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COVID-19

Helpful Resources
  • ​SNAC – Student Nutrition Access Center (Visit the website for details and procedures)
    • Hours: Tuesday through Thursday: 1:00-5:00 PM. Friday: 12:00-5:00 PM.
    • In person changes include: one person in the pantry at a time, asking volunteers to grab items, wiping down cans, etc.
    • Order online for pick-up or delivery: https://form.jotform.com/200786504000039
      • Pick-up orders in the University Inn parking lot. Parking is free.
      • Deliveries usually made within 24 hours of your order.
  • Student Health and CAPS (Visit the website for helpful links)
  • Reporting Discrimination or Harassment
    • We do not tolerate hostility or harassment on our campus. If you or someone you know may be experiencing incidents of bigotry or discrimination because of your ethnicity during this COVID-19 pandemic, contact President Cockett and/or Michelle Bogdan-Holt, Inclusion Center Director.
    • President Cockett sent an email directly to international students, check your email for “Message from President Cockett.” 
  • Global Engagement Hours
    • Our office will be open from 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM Monday through Friday for document pick-up and drop-off.
Other Helpful Resources
 

Travel

I want to return to my home country. Is there anything I should do before I leave?
  • Be sure to communicate with all of your professors before you decide to leave the country. There may be some instances which maintain face-to-face interaction e.g. labs.
  • Verify the travel signature is dated < 1 year from the time you intend to return to the USA.
    • Complete the form on the ISSS Portal if need new travel signature.
  • Assure your visa is valid beyond your intended return date. The U.S. Department of State has suspended all routine visa services at this time.
  • Refer to the resources we sent out (listed below), before arranging travel plans. 
  • Students out of the country for > 5 months will need to be able to explain to the border patrol office why they were outside of the country for an extended period (in this case, classes were moved to online format due to COVID-19 concerns).
    • "CBP looks at the totality of an application, which includes but is not limited to the institution the students are attending (semester vs. quarter), the length of absence from the US, the reason for the leave, and other documents the students present. There would not be an automatic determination of inadmissibility just because the students have been outside of the US for more than 5 months. Again, CBP looks at the big picture. Of course, the SEVIS record must be up-to-date, the I-20 must be signed, and the student’s visa must still be valid. However, as long as student’s documents are in order, they should be able to reenter the US. If such students do have a new visa, it may facilitate entry because it would indicate the students have passed the scrutiny by a sister agency before the application for admission to the US. But CBP does not require them to apply for and receive a new visa if the one that they have is still valid."

What if I am unable to leave the USA during the grace period after my program end date due to cancellation of flights or closure of the borders to inbound flights for my home country?
  • Contact your government embassy in the USA to determine what assistance they are offering to its citizens.
  • Document any inability to return to your home country. Schedule a meeting with your primary immigration adviser to explore alternate options to maintain status while in the USA e.g. apply for Optional Practical Training.


Will I be able to return to the USA?

  • Travel restrictions to the USA are noted on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/from-other-countries.html
  • Additionally, your home country may have restrictions on individuals departing the country. Check with your home country government or the airlines to determine what restrictions may be in place.
  • USU follows the CDC guidance to self-quarantine for 14 days after international travel. Learn more on our website about how to quarantine. Plan to arrive at least 14 days before USU classes start to avoid missing classes.


I left the country and am unable to return for the Fall 2020 semester. What happens now?​
If you are unable to return for the Fall 2020 semester, we will terminate your program for authorized early withdrawal. We can provide you a new I-20 to continue your program in another semester. This will have a new SEVIS ID number, and you will need to pay a new I-901 fee. This will also limit your Optional Practical Training period if you do not enroll for at least 2 academic semesters upon return to USU.


Fall 2020 Enrollment

Will the requirements to enroll in at least 9 credits of face-to-face courses change? Many of my classes have been switched to broadcast or online. 
  • We are waiting for final guidance from the Registrar's Office to determine how we will proceed with physical presence requirements and what we will report to SEVP regarding our instructional modalities. We will reach out to all international students with an update as soon as we have the information we need to move forward on our end. 

I want to return/ remain in my home country for the Fall 2020 semester and continue to study there. What should I do?
  • Send a notice to internationalstudents@usu.edu (be sure to include your A-number). We will work to have your enrollment status changed for this purpose.
  •  We will terminate your program for authorized early withdrawal. We can provide you a new I-20 to continue your program in another semester. This will have a new SEVIS ID number, and you will need to pay a new I-901 fee. This will also limit your Optional Practical Training period if you do not enroll for at least 2 academic semesters upon return to USU.


OPT
Is the U.S. government making accommodations for students on OPT who are unable to work remotely?
  • Students on OPT who have a job and cannot work remotely continue to be counted as employed as long as similarly situated U.S. workers in the area of employment are also not working due to COVID-19. Any additional days you take off after the emergency will count toward unemployment.
  • Federal regulations indicate you must work at least 20 hours/ week to meet the employment requirement: "A student may not engage in practical training for less than 20 hours per week, excluding time off taken consistent with leave-related policies applicable to the employer’s similarly situated U.S. workers in the area of employment."
Can I extend the unemployment period due to the COVID-19 crisis? I’m approaching the end of my 90-day unemployment period and still haven’t found a job.
  • There is no mechanism to stop the unemployment clock at this point.
  • Our professional organization sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) asking for further accommodations, including not counting unemployment days during the current crisis. We can only hope DHS responds soon approving these recommendations. 
Can the validity period of my OPT be extended due to COVID-19? Currently I am working from home due to the threat from the virus. Is there anything I need to do update my SEVIS record?
  • Report on any changes to your Optional Practical Training due to disruptions related to COVID-19. If you are working from home due to COVID-19, request electronic communication from your employer authorizing your need to remote/telework from home to document your request. Any changes must be reported within 10 business days    
    • You can report these updates using this form.
      • In this application you will submit the required documentation needed to support your telework authorization. When submitted, our team will review your request and make the proper notations on your record in the SEVIS, Student Exchange Visitor Information System.