Fall 2020 Enrollment Updates & FAQs

Fall 2020: Enrollment Requirements for International Students

July 28th, 2020

Dear International Students,

As you well know, in response to legal action and appeals from hundreds of college and university leaders, including Kent State University, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has retracted its guidance from July 6. We are pleased that the advocacy efforts undertaken by Kent State and numerous other institutions of higher education resulted in the reversal of SEVP’s position. We appreciate that you have chosen to pursue your education with us at Kent State. Our leadership, faculty and staff will continue to support you to the best of our ability.

On Friday, July 24, SEVP issued new guidance for F-1 students regarding the 2020 Fall Semester. Our first priority is to take care of our students. With this in mind, we are applying the new guidance in a way that we believe provides the greatest protection for the immigration status of our F-1 students.


THINGS TO KNOW

Information for All International Students

If you are a continuing or new F-1 student who is physically located within the U.S. for fall 2020:

  • A new I-20 is not required.
  • F-1 students will not need to exit the U.S. in the event that Kent State converts to an all remote course delivery format during the 2020 Fall Semester.

Continuing Students

If you are a continuing international student who was enrolled in the 2020 Spring Semester and who is physically located outside the U.S.:

If you are a continuing F-1 student who was enrolled in the 2020 Spring Semester, currently in the U.S. or returning for fall 2020:

  • Register for a full course of study if you have not already done so. There is no limit to the number of remote classes that can count toward the full course of study requirement.

If you are an F-1 student who is changing levels or transferring from another SEVIS-institution and you are outside the U.S.:

  • You may renew your F-1 visa, if expired.
  • You may return to the U.S. to begin your program, which must consist of a full course of study (12 credits for undergraduate students and 8 credits for graduate students) that includes at least one in-person course. 

If you are an F-1 student who is changing levels or transferring from another SEVIS-institution and you have not left the U.S.:

  • Register for a full course of study if you have not already done so. There is no limit to the number of remote classes that can count toward the full course of study requirement.

New Students

If you are a new F-1 student who is physically located outside the U.S. for fall 2020:

  • If you are able to obtain a visa in time to come to Kent State for the start of the fall semester, great! You will be required to enroll in a full course of study that includes at least one in-person class.
  • If you are not able to obtain a visa in time to come to Kent State by the start of the fall semester, we encourage you to begin your academic program by participating in the fall 2020 remote learning experience. Your I-20 will be deferred. Please email i20@kent.edu if you decide to stay home and enroll remotely for fall 2020.
  • Participate in International Student Orientation and the appropriate academic orientation (International Destination Kent State for undergraduate students and Graduate Student Orientation for Graduate students). 
  • You may choose to defer your attendance until a later semester. Your I-20 will also be deferred. Students who defer their attendance to the 2021 Spring Semester should plan to arrive no earlier than 30 days prior to the start of the session scheduled to begin on Jan. 11. If you would like to defer your admission to the next available term, please email intladm@kent.edu.

If you are a new F-1 student who is already inside the U.S. in INITIAL SEVIS status:

  • Participate in International Student Orientation and the appropriate academic orientation (International Destination Kent State for undergraduate students and Graduate Student Orientation for Graduate students).
  • Contact International Student and Scholar Services at ISSS@kent.edu. Once you are registered, we will change your SEVIS record to “Active” or process your SEVIS transfer, if applicable.
  • Enroll in a full course of study that includes in-person classes.

If you are transferring to Kent State from another SEVP college, university or high school, were enrolled in spring semester in your previous program/school and have not left the U.S.:

  • Participate in International Student Orientation and the appropriate academic orientation (International Destination Kent State for undergraduate students and Graduate Student Orientation for Graduate students).
  • Register for a full course of study if you have not already done so. There is no limit to the number of remote classes that can count toward the full course of study requirement.

Flow Chart


WHAT YOU SHOULD DO

  • Contact your academic advisor (undergraduate) or program coordinator(graduate) for questions about course registration and course availability.
  • Contact by email at ISSS@kent.edu or call 330-672-7980 for assistance with immigration-related questions.
  • Monitor email communication from ISSS, specifically the newsletter once enrolled. If students have not been receiving the weekly newsletter, they should email ISSS@kent.edu

Please note: SEVP’s guidance is for fall 2020 only. We do not have guidance for spring 2021 yet.
Sponsored students: Be sure to check with your sponsor organization regarding its enrollment requirements.
Although these guidelines are for F-1 students, the U.S. State Department has issued guidance for J-1 students that are very similar to those for F-1 students.

Please consult with a qualified immigration attorney if you need legal advice.


Frequently Asked Questions

 

Where can I find updates about travel restrictions?

Carefully consider any and all travel plans. There are a number of travel restrictions in place across the world.

 

Will I need to self-isolate/Quarantine for 14 days?

For students, employees and visitors, it is important to note that Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has announced a travel advisory for all individuals coming into Ohio who have recently travelled internationally or from states reporting positive COVID-19 testing rates of 15% or higher. Anyone traveling from these areas to Ohio is advised to self-quarantine for 14 days. The Ohio Department of Health is also recommending against travel to these states with high positivity. 

 

What if I can't get a visa appointment?

You may defer your admission to a later semester. If you decide to defer your admission, please email  i20@kent.edu.

Consider enrolling in online classes. Please note that if you begin courses online and are not able to obtain a visa later, your program may not offer a method to complete your program entirely online. 

 

Eligibility for CPT and OPT may be impacted. To be eligible for CPT or OPT, you must have been fully enrolled in an academic program in a qualifying status for at least 1 academic year. If you are not physically present in the U.S., you are not considered to be in status (unless updated guidance from SEVP & DHS determines otherwise).

 

Late Arrival Letters may be requested by emailing isss@kent.edu if you have a visa appointment scheduled. The last date for late arrival for undergraduate students is September 2nd, 2020. ESL & Graduate students may be considered on a case by case basis with permission of the academic department.

 

How Can I speak with an ISSS Advisor?

Make a virtual appointment or call during phone advising.

 

Am I able to remain in the U.S. after the Thanksgiving break?

Yes. Kent State University’s revised calendar will be reported to SEVP as required.

 

I am an incoming F-1 student. What is the difference between deferring my admission versus deferring my I-20?

  • Deferring your admission means to wait to start your studies to a later semester. You can defer your admission for up to one year. Contact intladm@kent.edu for information on how to defer your admission
  • Deferring your I-20 means that you intend to start studying remotely/online, but you do not plan to come to Kent State this August. You can defer your I-20 by contacting i20@kent.edu

Will my visa be canceled if I am studying from my home country?

If you have an F-1 visa, your visa will not be canceled if you are studying from your home country, even if your SEVIS record is terminated. The SEVIS termination would not affect your F-1 visa.

 

Where can I find more resources?

As always you should frequently check your Kent State email, read the ISSS Newsflash, and check the ISSS website at www.kent.edu/isss

 

How can I find out who my academic advisor or program coordinator is?

Start by looking under your Student Information in FlashLine. Here are the instructions: https://www.kent.edu/flashline/news/how-can-i-find-out-who-my-advisor. If that information is not available, instructions are below based on your education level:

Undergraduate Students: Find An Advisor

Graduate Students: Please find department contact information here: https://www.kent.edu/graduatestudies/graduate-programs

ESL Students: You can contact the ESL center at eslreg@kent.edu.

 

I tried to schedule an appointment with my academic advisor on KSU advising but nothing is available in the next few days.

Advisors are currently working to create additional appointment times. We recommend emailing or calling your academic department to help you connect with an academic advisor

 

Do I need a new I20? When? How?

No, at this time students do not need a new I-20. 

 

Does KSU international student health insurance cover COVID-19 testing, appointments, and treatment?

Yes. The KSU international student health insurance covers all aspects of COVID-19. More information can be found here: https://www.kent.edu/policyreg/university-policy-regarding-international-students-requirement-have-health-insurance

 

what measures is KSU taking to keep me safe?

Kent State University’s reopening committees continue to work for a safe return to campus. To ensure an outstanding and safe experience for students, faculty, staff, and visitors, everyone should practice daily symptom checks and the Flashes Safe Seven principles: https://www.kent.edu/coronavirus/flashes-safe-seven#while-on-campus

 

How can I advocate for Kent State’s International Students?

Numerous KSU student organizations are engaged in political advocacy in support of our international students