Spring 2021 Guidance for New International Students

Updated: January 22, 2021

Congratulations on your admission to the UO! While the impact of COVID-19 is still creating challenges, you are welcome to start your program in-person or, if visa and travel restrictions make it difficult to come to the U.S., you can start your UO program online from your home country. Spring term classes will have primarily remote and online instruction, with some in-person labs, studio experiences, and other small classes. 

We have provided information here to help you plan. If you have any questions, please send an email to International Student & Scholar Services at intl@uoregon.edu, or call 541-346-3206. An international student advisor will respond to your email or phone call within 24-48 hours.

What You Need to Do!

Scenario #1. If you are planning to come to the U.S. (visa and travel confirmed):

New international students are required to enroll in at least one in-person class. You must enter the U.S. on or before March 29, 2021 which is the start of spring term. If you anticipate arriving later than March 29, please note this when you submit the "New Student Spring 2021 Plan" eform (link below). An ISSS advisor will contact you with late arrival information.

► Action Required:

  1. Log into iConnect and submit the “New Student Spring 2021 Plan” eform. You will login with your DuckID.
  2. Register for an in-person class once you attend IntroDUCKtion and receive your PIN from Academic Advising to register for spring classes. We recommend you register for UGST 399 (for undergrads) or GRST 610 (for grad students). This is a 1-credit class. Details can be found here: https://isss.uoregon.edu/new-1-credit-course-planned-fall-person-no-tuition-cost 
  3. Download UO ISSS Winter 2021 Confirmation Letter

Scenario #2. If you are not coming to the U.S., but plan to take classes online/remote: 

► Action Required:

  1. Log into iConnect and submit the “New Student Spring 2021 Plan” eform. You will login with your DuckID
  2. Log into myUOHealth Student Portal and complete the “Insurance Waiver Request” form so that you will not be charged $942 for student health insurance which is not required if you are not physically in the U.S. THIS FORM ISN'T AVAILABLE UNTIL MARCH 1. PLEASE SUBMIT THE FORM AFTER MARCH 1.
  3. Check out the #NoVisaNeeded options at https://international.uoregon.edu/no-visa-needed

Scenario #3. If you are not coming to the U.S. and not planning to register for classes:

► Action Required:

  1. Log into iConnect and submit the “New Student Spring 2021 Plan” eform. You will login with your DuckID
  2. If you are a degree-seeking student and want to defer your admission to the UO, go to https://admissions.uoregon.edu/freshmen/apply/gapyear.
  3. If you are an exchange student and want to defer the start of your program, contact Jenn Kuan at exchange@uoregon.edu.
  4. Check out the #NoVisaNeeded options at https://international.uoregon.edu/no-visa-needed

Applying for a U.S. Visa

International students admitted to the University of Oregon are eligible to apply for an F-1 (or J-1 visa for exchange students) because the UO will not be entirely online for winter term 2021. U.S. embassies and consulates are beginning to re-open and process non-immigrant visas. The dates for each U.S. embassy or consulate will depend on local conditions. You can monitor the resumption of visa services for your country at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/suspension-o….

To begin the visa application process, start here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas.html

F-1 Visa

New degree-seeking students must provide evidence to the U.S. embassy or consulate that the UO will not be operating entirely online for winter term 2021. This evidence is provided by International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) on Form I-20 as a certification statement under “Remarks”. (This does not apply to international students in the U.S. who are transferring from another institution.) The I-20 is sent with your letter of admission to the UO. If you have any questions about your I-20, please email ISSS at intl@uoregon.edu.

J-1 Visa

New exchange students must provide evidence to the U.S. embassy or consulate that the UO will not be operating entirely online for winter term 2021. This evidence is provided by International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) in the form of an enrollment verification letter, along with Form DS-2019. As soon as you are registered for winter term courses, contact ISSS at intl@uoregon.edu to request an enrollment verification letter. 

Use of Electronically-Signed I-20 or DS-2019

F-1/F-2 I-20s signed and sent as electronic scans can be used for all official purposes – visa applications and renewals, entry to the U.S., applications for OPT, etc.  There is no need for the original, physical I-20 at this time.

J-1/J-2 DS-2019s signed and sent as electronic scans can be used for most purposes except visa applications, renewals, and entry to the U.S.  For visa applications and renewals and entry to the U.S., the original, physical DS-2019 is required.

For official documents for which you need the original, physical document, such as J-1 DS-2019s needed for visa interview or entry to the U.S., ISSS will need to arrange shipment to you. Please email ISSS at intl@uoregon.edu for shipping information.

Travel Restrictions to the U.S.

If you are coming from China, Iran or Brazil, you are currently restricted from traveling directly to the U.S. from your home country. However, you may be able to travel to the U.S. via another country where you may have to self-quarantine for 14 days. For more information, go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/from-other-countries.html.

If you are you traveling from the Schengen Area of Europe, the United Kingdom, or Ireland, you may qualify for a National Interest Exception. Students with valid F-1 visas do not need to seek a national interest exception to travel. Students with a valid J-1 visa need to contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to initiate an exception request. ISSS can provide you with a national interest exception letter for the U.S. embassy or consulate upon request - just send an email to intl@uoregon.edu.

Arrival and CDC Guidelines for Incoming Travelers

The earliest you can enter the U.S. is up to 30 days before the program start date on your I-20 or DS-2019.  

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) does not require incoming travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days, but they do recommend that you take extra precautions to protect others after you arrive if you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 under the following conditions:

  • Being in an area that is experiencing high levels of COVID-19 spread. Going to a large social gathering such as a wedding, funeral, or party.
  • Attending a mass gathering such as a sporting event, concert, or parade.
  • Being in crowds – for example, in restaurants, bars, airports, bus and train stations, or movie theaters.
  • Traveling on a cruise ship or riverboat.

COVID-19 Resources

The UO’s new searchable COVID-19 resources website has updated information about testing for students in residence halls, as well as the latest information about current operations and planning for in-person activities for fall term.  

Moving into On-Campus Housing

If you have applied to live on-campus, please notify UO Housing of your arrival date so they can work with you on the move-in date.

New 1-Credit, In-Person Class

As a new incoming international student, you are required to enroll in at least one in-person or hybrid class for winter 2021. An academic advisor will help you to identify in-person and hybrid classes. The UO is also offering a 1-credit, in-person class for free to new incoming international students. For more information, go to https://isss.uoregon.edu/new-1-credit-course-planned-fall-person-no-tuition-cost.

Pre-Arrival Checklist

Please make sure you have completed the requirements in the Pre-Arrival Checklist

Immigration Document Check-In

Within 10 days of your arrival to the U.S., you are required to "check-in" online with International Student & Scholar Services. To check-in, log into iConnect Student Portal with your DuckID and submit the "Immigration Document Check-In" eform. You will need to upload a copy of your passport and the arrival stamp in your passport. 

Short-Term Housing in Eugene

You may find these resources helpful in locating short-term housing. The UO is not able to refer or endorse any particular housing options.

In the case of FFIS, that organization assumes the risk associated with bringing people into the households of FFIS homestay families. By listing FFIS with other housing resources, UO plays no role in setting up the homestay and is not responsible for any associated risk.