FAQs: COVID-19, Visas, Travel, Immigration Issues

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Presidential Proclamations and Executive Orders

Division of Global Engagement message in response to 29 May 2020 Executive Order on New Chinese Graduate Students and Researchers

Full Text of 29 May 2020 Executive Order on New Chinese Graduate Students and Researchers

Information Bulletin sent to Chinese Graduate Students on 1 June 2020


U.S. Visa Services Update

U.S. Visa Processing Suspended (U.S.Department of State)

U.S. Visa Information Service for China (U.S. Department of State)

Latest Travel Policies

Fact Sheet: Notice of Arrival Restrictions on China, Iran and Certain Countries of Europe (U.S. Department of Homeland Security)

Travelers Prohibited from Entry to the U.S. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control)

Returning from International Travel (U.S. Centers for Disease Control)

Restricted Travel to Canada and Mexico (U.S. Department of Homeland Security)


Leaving the U.S. for Summer Term

Remote instruction will continue through the 2020 summer term. If you are in the U.S. and plan to leave to take summer term from your home country, you need to notify ISSS of your departure. Please submit the "Temporary Leave from U.S. Request" eform at iconnect.uoregon.edu. Provide your departure date and expected return date and whether you plan to enroll in summer courses or not.

Fall Term Update

The university currently intends to return to in-person, on-campus instruction this fall. Our fall plans will comply with Governor Kate Brown’s emerging strategy to reopen Oregon and will be informed by guidance from the Oregon Health Authority and Lane County Public Health. 

I am currently outside the U.S. and may not be able to return to the U.S. for fall term. What are my options for continuing their studies online/remotely?

The UO is committed to ensuring all students are able to continue studying fall term, whether in Eugene/Portland or not. UO leadership will provide updates about fall term instruction over the next few weeks. 

I am a graduate student with a GE for fall term and  may not be able to return to the U.S. to work. Will I be able to work remotely?

Please contact your UO department for information about working remotely as a Graduate Employee.

Taking UO Courses Outside the U.S.

Do I have to be enrolled 3 consecutive terms to leave the U.S.?

No. There is also no requirement to be enrolled 3 consecutive terms to leave the U.S. for spring term or any term. The 3-consecutive term rule only applies when students want to take a vacation term and remain physically in the U.S., not outside the U.S. Once you leave the U.S., you are on a leave of absence, not a “vacation” term.

Do I have to be enrolled full-time if I’m outside the U.S.?

No. When you are physically outside the U.S., there is no requirement to register full-time. You can register full-time, part-time or not at all. 

How do I drop below 12 credits if I’m outside the U.S.?

Send an email to intl@uoregon.edu with your name, UO ID and the course(s) you want to drop and ISSS will work with the Registrar’s Office to have your course(s) dropped. Add/Drop deadlines still apply. For more information, go to https://registrar.uoregon.edu/calendars/academic?ts=201903

Taking UO Courses in the U.S.

Do I have to be enrolled full-time if I’m in the U.S.?

Yes and No. F-1 students must be enrolled full-time (minimum 12 credits for undergrads and 9 credits for grads), unless you are approved by ISSS for a reduced course load, including for reasons as a direct result of COVID-19. For more information, go to https://isss.uoregon.edu/reduced-course-load-exemptions

If I return for summer term, do I have to enroll full-time?

This will depend on your enrollment history.  The SEVIS Manager, Becky Megerssa, will be contacting students prior to the start of summer term if full-time enrollment is required.

If I return for fall term, do I have to enroll full-time?

Yes. All students enrolling fall term will be required to be full-time. 

Taking UO Online Courses

Is there a restriction to the number of online credits I can take either in the U.S. or outside the U.S.?

No. The online credit restriction has been suspended for spring and summer terms due to the fact that all UO courses are being taught online or delivered via remote instruction.

Can I take UO online courses from anywhere in the world, or just my country?

Yes. You can study online from anywhere in the world, not just your home country or the U.S. However, you should be in touch with your instructors about the delivery of remote instruction which may be challenging with the time difference and technology.

Complete Drop of All UO Courses

How do I drop all my courses?

If you need to completely withdraw from spring term courses, you must log into Duckweb and request to completely withdraw from the term under Registration. You will be temporarily blocked but the request will be recorded for refund purposes. To remove the block, send an email to intl@uoregon.edu with your name and UO ID. ISSS will review your request and, if approved, notify the Registrar’s Office to drop your courses.

For refund schedule, go to https://registrar.uoregon.edu/calendars/refund-schedules?ts=201903

Travel Back to U.S.

I'm currently outside the U.S. When can I return to the U.S.?

Students who not currently in Eugene should not return until the governor’s executive order is lifted. The UO will notify all students when the governor's executive order has been lifted.

Can I return to the U.S. with my current I-20, even if I have been gone for more than 5 months?

The 5-month temporary absence rule has been suspended for students with “active” SEVIS records. Unless ISSS has notified you via email that your SEVIS record has been terminated, your I-20 is still "active" for re-entry to the U.S. once the governor's executive order and travel restrictions have been lifted. If your F1 visa has expired and you need to renew your visa, you should continue to contact your local U.S. embassy/consulate for any updates on when visa services will re-open. 

If I have a terminated SEVIS record, what should I do?

Send an email to intl@uoregon.edu with your name, UO ID and we will instruct you on the steps to take to get a new I-20 for re-entry to the U.S. For more information, go to https://isss.uoregon.edu/returning-students


How do I get my I-20 if I’m outside the U.S.?

Send an email to intl@uoregon.edu with your name, UO ID and the reason you need a reprinted I-20. ISSS will reprint your I-20 and email it to you. ISSS can now send signed I-20s electronically during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 How do I get my I-20 if I’m in the U.S.?

Send an email to intl@uoregon.edu with your name, UO ID, the reason you need a reprinted I-20 and your current mailing address. ISSS will reprint your I-20 and mail it to you.


If I get a new initial I-20 for re-entry to the U.S. do I have to get a new F1 visa? 

It depends. If your F1 visa is still valid for when you plan to return to the U.S. you do not have to apply for a new visa with a new I-20. However, if your F1 visa has or will expire before your return, you will have to renew your visa.

 The U.S. embassies and consulates are closed in my country. How can I renew my visa?

While U.S. embassies and consulates have temporarily suspended nonimmigration visa services, you should check regularly for when visa services will resume and be ready to schedule your visa appointment. For visa services updates, go tohttps://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/suspension-of-routine-visa-services.html

Can I use an I-20 I received electronically via email to renew my visa?

As a temporary measure during the COVID-19 pandemic, ICE/SEVP has authorized DSOs to issue an electronic version of Form I-20 to students, in lieu of a mailed Form I-20.  As long as this temporary measure is in place, consular officers at U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide will be accepting a printout of an electronic version of the Form I-20 for the purpose of adjudicating of an F or M visa application.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Can I apply for OPT if I’m completing my UO degree outside the U.S. spring term?

No. You will not be eligible to apply for OPT. You must be in the U.S. your final term to be eligible to apply for OPT.

UO Student Health Benefits Plan

 I’m outside the U.S. but being charged for the student health benefits plan. How can I get a refund?

If you are registered for spring term (even for online courses), you are automatically enrolled in and billed $924 for the health insurance plan. To be dis-enrolled from the health insurance plan, you must submit the “Take a Term Off” eform at https://iconnect.uoregon.edu/istart/controllers/start/StartEngine.cfm. This notifies ISSS that you are outside the U.S for spring term, and can then notify the Health Center to remove you from the health insurance plan and a pro-rated refund will be applied.

On- and Off-Campus Housing

I need help with my housing

If you are unable to return to the U.S. and need help communicating with UO Housing or landlord on your contract or lease, please send an email to ISSS at intl@uoregon.edu with an explaination of your situation.  

Emergency Financial Assistance

I need help financially

If this COVID-19 pandemic has created a financial hardship for you there are two resources: 1) Student Crisis Fund, details at https://dos.uoregon.edu and 2) Emergency Financial Aid, details at https://isss.uoregon.edu/financial-assistance

Remote Learning Resources

I need help with online technology and remote learning

Go to https://remote.uoregon.edu