FAQ’s About COVID-19 for Study Abroad Students
I hope you are doing well. The times that we are living through currently are not only challenging but also unprecedented in the history of mankind. So, as a student with the coveted study abroad admission under your belt, you must be having more questions than answers as you ponder over the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on your admission, career goals, and future in general.
Being committed study abroad counselors, we at Collegepond not only share your concerns and anxiety but are also doing our best to enable you to take charge of the circumstances. In the process, we have stepped up to the challenge of unraveling what the days and months ahead hold for you – in terms of your admission status, academic continuity and job prospects overseas.
So, whether you are an INITIAL or ACTIVE F (academic) or M (vocational) student, through this FAQ we intend to provide you with precise and up-to-date information on the existing circumstances and emerging situations, as they unfold.
Our objective is to help you gain a balanced perspective on the developments and accordingly initiate guided action to work towards your goals and objectives.
COVID-19 PROCEDURAL CHANGES (INITIAL / ACTIVE STUDENTS)
Can I defer my enrollment in the wake of COVID-19? If so, under what circumstances can I do so?
Yes,you can defer your enrolment to the next available session by duly intimating your designated school official (DSO),prior to reaching US. You will not be permitted to defer your enrollment if you have already entered US.
What happens to students who land up in the US with SEVIS status as INITIAL ?
Students with INITIAL status reporting to their respective schools will have their status upgraded to ACTIVE upon landing in the US. Subsequently, they are advised to follow the guidelines laid down by their school.
What happens to students having SEVIS status as INITIAL and yet to reach US?
Students in this category are advised to stay back in their home country.
What would be the validity of my i20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigration Student Status) ?
You must be aware by now that i20 is the most important document issued to an international student requesting F -1 visa. The validity of the i20 is based on the duration of the program you intend to apply for . Under the normal circumstances an i20 is valid till the last day of the final exams. If you are unable to complete your program by the end date,you need to contact your DSO atleast 15 days before the program end date.
Do I need to get a new i20 in case I defer my studies?
New i20s are issued to students in the event of change in major, biographical data, or program start dates. Depending on the changes to your program, you may have to maintain several copies of i20s, and always use the latest one for work and travel purposes.
Do I need a have physical copy of i20 or a digitally scanned copy will do?
In the given situation, designated school officials (DSOs) can send scanned versions of physical documents to students.
Can I take my first semester in the online mode? How will this impact my overall program prospects?
Awaiting clarity on this from the concerned authorities.
COVID-19 PROCEDURAL CHANGES (NEW STUDENTS)
What is the current status of new admissions in the wake of COVID-19?
As on date, SEVP has not formulated any action or strategy to deal with new admissions. In light of this, the best alternative for new admits is to defer their enrolment.
What happens to my I-901 SEVIS Fee payment if I am unable to enroll for a given session?
You can defer your enrollment to the next available session without worrying about the fee transfer as long as your SEVIS status is maintained. Alternatively, fee transfers are available to students who intend to reapply for their visa within 12 months of their I-901 SEVIS Fee payment
What happens to my SEVIS status if I have enrolled for the spring semester and unable to attend it?
Your school will defer your attendance and update your SEVIS status as TRANSFER.