Fall 2020 Travel Guidance for International Students Currently Outside the US

On July 25, OIS wrote to students about the updated SEVP guidance issued for the Fall 2020 semester and what it means for new and continuing international students. Understandably, students currently outside of the U.S. still have many questions about how this guidance impacts travel to the U.S. for the Fall 2020 semester.

New Students:

The SEVP guidance does not permit new students who are currently outside of the U.S., to enter the U.S. to begin the fall 2020 semester if classes are 100% online. As of today, it is not yet known to what extent the State of California and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health will grant approval for in-person instruction for the Fall 2020 semester. Therefore, USC cannot guarantee the availability of in-person classes during the Fall 2020 semester. For these reasons, new students should not attempt to travel to the U.S. for the Fall 2020 semester.

Continuing Students Returning from a Leave of Absence or Traveling to Reinstate Status:

The SEVP guidance does not permit continuing students with an initial attendance I-20 who are currently outside of the U.S., to enter the U.S. to resume their studies in  the fall 2020 semester if classes are 100% online. These students should not attempt to travel to the U.S. for the Fall 2020 semester.

Continuing Students with an Active SEVIS Record:

Continuing students currently outside the U.S. with an active SEVIS record remain eligible to return to the U.S. during the Fall 2020 semester. However, due to public health concerns, the University does not recommend students travel back to campus at this time. The University encourages students who are currently abroad to make progress toward their degree through fully online coursework from their home country and work with their academic advisor to find suitable online enrollment options.

If continuing students with an active SEVIS record still decide to travel, they must be in possession of a valid F-1 visa, an I-20 endorsed for travel, and all other travel documentation listed on the OIS website. Continuing students remain eligible to apply for a visa renewal if their current visa has lapsed. However, issuance is at the discretion of the local U.S. embassy or consulate. Travel disruptions are common, and new restrictions could be imposed without notice at any time.

Upcoming Webinars:

OIS invites students to join our live webinars this week. A question and answer session will take place at the end of each webinar.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Tuesday, July 28 at 3:00 PM (PST)

Travel and Visas
Thursday, July 30 at 8:00 AM (PST)

Reduced Course Load (RCL) and Leave of Absence (LOA)
Thursday, July 30 at 8:00 PM (PST)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Friday, July 31 at 10:00 AM (PST)

STEM Optional Practical Training (STEM OPT)
Friday, July 31 at 11:00 AM (PST)

Zoom links and more information about each webinar can be found on the OIS Events Calendar.

Be well and be safe,
Office of International Services