FAQs for International Students and Scholars
Frequently Asked Questions
Last Updated on March 20, 2020.
*We will continue to update this page as we learn more information.
Effective March 16th, 2020, the International Center will be available remotely until further notice. For any questions or concerns, e-mail the International Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.Our office will respond to your e-mail as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience and are working diligently to respond to all your questions and concerns.
You must pay for mailing via UEMS/eShipGlobal to receive your document by mail. Once you have an order number, e-mail it to email@example.com. For mailing intructions,click here.
E-mail your complete request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes, you may remain in the U.S. and must continue to enroll in a minimum of 12 units unless the International Center has approved your part-time request. We encourage you to take care of yourself and follow advice on how to stay healthy.
Effective March 16th, 2020, The International Center has postponed OPT Information Sessions until further notice. For additional information on applying for OPT and requirements, visit our OPT page.
International students in F and J visa status are required to be enrolled in a minimum of 12 units. The Department of Homeland Security/SEVP is allowing students to be enrolled remotely in the 12 units because the university has decided this is the mode of instruction for the Spring 2020 Quarter. This is an exception to the normal rules that require that only 1 class (4 units) can be counted towards the 12 total units. You do not have to file any special paperwork with the International Center to get this exception. Please do remember to enroll full-time (12 units).
If you decide to return to your home country during Spring Quarter and continue to be enrolled remotely, your SEVIS record will be kept active. However, please be aware that this may change if SEVP provides different guidance regarding this issue.
If you decide to return to your home country and plan to return later in summer or fall, you will need to be sure your documents are valid. Your re-entry will depend on any travel restrictions or travel bans that may be in place at the time that you plan to return; as well to all immigration and visa requirements.
You will need to let the officer know that your school, UCI, offered classes remotely for Spring Quarter because of the COVID-19. You will need to have proof of your Spring Quarter enrollment. You must be sure that you have a valid visa, valid I-20 or DS-2019 with travel signature, proof of Spring enrollment and we also recommend that you have a printed copy of the Chancellor’s message you received on March 10, 2020. Entry into the U.S. is always the decision of the CBP officer.
Per the current guidance, USCIS has not confirmed this option at this time. As information is gathered the FAQ will be updated.
Travel is not recommended when an application is pending. Please review the OPT Presentation for information about travel when the application is pending.
You will be able to request a new I-20 for return when in-person classes resume at UCI. Review campus e-mails and the International Center website to determine when in-person instruction will begin again and plan to submit your request 2-3 months before the quarter you will return for. See Returning Student information for items to e-mail to the International Center.
Effective March 16, 2020, the International Center will not hold in-person New Scholar Check-In Sessions. New incoming J-1 scholars will need to complete this process remotely, and submit new scholar check-in documents to email@example.com. For additional information and a list of check-in requirements, please visit https://ic.uci.edu/scholars/j-1/new-scholar-check-in.php