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3/17/2020 11:09 AM

TO: International Students
SUBJECT: Additional Info for International Students

Hello Everyone!

I know in that difficult time, many of you have plenty of questions about how is the current situation, with courses being thought online for the remainder of session 4, affecting your immigration status.

Even though the courses are going to an online format that does not influence your status related to being an international student. You can continue your education by staying in the US or from abroad. SEVP is intending on being flexible and allowing online teaching arrangements. All you need to do is to continue education for the remainder of session 4 in the online format to maintain your status.

If you decide to leave US you will still need my signature on back of your I-20. The signature is valid only for a year.

Please let me know  if you have any questions.


As there are advantages to social distancing, we encourage those of you who are able and comfortable with returning to your permanent homes to do so. For students who are unable to return home or elect to stay on campus, we will continue to fully support you. UIU’s residential, dining, academic success, tutoring, and disability and library services will be open and operational to provide for your needs. All buildings are open for now, but this is a very fluid situation. If there are changes to services or building access, we will inform you immediately.

At this time, even with the decision to move to online classes for the remainder of session 4, the residence halls will remain OPEN.  You have the option to stay on campus the remainder of the session or to checkout with the RA on your floor.

  • Checkout will be held Wednesday, March 18 through Wednesday, March 25 (8:00 A.M.-5:00 P.M.).  Please notify your Resident Assistant the date and time you would like to check out.  If you are unable to make the timeframe, please inform Student Life 563-425-5215 to let them know when you are able to make it to campus and call the RA on call to checkout when you arrive.  South On Call is 563-419-4250.  North On Call is 563-379-1407.
  • Dining will have limited hours for the students that stay for the rest of session 4.  Brunch and supper will be offered in the servery March 16th – March 25th from 10:30 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. and 5:00 P.M to 6:30 P.M.  The Café will remain closed through March 25th.
  • Students should stop at the mailroom to check their campus box and collect any packages before leaving for semester.  Students also need to complete an address forwarding form or email at [email protected] /call at 563-425-5319.

To be consistent with CDC recommendations, students remaining in the residence halls are strongly encouraged to practice excellent hygiene as well as social distancing. This includes avoids mass gatherings and maintaining a distance of approximately 6 feet from others when possible.


    • The area you are traveling to could experience an outbreak and implement a quarantine, and you would not be able to leave that area until the quarantine is lifted.
    • Consider health insurance coverage at your destination – will you have insurance coverage in case you are sick?
    • Are you able to be flexible in case your travel in either direction is delayed – in coursework you may be enrolled in, or work you may be doing?
    • Consider purchasing flights or other parts of travel, such as hotels, that has flexible cancellation. The extent to which different airlines or other companies are reimbursing purchases varies tremendously.

OPT Concerns

  • New applicants – OPT applications will process with USCIS as expected, to the best of our knowledge. Regular OPT rules will apply once OPT is approved – from the approved OPT start date, OPT rules allow for up to 90 days of unemployment time. OPT employment can be part-time (at least 20 hours) or full-time, and can be paid or unpaid. It must be directly related to the degree you have just completed. You can also change employers as often as you like during OPT. If hiring slows down this summer, be sure to consider other kinds of employment, such as part-time or unpaid positions that utilize your degree skill sets, even temporarily until you are able to secure a more desirable full-time position.
  • Graduates currently on OPT and the STEM OPT Extension – There are no changes in the existing rules related to OPT and the STEM OPT Extension. We would encourage you to make sure you understand your employer’s options for sick leave, should you become ill or even concerned that you might be getting sick. Your employer should also be given clear direction about remote work options, and expectations during the Coronavirus situation. If you have travel (international or within the US) or conferences planned, please work with your employer to understand how to best manage these plans. Lastly, make sure you understand the health insurance that you have through your employer, in case you need it should you become sick.

Thank you!

Edyta Cichoń-Barche
Coordinator for International Student and Scholar Services, PDSO/RO
Center for International Education