INTERNATIONAL

Important Information for International Students during COVID-19

April 20, 2022

Updates and guidance for Fall 2022 (2022-2023 academic year)

On April 18, 2022, SEVP updated its COVID-19 FAQ guidance to address the 2022-2023 academic year. This guidance offers an extension of the guidance originally issued on March 2020, for the 2022-2023 academic year. "This guidance enables schools and students to engage in distance learning in excess of regulatory limits due to the continuing public health concerns created by COVID-19."

On November 1, 2021, SEVP reaffirmed the continuation of the issuance of the electronic form I-20.

Although, there are no significant changes to the original guidance, we have updated the information on the accordions below to help you answer any of the questions you may have. We will continue to communicate any other updates via email and on this site. You can also review updates from the Department of Homeland Security and check the NAFSA Coronavirus Critical Resources for updates on governmental policy and guidance related to COVID-19.

Please be reminded that it is very important that new and continuing international students remain in contact with IESC International Student Advisors and your government sponsor as applicable.


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

Submit your COVID-19 Vaccine Attestation **REQUIREMENT**

Whether you are attending CSUN as a new or continuing student while in the United States or abroad, the COVID-19 vaccine attestation requirement still applies to you. To learn how to complete your attestation, please go to How to Submit COVID-19 Vaccine Attestation Via Patient Portal.

  • How do I know if my attestation was submitted successfully? If the status of the "COVID-19 Vaccination Attestation" reads "Compliant," you have successfully submitted your COVID-19 Vaccine Attestation. Here is a picture of how it looks after you click on your Medical Clearance from your MyHealth Patient Portal.

    Screenshot showing COVID-19 Vaccination Attestation reads Compliant
  • Additional information can be found at Student FAQs.

Coming To Campus? Health and Safety protocols and requirements

LATEST UPDATE: Starting June 1, 2022, masking is strongly recommended but not required indoors or outdoors, with the following exceptions:

  • Given the close contacts that will exist, masks continue to be required in classrooms and laboratories.
  • If asymptomatic, any student or employee identified by the university as a close contact of an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 must wear a mask indoors for 10 days.
  • Students and employees who test positive for COVID-19 and obtain a negative test result 5 days after the positive test, may return to class or work and must wear a mask indoors for 10 days from the date of the positive test result.

UPDATED Jan. 7, 2022. Per CSUN's announcement on January 7, CSUN will begin the spring semester with temporary primarily remote instruction for the first three weeks of the semester, Monday, January 24 through Saturday, February 12. We will resume in-person instruction on Monday, February 14. Per the California State University’s new policy, all eligible students and non-represented employees will be expected to provide proof of a booster shot by February 4. More info: Students.

Have you received a COVID-19 vaccine that is not a WHO-approved? Los Angeles County follows CDC guidance regarding vaccinations. Per Los Angeles County’s guidance, you are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after receiving an approved vaccine. Please visit the LA County’s website for a list of approved vaccinations. For additional questions, you may also email CSUN’s Student Health Center at shcinfo@csun.edu.

CSUN is working to gradually bring back students, faculty, and staff to campus - and, most important, keep you as healthy and safe as possible. To that end, all campus repopulation decisions are based on the most current local and national public health recommendations and guidelines.

To come to campus, you must ensure to do the following:

  • Complete the appropriate Student Health Screening survey each day before arriving at the CSUN campus. If you are not cleared, do not come to campus; the survey page will provide you with next steps.
  • All students are required to review videos and other training materials before returning to campus. To visit IESC, you must do the following:
  • Complete the appropriate Student Health Screening survey on the day of your visit.
  • Hand Hygiene (as recommended by the CDC)
  • Practice social distancing

Travel Advisory

Travel Advisory During COVID-19

The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak may continue to affect your travel plans. The IESC highly recommends that you keep in mind all travel restrictions, which can change rapidly and with little notice. Also, please note that the Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) may release its guidance during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak at any time without prior notice and changes may affect the information below. In the meantime, we are providing the following guidelines for international students who may plan to travel during the COVID-19 outbreak:

Planning to return to or arrive to Southern California? Please keep in mind the following information when planning your return:

  • Please make sure to carry your valid travel documentation (F1 visa or J1 visa, passport, and I-20 or DS-2019 with valid travel signature). See below on "Need to request your travel signature".
  • If you need to renew or apply for your F1 or J1 visa, please refer to your local U.S. embassy and U.S. consulate for any updates about visa issuance (if applicable) and additional travel information.
  • On November 29, 2021, President Biden placed into effect a new Presidential Proclamation for the suspension of entry to immigrants and nonimmigrants physically present during the 14-day period preceding to the U.S. from the Republic of Botswana, Kingdom of Eswatini, Kingdom of Lesotho, Republic of Malawi, Republic of Mozambique, Republic of Namibia, Republic of Zimbabwe, and Republic of South Africa. If you have been physically present in any of the eight countries listed above in the Proclamation in the past 14 days or have plans to travel to these countries soon, we highly recommend you to revise your travel plans.
  • On October 25, 2021 President Biden signed a Proclamation - A Proclamation Advancing Safe Resumption of Global Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic announcing new requirements for air travel that will take effect on November 8, 2021. This proclamation will end the travel restrictions under Presidential Proclamations (P.P.) 9984, 9992, 10143, and 10199 as they relate to the suspension of entry into the United States of persons physically present in Brazil, China, India, Iran, Ireland, the Schengen Area, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, effective November 8, 2021. International (adult) travelers will need to show proof of vaccination before boarding a flight to the United States.
  • As of June 12, 2022, CDC will no longer require air passengers traveling from a foreign country to the United States to show a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight.
  • For more information about U.S. vaccination requirements, please visit the CDC Travel website and the U.S. Department of State for travel information.
  • Frequently Asked Questions: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/emergencies/covid-19-faqs-for-travel-to-the-us-information.html
  • White House Fact Sheet: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/10/25/fact-sheet-biden-administration-releases-additional-detail-for-implementing-a-safer-more-stringent-international-air-travel-system/
  • Student should follow the guidance from the CDC and the state on travel and arrival recommendations.
  • You must be fully vaccinated to travel to the United States by plane if you are a non-U.S. citizen, non-U.S. immigrant (not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, lawful permanent resident, or traveling to the United States on an immigrant visa). Only limited exceptions apply. For more details, visit the CDC for guidance at Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People
  • You are required to show a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 when you travel to the United States by air. The timing of this test depends on your vaccination status and age.
  • Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required in indoor areas of public transportation (including airplanes) traveling into, within, or out of the United States and indoors in U.S. transportation hubs (including airports).
  • Arrival Recommendations: Planning to travel abroad? If you decide to travel internationally, please be aware of the travel updates:
  • Make sure to carry your valid travel documentation (F1 visa or J1 visa, passport, and I-20 or DS-2019 with valid travel signature). See below on "Need to request your travel signature."
  • Be prepared to experience increased screening at your international destination and at the U.S. port of entry when you return (if eligible).
  • Make sure to budget for any delays in your return. If applicable, we recommend that you look into purchasing travel insurance to cover for any applicable travel cost.
  • Please contact your IESC International Student Advisor immediately to help you coordinate any immigration issues.
  • Canada-Mexico land port "Essential Travel" Restrictions: There are no presidential proclamation for Canada and Mexico, but there are travel restrictions. Travel is only allowed for essential travel only. This means is that essential travel is for "individuals traveling to attend educational institutions; individual traveling to [conduct essential] work in the United States." Individuals engaged in essential travel will not be required to be vaccinated at this time. Starting January 2022, all inbound foreign national travelers crossing U.S. land POEs or ferry terminals – whether for essential or non-essential reasons - must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination. https://help.cbp.gov/s/article/Article-1596?language=en_US
  • Frequently Asked Questions: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/emergencies/covid-19-faqs-for-travel-to-the-us-information.html

Need to request a travel signature on your I-20? Please note: If you already have a travel signature on page 2 of your I-20, please make sure it is valid. For continuing students, the travel signature is valid for one year from the issue date of the travel signature. For students on OPT, the travel signature if valid for 6 months only. To request a travel signature, you will need to complete and submit the Request for a New I-20/DS-2019 form to iescrequest@csun.edu and indicate reason "Travel" and a new I-20 will be reprinted and signed for travel. Processing times are 7-10 business days; however, processing times may vary during peak times. An electronic I-20 will be sent to you, once your records are reviewed and you are in correct F-1 status. Currently due to COIVD-19 pandemic SEVP has allowed for issuance of electronic I-20s.

Regarding domestic travel, currently, there are no restrictions on domestic travel within the U.S. and its territories. However, nonessential travel is discouraged.

For additional up-to-date information and resources, please visit the US Department of State, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Travel.State.Gov website.

New Students

Fall 2022 FAQS FOR NEW INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

The IESC Office is excited that you will join us in the fall 2022 semester. In fall 2022, CSUN continues to deliver primarily in-person instruction. While some classes may remain virtual, most will require on-campus attendance. 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 2022 semester. We want to make sure that despite the challenges presented by 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 2022. Please read carefully the Q&A listed below:

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

Q. Will I still be able to get an F-1 visa?
A. Yes. Please check the website of the US embassy or consulate nearest you for updates and availability.

PLEASE NOTE: If you plan to attend any in-person and hybrid course with a face-to-face component in fall 2022, you may use your CSUN I-20 to apply for your F1 visa and for admission into the U.S. Approval of the F1 visa is the decision made by U.S. Department of State.

Q. I am a first time new international student and I won't be able to attend CSUN this fall 2022. What are my options?
A.   We are sorry that you won't be able to join us for fall 2022. 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 new TRANSFER international student. can I attend CSUN courses remotely while in the U.S.?
A.  It depends.

If you became an actively enrolled F-1 student in Fall 2020 or after, you may enroll in multiple online/hybrid courses but you may not show a FULLY online course schedule for the fall 2022 term and on.

However, if you were a continuing student as of March 9, 2020, you may enroll in an entirely online program and maintain your visa status. "The [SEVP] March guidance only applies to nonimmigrant students who were actively enrolled at a U.S. school on March 9, 2020, and have continuously complied with the terms of their nonimmigrant status." Likewise, "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. I have a foreign hold on my account. How do I clear this hold?
A: 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 2022?
A: CSUN is transitioning back to primarily in-person instruction. While some classes may remain virtual, most will require on-campus attendance. Please check the Schedule of Classes for the course format offered this fall 2022. In addition, check the Matadors Forward for the latest information about fall 2022.

This past spring 2022 CSUN transitioned back to primarily in-person instruction. While some classes remained virtual, most required on-campus attendance, check the Schedule of Classes for information on the course format

Q. How do I register for classes?
A.   As a new fall 2022 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 2022 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 2022 semester.

Q. I am a first time new international student. Can I 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. 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 iescrequest@csun.edu. *Please note that this type of request can take 7-10 business days to complete.

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/eventswebinars.

If you are unable to attend any of our scheduled webinars, you may schedule an appointment with an international student advisor, see our International Student Advising Options. We are available, 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 is based on the SEVP Guidance for the 2022-2023 Academic Year. We will keep updating this page as new information becomes available. Please visit this page regularly.

FALL 2022 FAQS CONTINUING INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

Q: Can I take fully online classes for fall 2022 and stay in the U.S.?
A: It depends.

If you became an actively enrolled F-1 student in Fall 2020 or after, you may enroll in multiple online/hybrid courses but you may not show a FULLY online course schedule for fall 2022 term and on.

Continuing students enrolled Spring 2020 and prior: You may enroll in fully online classes or in any available course format offered for fall 2022 and remain in the U.S.

This past spring 2022 CSUN transitioned back to primarily in-person instruction. While some classes remained virtual, most required on-campus attendance, check the schedule of classes for information on the course format). Your F1 student status and your SEVIS record will be kept ACTIVE while you attend to your courses during the fall 2022 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 2022?
A: Check the Schedule of Classes for the course format offered this fall 2022. In addition, check the Matadors Forward for latest information about fall 2022.

This past spring 2022 CSUN transitioned back to primarily in-person instruction. While some classes remained virtual, most required on-campus attendance, check the Schedule of Classes for information on the course format.

Q: What type of classes should I enroll to maintain legal F-1 status in the U.S.?
A: It depends.

Continuing students as of March 9, 2020, 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)"

If you became an actively enrolled F-1 student in Fall 2020 or after, you may enroll in multiple online/hybrid courses but you may not show a FULLY online course schedule for fall 2022 term and on.

Q. Will my SEVIS immigration record be closed if I remain in fully online program for fall 2022?
A: We recommend all students to enroll in a hybrid class schedule for fall 2022, which means a combination of online, hybrid, and in-person courses.

Continuing students enrolled Spring 2020 and prior: Per 2022-23 SEVP guidance released on May 31, 2022, F-1 students actively enrolled in Spring 2020 or prior are permitted to enroll in fully online classes or in any available course format offered for fall 2022 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 2022 and while the temporary measures related to COVID-19 are in place.

Students admitted Fall 2020 and after: If you became an actively enrolled F-1 student in Fall 2020 or after, you may enroll in multiple online/hybrid courses but you may not show a FULLY online course schedule for fall 2022 term and on.

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 2022 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.

Q: Can I leave mid-way in the fall 2022 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 to receive specific guidance.

Q: I returned to my home country and will continue my full time fall 2022 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 2022 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 2022?
A: Check the Schedule of Classes for the course format offered this fall 2022. In addition, check the Matadors Forward for latest information about fall 2022.

This past spring 2022 CSUN transitioned back to primarily in-person instruction. While some classes remained virtual, most required on-campus attendance, check the Schedule of Classes for information on the course format

Q: Will the IESC issue me a revised I-20 for fall 2022?
A: No. However if any of your information has changed on your I-20/DS-2019, please submit the Request for New I-20/DS-2019 form 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. Can I request a leave of absence for the fall 2022 semester?
A: Yes, you may request a leave of absence for one or two semesters. To request a leave of absence, please contact your International 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.

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 iescrequest@csun.edu. *Please note that this type of request can take 7-10 business days to complete.

Q: Can I take fully online classes for fall 2022 and stay in the U.S.?
A: Yes. You may enroll in fully online classes or in any available course format offered for fall 2022 and remain in the U.S. (This past spring 2022 CSUN transitioned back to primarily in-person instruction. While some classes remained virtual, most required on-campus attendance, check the schedule of classes for information on the course format). Your F1 student status and your SEVIS record will be kept ACTIVE while you attend to your courses during the spring 2022 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 2022 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: We recommend all students to enroll in a hybrid class schedule for fall 2022, which means a combination of online, hybrid, and in-person courses.

If you became an actively enrolled F-1 student in Fall 2020 or after, you may enroll in multiple online/hybrid courses but you may not show a FULLY online course schedule for fall 2022 and on.

Q: I will stay in my home country and enroll in fully online classes for fall 2022. Do I need health insurance?
A: No. However, please send an email to ISAdvisement@csun.edu to confirm you will remain abroad.

Q: Will I be able to return to the United States before/during the fall 2022 semester if I returned to my home country during the fall 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. Additionally, and of importance, please review the information from the Travel Advisory section of this webpage.

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 https://www.csun.edu/international/eventswebinars.

If you are unable to attend any of our scheduled webinars, you may schedule an appointment with a international student advisor, see our International Student Advising Options. We are available, Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm. To contact us, please go to https://www.csun.edu/international/contact-us.

Practical Training: Post OPT and STEM OPT Students

The information below is based on the SEVP Guidance for the 2022-2023 Academic Year. 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 spring 2022/summer 2022/fall 2022 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 (spring 2022 – 05/25/2022 / summer 2022 – 08/23/2022 / fall 2022 – 12/23/2022), 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

If you wish to get the vaccine after you arrive in Los Angeles, you would be eligible to receive it free of charge through Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. For more information, please call the LA County Public Health’s call center at 833-540-0473, open 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., 7 days a week, or visit the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health webpage.

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

Please refer to the Department of Homeland Security, the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Travel during the COVID-19 Pandemic's website from the CDC for updates regarding travel restrictions and warnings.

Also, during times of COVID-19 outbreak and transition to virtual and alternate modalities of learning, CSUN students may experience, for example, an increase in stress, anxiety, worry, and/or frustration. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. The University Counseling Services is encouraging students to utilize resources to help students cope during this time. You may find these helpful resources at Mental Health Services and Resources For Students During COVID-19 State of Emergency.

Mata Care Emergency Grant: Is a grant that helps currently enrolled students with unexpected urgent financial needs. The MataCare Emergency Grant program is under review. Additional information will be available mid-October. Please visit https://www.csun.edu/financialaid/matacare-emergency-grant for more information.

Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$): is an initiative by the CSU Chancellor’s office to promote the use of low- or no-cost course materials to reduce the financial burden on students. Please visit https://libguides.csun.edu/affordable-learning-solutions for more information.

For Scholarship opportunities, please go to https://www.csun.edu/international/scholarship-opportunities-international-students.

There are several resources available for students who are experiencing a shortage of food. These resources provide food and food assistance, with varying availability throughout the week. Please visit https://www.csun.edu/heart/food for more information.

During challenging time, you may experience some sort of housing instability. These resources provide emergency housing, as well as information to minimize housing challenges. Please visit https://www.csun.edu/heart/housing for more information.

Oviatt Library Remote Resources and Services are available to students. Please visit their webpage for a list of available services. https://library.csun.edu/blogs/cited/.

Device Loaner Program: Provides technology to students who are without a device such as a computer or internet hotspot so that you may continue your education uninterrupted. Please visit https://www.csun.edu/it/device-loaner-program for more information. If you do not have internet connectivity please visit resources for internet connectivity for users who do not have it for more information on how to stay connected.

Please visit the LRC website  to access a variety of learning programs including workshops, one on one and group tutoring, and supplemental instruction classes.

Physical and Mental Health are very important aspects in our lives and should be maintained to ensure we function at our best. There can often be a conflict balancing school, work, and life, however, there are resources available aimed to strengthen your mental and physical well-being. Please visit https://www.csun.edu/heart/mental-and-physical-well-being for more information.

Join IESC for Virtual Coffee Hour (VCH) on Fridays! If you are on social media, follow IESC on Instagram at iesc_csun to learn how you can join OR check your email for the Zoom invite to VCH. This is a great platform to stay connected with your International Matadors from wherever you are!

Student Outreach and Recruitment. Check out their webpage for Campus Tours, Virtual Video Library, Meet their counselors. Student can also find ways to stay connected via their Virtual Contact Card. In addition, Prospective students can find information on Admission Requirements.

YOU@CSUN is a comprehensive online well-being platform intended to enhance student mental health, physical wellness, happiness, and academic success, and to connect students to information, campus resources, peers, and opportunities. For more information on how to get started and further information, please visit YOU@CSUN.

Special Student Relief (SSR). More information about SSR can be found at NAFSA's website here: https://www.nafsa.org/professional-resources/browse-by-interest/special-student-relief-f-1-students-essential-concepts

Temporary Protected Status (TPS). More information about TPS can be found at NAFSA's website here: https://www.nafsa.org/regulatory-information/basics-temporary-protected-status-tps

China Personal Information Protection Law PIPL from Bloomberg: https://pro.bloomberglaw.com/brief/china-personal-information-protection-law-pipl-faqs/

DHS published in the Federal Register a final rule to establish a phased approach for increasing the availability of premium processing.

News Room

Updated 3/12/2021

Updates and guidance for Spring 2021

CSUN’s period of fully virtual learning and remote working has been extended until February 15, 2021. On February 15, a small number of classes with an in-person component will be able to return to campus. Per the Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) guidance from fall 2020, F nonimmigrant students pursuing studies in the United States may remain in the United States even if their educational institution switches mode of instruction.

We will communicate any updates regarding the spring 2021 term for international students via email and on this site. You can also review updates from the Department of Homeland Security and check the NAFSA Coronavirus Critical Resources for updates on governmental policy and guidance related to COVID-19.

It is very important that new and continuing international students remain in contact with your IESC International Student Advisors and your government sponsor as applicable. The information on the accordions listed below have been updated based on the latest SEVP guidance received for Fall 2020 and you may also find a list of resources available.


Updated 12/7/2020

Updates for Fall 2020 and guidance for Spring 2021

On November 24, 2020, President Dianne Harrison announced the decision to return to fully virtual learning from Monday, November 30 through the end of the fall semester. The Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has stipulated that F and J nonimmigrant students pursuing studies in the United States for the Fall 2020 school term may remain in the United States even if their educational institution switches to a hybrid program or to fully online instruction. You should continue to actively engage in your courses as directed by your instructors and continue to refer to this site for any future updates concerning your F1 student immigration status.

SEVP has not yet issued guidance for the upcoming spring 2021 term. Be aware that plans for the spring 2021 term are fluid and subject to change. We will communicate any updates regarding the spring 2021 term for international students via email and on this site. You can also review updates from the Department of Homeland Security and check the NAFSA Coronavirus Critical Resources for updates on governmental policy and guidance related to COVID-19.

It is very important that new and continuing international students remain in contact with your IESC International Student Advisors and your government sponsor as applicable.


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.


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


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.