will come to the U.S. for Spring 2021

ISSS does not plan to issue I-20 forms with special remarks for new and returning students coming for Spring 2021, unless the government requires this. Instead, we have provided you with a letter that you may print and take with you to your visa appointment or when traveling.

Spring 2021 Housing

If you plan to live in on-campus housing (Storrs or Stamford), UConn Residential Life recommends that you wait until your visa and arrival is confirmed before you apply for on-campus housing. Although November 6 is a priority date to be able to choose your own room, they will continue to accept applications for housing after this date. Students who live on-campus must understand that the residential experience will be more difficult than in normal circumstances – they will need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, cannot have guests in their rooms, and need to stay on campus for the duration of the semester. Find Spring 2021 housing information here.

Students who plan to live off-campus can find resources and an online housing directory from the UConn Off Campus and Commuter Student Services.

Further Resources

We want to help you! In addition to meeting with your academic advisor, you can request a meeting with your ISSS advisor to discuss plans for Spring semester. If you are enrolled at a UConn partner institution, we suggest that you email your ISSS advisor or abroad@uconn.edu to request a meeting with both your ISSS and Education Abroad advisor together!

Visit the ISSS COVID 19 Resources Page and the ISSS COVID-19 FAQ for detailed answers, and links to other University FAQs.

Watch the ISSS meeting for Undergraduate Students Abroad from 10/20/2020, “Planning for Spring 2021 Semester”