INTERNATIONAL

Important Information for International Students during COVID-19

August 28, 2020

International Student Rule Changes Modified

July 14, 2020

To the Campus Community,

I am pleased to share with you that the recently announced rule changes from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) relating to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) have been modified pursuant to a settlement of the Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) legal challenge. While we are waiting for official guidance and information from the government regarding the details of the decision, it appears this settlement agreement may bring positive changes affecting students with F-1 visas. We will provide additional information as details of this action are clarified.

Thank you to everyone who joined us in advocating for our students. To our international students, please know that across the university, we will continue our work to support student success and maintaining momentum toward your degrees.

Sincerely,

Dianne F. Harrison, Ph.D.
President


This is a dedicated page for International Students to keep them informed during COVID-19. Please be sure to visit this page regularly to stay up-to-date on information regarding your international student status. IESC advisors are ready to assist you with any additional questions you may have.

We are providing remote advisement to our students Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm. To contact us, please go to https://www.csun.edu/international/contact-us

New Students

FALL 2020 FAQS NEW STUDENTS IN THE U.S.

The IESC Office is excited that you will join us in the fall 2020 semester. Due to the current and anticipated impact of COVID-19, CSUN has incorporated different types of course format for fall 2020. CSUN will be offering fully online (FO) classes, campus online classes (CO), and a limited number of on-campus classes, labs and activities. The IESC office is ready to assist you with any questions regarding immigration, visa regulations, and direct you to any department on-campus to gather further information and help you adjust to your new student life experience at CSUN. You are probably concerned about getting your student visa and arriving in time for the fall 2020 semester. We want to make sure that despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19, IESC continues to provide you with the information you need to successfully navigate your way here, and provide you with options should you be unable to join us for fall 2020. Please read carefully the QnA listed below:

We will communicate with you about any updates or changes on this page.

Q. Will I still be able to get a F-1 visa?
A. As of March 20, 2020, all U.S. embassies and consulates around the world have suspended the routine processing of visas due to Covid-19. Please check the U.S. Department of State's visa page for announcements and updates in order to stay informed about the reopening of consular services and visa processing times. It is also recommended that you check the website of the US embassy or consulate nearest you for any other updates.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are admitted to CSUN, you may enroll full time for fall 2020 and attend your classes remotely while you remain abroad. Please note that enrollment at CSUN does not guarantee the approval of your F1 visa status. However, CSUN will issue your new I-20 for the semester when the university resumes its standard operations so that you may apply for your F1 visa at the U.S. Consulate/Embassy in your home country.

Q. I am a new transfer international student and I am currently staying in the U.S. Can I attend CSUN remotely while in the U.S.?
A.Yes! If you have been admitted to CSUN, you may enroll full time in classes for fall 2020 and attend your classes remotely. Please make sure to remain enrolled full time for fall 2020.

Q. I have a foreign hold on my account. How do I clear this hold?
If you are a new transfer student, and will be in the U.S., please provide proof of health insurance to insurance@csun.edu. For more information, please visit our Health Insurance Requirement page

Q: What type of courses are offered at CSUN for the fall 2020?
A: CSUN has incorporated different types of course format for fall 2020. CSUN will be offering fully online (FO) classes, campus online classes (CO), and a limited number of on-campus classes, labs and activities.

Q. How do I register for classes?
A. As a new fall 2020 undergraduate student, please make sure to contact your International Academic Advisor at The Hub and follow their guidance on registration. You can reach them at hub.intladvisor@csun.edu. Make sure to register full time (12 units) and make academic progress for the fall 2020 semester.
Graduate students, please make sure to contact your Graduate Advisor within your graduate program. Make sure to register full time (8 units) and make academic progress for the fall 2020 semester.

Q. I do have more questions. What should I do?
A. IESC is ready to assist you! Please contact us at your earliest convenience.
We understand that during these unprecedented times, you may have additional questions about your F1 visa, I-20, travel and more. Please attend one of our immigration advisement meetings and meet with your International Student Advisor. While not all the questions have answers at this time, advisors will do their best to address your concerns with the information available. To sign up for one of our webinar sessions, please go to https://www.csun.edu/international/fall-2020-immigration-guidance-international-students
If you are unable to attend any of our scheduled webinars, we are also providing remote advisement to our students Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm. To contact us, please go to https://www.csun.edu/international/contact-us.

Q. Can F-1 students engage in remote work for on-campus employment?
A: Yes. If the on-campus employment opportunity has transitioned to remote work or the employment can be done through remote means, students may engage in on-campus employment remotely. Schools should be able to explain how the students are providing services associated with the employment while not at the location of the employer.

Q. How do I complete the Verification of International Student Status for On-Campus Employment Form?
A: As part of your hiring process, CSUN Human Resources department will provide you with a copy of the Verification of International Student Status for On-Campus Employment Form. Please complete the student portion of the form and submit directly to . *Please note that this type of request can take 7-10 business days to complete.

FALL 2020 FAQS NEW STUDENTS OUTSIDE THE U.S.

Q. I am a first time new international student and I won't be able to attend CSUN remotely this fall 2020. What are my options?
A. We are sorry that you won't be able to join us for fall. Please contact the International Admissions Office and request to have your application moved to the next semester available for your specific academic program. You can send an email to intladm@csun.edu for assistance.

Q. I am a first time new international student. Can I attend CSUN remotely from my home country?
A. Yes! If you are admitted to CSUN, you may enroll full time for fall 2020 and attend your classes remotely. CSUN will issue your new I-20 for the semester the university returns to standard operations. Please make sure to stay in touch with your advisors at the IESC. CSUN may also be able to issue you an I-20 for the fall semester if you are enrolled in hybrid courses because this type of enrollment might make you eligible to enter the U.S. For entry to the U.S., you must consider factors such as travel advisories and visa restrictions. Please contact your local U.S. Consulates for visa matters. Please contact the IESC for I-20 matters if you are enrolled in hybrid courses for fall 2020 and are going to attempt to obtain a visa and enter the U.S. for the fall semester.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are admitted to CSUN, you may enroll full time for fall 2020 and attend your classes remotely while you remain abroad. Please note that enrollment at CSUN does not guarantee the approval of your F1 visa. However, CSUN will issue your new I-20 if you are enrolled in a hybrid program, which might make you eligible to enter the U.S. If not, CSUN will issue you an I-20 when the university resumes its standard operations so that you may apply for your F1 visa at the U.S. Consulate/Embassy in your home country.

Q. I am a first time new international student. Can enter the U.S. while enrolled fully online?
A: No. You will not be able to enter the U.S. if you are enrolled in 100% fully online course of study.

Q. Will I still be able to get a F-1 visa?
A. Issuing visas is a matter for the U.S. Department of State. Please check the U.S. Department of State's visa page for announcements and updates in order to stay informed about the reopening of consular services and visa processing times. It is also recommended that you check the website of the US embassy or consulate nearest you for any other updates.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are admitted to CSUN, you may enroll full time for fall 2020 and attend your classes remotely while you remain abroad. Please note that enrollment at CSUN does not guarantee the approval of your F1 visa status. However, CSUN will issue your new I-20 if you are enrolled in a hybrid program and may be eligible to enter the U.S. If not, CSUN will issue you an I-20 when the university resumes its standard operations so that you may apply for your F1 visa at the U.S. Consulate/Embassy in your home country.

Q. I am a new transfer international student and I returned to my home country due to COVID-19, but I will request my SEVIS I-20 record to be transferred to CSUN for fall 2020. Can I attend CSUN remotely from my home country?
A. Yes! If you have been admitted to CSUN, you may enroll full time in classes for fall 2020 and attend your classes remotely. Please make sure to remain enrolled full time for fall 2020.

Q. I am a new transfer international student. When will I be able to return to CSUN if I am in my home country for fall? In other words, when can I re-enter the U.S.?
A: If you are enrolled in a hybrid course of study, you may remain eligible to enter the U.S. Please consider other factors such as travel advisories and visa restrictions before entering the U.S.

Q. I have a foreign hold on my account. How do I clear this hold?
A. Fall 2020 semester only:
If you are aboard please contact our office to clear your hold, since insurance will not be required.

Q: What type of courses are offered at CSUN for the fall 2020?
A: CSUN has incorporated different types of course format for fall 2020. CSUN will be offering fully online (FO) classes, campus online classes (CO), and a limited number of on-campus classes, labs and activities.

Q. How do I register for classes?
A. As a new fall 2020 undergraduate student, please make sure to contact your International Academic Advisor at The Hub and follow their guidance on registration. You can reach them at hub.intladvisor@csun.edu. Make sure to register full time (12 units) and make academic progress for the fall 2020 semester.

Graduate students, please make sure to contact your Graduate Advisor within your graduate program. Make sure to register full time (8 units) and make academic progress for the fall 2020 semester.

Q. I do have more questions. What should I do?
A. IESC is ready to assist you! Please contact us at your earliest convenience.
We understand that during these unprecedented times, you may have additional questions about your F1 visa, I-20, travel and more. Please attend one of our immigration advisement meetings and meet with your International Student Advisor. While not all the questions have answers at this time, advisors will do their best to address your concerns with the information available. To sign up for one of our webinar sessions, please go to https://www.csun.edu/international/fall-2020-immigration-guidance-international-students

If you are unable to attend any of our scheduled webinars, we are also providing remote advisement to our students Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm. To contact us, please go to https://www.csun.edu/international/contact-us.

Continuing Students

The information below has been reviewed and updated to reflect the changes of the July 24th SEVP guidance. We will keep updating this page as new information becomes available. Please visit this page regularly.

FALL 2020 FAQS CONTINUING STUDENTS IN THE U.S.

Q: Can I take fully online classes for Fall 2020 and stay in the U.S.?
A: Yes. You may enroll in fully online classes or in any available course format offered for fall 2020 and remain in the U.S. Your F1 student status and your SEVIS record will be kept ACTIVE while you attend to your courses during the fall 2020 and while the temporary measures related to COVID-19 are in place. Please make sure to maintain a full course load and complete your semester strong!

Q: What type of courses are offered at CSUN for the fall 2020?
A: CSUN has incorporated different types of course format for fall 2020. CSUN will be offering fully online (FO) classes, campus online classes (CO), and a limited number of on-campus classes, labs and activities.

Q: What type of classes should I enroll to maintain legal F-1 status in the U.S.?
A: Continuing Students in the United States: Continuing students may enroll in an entirely online program and maintain their visa status. "SEVP will allow F and M students to temporarily count online classes toward a full course of study in excess of the limits stated in 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G) and 8 CFR 214.2(m)(9)(v)"

Q. Will my SEVIS immigration record be closed if I remain in fully online program for fall 2020?
A: No. Your F1 student status and your SEVIS record will be kept ACTIVE while you attend to your courses virtually during the fall 2020 and while the temporary measures related to COVID-19 are in place. Please make sure to maintain a full course load and complete your semester strong!

Q: What are my options if we are still in the United States but not in California? Do I have to return to California to attend fall 2020 classes?
A: First, you will want to update your current U.S. address, via your CSUN portal account, that way we can update your immigration record with your most current U.S. address. This is very important!

Also, it is very important to consider your class format. If you have a course that has in-person meetings and you do not attend, please note that it can impact your academic standing. We recommend that you talk to your professors. If you enroll in fully online classes, you do not need to come to California, but make sure your U.S. address is update in your CSUN student portal.

Q: Can I leave mid-way in the fall 2020 semester? If so, what happens to my SEVIS immigration record?
A: Yes. If you have an emergency and need to leave mid-semester, first and foremost we recommend to speak with your professors to make sure you do not receive a fail grade. In addition, please contact the IESC to obtain a travel signature. Because of the potential emergency circumstance, you will be going through, your immigration record won’t be impacted so long as you follow the steps above, and make sure to meet with the IESC advisors for your specific case.

Q: I returned to my home country and will continue my full time Fall 2020 classes online, am I subject to the "Five Month Rule"?
A: While the temporary measures related to COVID-19 are in place, students are considered to be maintaining status if they are making normal progress in their course of study and their SEVIS record remains in Active status. For that reason, the five-month temporary absence provision addressed in CFR 214.2(f)(4) will not apply for students who remain in Active status.

Q: I am currently in the U.S. and will continue my full time Fall 2020 classes online, but my passport has expired or will expire soon. What should I do to renew it?
A: Students in this situation should contact their country’s embassy or consulate to identify options for passport extension or renewal. If you decide to depart the United States, you will not be eligible to apply for admission until you renew your passport.

Q: My Student Visa is expired. Can I renew my F-1 Student Visa in the U.S.?
A: The Student Visa is only a permit to enter the United States and it can only be renewed at a U.S. consulate or embassy outside of the U.S. prior to re-entry. If you have an expired F1 or J1 student visa while in the U.S. and have no plans to leave the U.S., you do not need to worry about your expired visa. Once you are here, your I-20 form becomes the relevant document that keeps you in status. However, please review your I-20 form to make sure that it is not expired. Contact the IESC at least 60 days prior to the I-20 expiration date to inquire about an extension.

Q: How do I obtain a travel signature?
A: To request a travel signature, please complete and submit the Request for a New I-20/DS-2019 form to and indicate reason "Travel" and a new I-20 will be reprinted and signed for travel. Please allow 7-10 business day for processing.

Q: What type of courses are offered at CSUN for the fall 2020?
A: CSUN has incorporated different types of course format for fall 2020. CSUN will be offering fully online (FO) classes, campus online classes (CO), and a limited number of on-campus classes, labs and activities.

Q: Will the IESC issue me a revised I-20 for fall 2020?
A: No. Based on the July 24th SEVP guidance, there is no longer requirement for all continuing F-1 students to receive updated I-20s at this time. If you wish to obtain an updated I-20/DS-2019, then please submit the Request for New I-20/DS-2019 to iescrequest@csun.edu. Please allow 7-10 days for processing.

Q. Can the IESC issue electronic I-20s?
A: Yes. The IESC will be able to email students I-20’s electronically with electronic signatures to the email to address listed in SEVIS. Also, I-20’s can be emailed to parents if student a minor and if the email address in SEVIS is parents’ address.

Q: I do have more questions. What should I do?
A: We understand that during these unprecedented times, you may have additional questions about your F1 visa, I-20, travel and more. Please attend one of our immigration advisement meetings and meet with your International Student Advisor. While not all the questions have answers at this time, advisors will do their best to address your concerns with the information available. To sign up for one of our webinar sessions, please go to https://www.csun.edu/international/fall-2020-immigration-guidance-international-students

If you are unable to attend any of our scheduled webinars, we are also providing remote advisement to our students Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm. To contact us, please go to https://www.csun.edu/international/contact-us.

Q. Can F-1 students engage in remote work for on-campus employment?
A: Yes. If the on-campus employment opportunity has transitioned to remote work or the employment can be done through remote means, students may engage in on-campus employment remotely. Schools should be able to explain how the students are providing services associated with the employment while not at the location of the employer.

Q. How do I complete the Verification of International Student Status for On-Campus Employment Form?
A: As part of your hiring process, CSUN Human Resources department will provide you with a copy of the Verification of International Student Status for On-Campus Employment Form. Please complete the student portion of the form and submit directly to . *Please note that this type of request can take 7-10 business days to complete.

FALL 2020 FAQS CONTINUING STUDENTS OUTSIDE THE U.S.

Q: Can I take fully online classes for Fall 2020 and stay in the U.S.?
A: Yes. You may enroll in fully online classes or in any available course format offered for fall 2020 and remain in the U.S. Your F1 student status and your SEVIS record will be kept ACTIVE while you attend to your courses during the fall 2020 and while the temporary measures related to COVID-19 are in place. Please make sure to maintain a full course load and complete your semester strong!

Q: I decided to go back to my home country. Can I still keep my F1 student status while I am in my home country?
A: Yes. Your F1 student status and your SEVIS record will be kept ACTIVE while you attend to your courses virtually during the fall 2020 and while the temporary measures related to COVID-19 are in place. Please make sure to maintain a full course load and complete your semester strong!

Q: What type of classes should I enroll to maintain legal F-1 status in the U.S.?
A: Continuing Students Abroad: Continuing students now abroad may enroll in an entirely online program and maintain their visa status, online courses count "even if they have left the United States and are taking the online classes elsewhere."

Q: I will stay in my home country and enroll in fully online classes for Fall 2020. Do I need health insurance?
A: No. Please follow the instructions from Fall 2020 Health Insurance & Foreign Hold while Abroad.

Q: Will I be able to return to the United States before/during the fall semester if I returned to my home country during the spring semester?
A: Yes, you remain eligible to return to the U.S. but you must ensure that all your travel documents are valid for re-entry. In addition, we recommend that CSUN International students continue to make academic progress in their course of study so they remain eligible for admission into the United States. Due to the changing array of travel restrictions, international students should refer to their local U.S. embassy and U.S. consulate for any updates about visa issuance (if applicable) and travel information. You may also visit IESC announcement page regularly for up-to-date information.

Q. Can I request a leave of absence for the fall 2020 semester?
A: Yes, you may request a leave of absence for one or two semesters. To request a leave of absence, please contact a Foreign Student Advisor at the IESC.

Q. Can I obtain an immigration status verification letter from the IESC for visa or re-entry purposes?
A: Yes, you may obtain an immigration status verification letter from the IESC. To obtain a letter, please submit the Student Letter Request Form to iescrequest@csun.edu. Please allow 7-10 business day for processing.

Practical Training: Post OPT and STEM OPT Students

The information below has been reviewed and updated to reflect the changes of the July 15 SEVP guidance. We will keep updating this page as new information becomes available. Please visit this page regularly.

FOR POST OPT/STEM OPT APPLICANTS

Q: Is USCIS still processing OPT application during this period?
A: Yes, USCIS is processing application but currently not open to meet with the Public.

Q. I need to apply for an Optional Practical Training (OPT) STEM extension. Is it possible to apply while I am abroad?
A. Students must be physically present in the United States to apply for a STEM OPT Extension. At this time USCIS has not released any changes to its existing STEM application process.

Q. I have left the United States. I am graduating in Summer 2020/Fall 2020 and I want to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT). Is it possible to apply while I am abroad?
A. At the moment, if you are able to safely re-enter the United States before your program completion date (Summer 2020 – 08/18/2020 / Fall 2020 – 12/23/2020), you can apply for OPT. Current regulations state that you must be present in the United States when submitting your Optional Practical Training (OPT) and OPT STEM applications. The application requires an I-94 number, which is only valid while you are in the United States. If you depart the United States, you will not have a valid I-94 and your application will likely be rejected. Please continue to visit this page. We will keep you informed of any new policies and guidance from DHS/USCIS as they become available.

FOR POST OPT/STEM OPT PENDING/APPROVED

Q: I am on POST-OPT or STEM OPT. My employer has asked me to work from home due to the current situation. Will this affect my F-1 status?
A: Per SEVP guidance, employers may ask their employees (POST/STEM OPT) to work from home such as teleworking or alternate arrangements. This will not affect the F-1 status.

Students must still report their employment information. OPT students should follow the same reporting requirements, please see Report (Your POST-OPT/STEM OPT) Employment.

Q: I am on POST OPT or STEM OPT should I report a change in the site location/address if I am working from home?
A: For POST OPT: No. There is no need to report the changes through your SEVP portal.

For STEM OPT: No. There is no need to report the changes and you do not need to submit updated I-983 Form.

Q: My company/employer is going out of business due to the current COVID-19 situation and I am no longer working for them. What should I do?
A: Students must report their unemployment. To report any change of employment or unemployment please follow the steps in Report (Your POST-OPT/STEM OPT) Employment.

Q: Does the 90-day/150-day unemployment rule still apply for POST-OPT during the current COVID-19?
A: Yes, the 90-days/150-day of unemployment rule still stands. DHS is evaluating this issue but has not yet determined whether to implement a specific exemption for exceeding the regulatory limits for unemployment of 90 days for OPT and 150 days for STEM OPT. Please visit this page regularly to remain informed as we will update information here.

Q. How do I maintain my OPT/STEM status during the current COVID-19?
A: If you are participating in practical training, work with your employer to maintain practical training agreements. If changes have been made to your workplace environment, you should consult with your employer to seek alternative ways to maintain training agreements, such as teleworking or other arrangements.

Q. Should I cease engaging in OPT since I am now working fewer than 20 hours a week due to the economic impacts of COVID-19?
A. While students are normally required to work full-time while on OPT, SEVP stated that temporarily due to COVID-19, any work (even less than 20 hours per week) will be sufficient for OPT students to maintain their status.

Q. I am currently on OPT but have not found a job yet. I am nearing the end of my 90 days on unemployment, but I am unable to leave the United States. What should I do.
A. In the event you are unable to find paid or unpaid employment and you are nearing the 90th day of unemployment, you have the following options:

  • Consider departing the United States. If you are having difficulties leaving due to flight cancelation, travel restrictions etc. Please contact an international advisor for further advise. You may be asked to provide proof of departure difficulties.

  • Transfer your SEVIS record to another SEVP school to begin new program. Please note that any OPT time remaining will end.

  • Change your visa status to another visa category. You will need to contact an immigration attorney for this option.

Please continue to check this page as any updates available to the OPT 90-day unemployment rule will be posted.

Critical Resources to Stay Well Informed and Safe

Here you will find valuable information and assistance that will connect you to various resources during COVID-19:

News Room

Updated 08/28/2020

Important USCIS News/Updates

Please review the following updates from USCIS. There have been updates regarding the production delays of EAD card (temporary use of I-797), Fee Adjustments, and Updates to USCIS forms.

Temporary Use of I-797 Approval Notices Due to COVID-19 EAD Production Delays

On August 19, 2020, USCIS posted the following notice "Due to the extraordinary and unprecedented COVID-19 public health emergency, the production of certain Employment Authorization Documents (Form I-766, EAD) is delayed.  As a result, employees may use Form I-797, Notice of Action, with a Notice date on or after December 1, 2019 through and including August 20, 2020 informing an applicant of approval of an Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765) as a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, List C #7 document that establishes employment authorization issued by the Department of Homeland Security pursuant to 8 C.F.R. 274a.2(b)(1)(v)(C)(7), even though the Notice states it is not evidence of employment authorization".

To see this notice, visit USCIS I-9 Central (Form I-9 Verification During EAD Production Delays Due to COVID-19).

USCIS Adjusts Fees to Help Meet Operational Needs

On July 31, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security announced a final rule that adjusts fees for certain immigration and naturalization benefit requests to ensure U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recovers its costs of services. The rule adjusts the fees that USCIS charges for certain immigration and naturalization benefit requests. The rule becomes effective Oct. 2, 2020. For more information, see our USCIS News release.

To see the fee increases, see Filing Fees.

Update to USCIS Forms

Please note that there have been Updates to USCIS forms as well. Please see Forms Updates. You can view the latest edition for Form I-538 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status) and Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) in the USCIS website.


Updated 07/14/2020

CSUN President Harrison Message: International Student Rule Changes Modified


Updated 07/07/2020

CSUN President Harrison Message Concerning Potential Harmful Impacts of Changes in Enrollment Options for F-1 International Students


Updated 06/23/2020

Presidential Proclamation on Temporary Visa Suspensions:

President Trump issued a Proclamation and a fact sheet on June 22, 2020 suspending entry to the United States of foreign nationals in certain temporary visa categories.

The Proclamation bars H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and certain J-1 exchange visitors (and their dependent family members) from entering the United States starting June 24, 2020 through the end of the year.

It appears this proclamation does not affect any students in F-1 or J-1 status. Updates will be provided as they become available.


Updated 05/01/2020

USCIS Expands 60-Day Grace Period to Respond to RFEs, NOIDs or to File I-290B. (May 1, 2020) In response to COVID-19, USCIS extends flexibility to a 60-calendar day grace period for receiving responses to Request for Evidence (RFE), Notices of Intent to Deny (NOID), among other agency requests, if the issuance or decision date is between March 1, 2020 and July 1, 2020, inclusive.

USCIS Extends Temporary Suspension of In-Person Services at Local USCIS Field Offices. (April 24, 2020) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) extended its temporary suspension of routine in-person services at local USCIS field offices by 30 days, "through at least June 4." The suspension does not impact electronic filing, filing at USCIS Lockboxes or filing or adjudications at USCIS Service Centers.

Coronavirus Proclamation of April 22, 2020 Limits Entry of Certain Immigrants. (April 22, 2020) The Proclamation suspends entry of certain new immigrants who do not already have an approved immigrant visa. The proclamation does not currently impact applicants for adjustment of status or nonimmigrants such as students, exchange visitors, H-1B workers, visitors for business or pleasure, etc.


Updated 04/03/2020

CSUN President Harrison announces Alternatives for Spring 2020 Grading and Planning Ahead for Extended Virtual Instruction.

USCIS clarified that it will continue to process Forms I-765 extension requests, by reusing previously submitted biometrics. This only applies to extensions of employment authorization, which should mitigate the closure of in-person appointments at USCIS Application Support Centers for those Forms I-765 requiring such appointments.

For our J1 Exchange Students, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) ECA Exchange Visitor Program "will now push a two-month extension to program end dates in SEVIS on active records with a program end date between April 1 – May 31, 2020 in order to provide exchange visitors the opportunity to complete either their educational or training programs, or continue to finalize travel plans to return home." This information has already been emailed to CSUN J1 Exchange Students.


Updated 03/30/2020

USCIS Announces 60-Day Grace Period to Respond to RFEs and NOIDs. In response to COVID-19, USCIS announced that: "For applicants and petitioners who receive an RFE or NOID dated between March 1 and May 1, 2020, any responses submitted within 60 calendar days after the response deadline set forth in the RFE or NOID will be considered by USCIS before any action is taken."

CSUN President Harrison just announced the expansion of the Laptop Loaner Program for currently enrolled CSUN students. If you are in need of a laptop, please make sure to follow the instructions listed on her message dated today 03/30/2020.


Updated 03/22/2020

USCIS Announces Flexibility in Submitting Required Signatures During COVID-19 National Emergency. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 National Emergency, USCIS will accept all benefit forms and documents with reproduced original signatures for submissions dated March 21, 2020, and beyond. A reproduced original signature means "that the copy must be of an original document containing an original handwritten signature."

USCIS suspends in-person services at local Field Offices and Application Support Centers. "As of March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has suspended routine in-person services until at least April 1 to help slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). USCIS staff will continue to perform duties that do not involve contact with the public." Most applications and petitions filed by schools, students, and scholars are filed at USCIS Service Centers and Lockboxes, not in person at local Field Offices. However, actions that are impacted by the suspension of in-person services are biometrics appointments at USCIS Application Support Centers (required, e.g., for change of status, F-1 reinstatement, and other benefits requests filed on Form I-539), and adjustment of status interviews.

For our J1 Exchange Students, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) ECA Exchange Visitor Program shares important resources on COVID-19.


Updated 03/18/2020

On March 17, 2020, travel.state.gov tweeted: "As a result of the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, US embassies and consulates may temporarily modify or suspend consular services. Visit the embassy or consulate website to confirm operating status and find information about appointment rescheduling and/or emergency services."

To find embassy or consulate websites, go to https://www.usembassy.gov/.


Updated 03/15/2020

On Presidential Proclamation of March 14, 2020, "the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the United Kingdom, excluding overseas territories outside of Europe, or the Republic of Ireland during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States is hereby suspended and limited ... This proclamation is effective at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 16, 2020. This proclamation does not apply to persons aboard a flight scheduled to arrive in the United States that departed prior to 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 16, 2020."


Updated 03/12/2020

On March 11, 2020, the U.S. government placed another travel restriction, which suspends the entry of most foreign nationals who have been in certain European countries at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to the United States. These countries, known as the Schengen Area, include: 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. This does not apply to U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents, or other individuals who are identified in the proclamation.

This proclamation is effective at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 13, 2020. This proclamation does not apply to persons aboard a flight scheduled to arrive in the United States that departed prior to 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 13, 2020.


Updated 03/09/2020

Recently, the U.S. government has placed travel restrictions on certain countries. These restrictions prohibit nonimmigrants and immigrants from entering the U.S. if they have been in China and Iran during the 14 days prior to attempted entry to the U.S. Additionally, there are other countries that are being monitored for potential increased cases of coronavirus, such as Italy, Japan, and South Korea.