COVID-19 Response

*Last Updated 3/30/2020

Virtual Appointments Only

Please be aware that all advising will be done by phone or video conference. There will be no in-person advising until further notice. All international students, staff, and visiting scholars should email with specific questions or call 785-864-3617 to setup a virtual appointment.


>> KU COVID-19 Info

>> COVID-19 Terms

>> Watkins Health Services

>> KU Human Resources COVID-19 Information

>> Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health

>> Kansas Department of Health and Environment

>> Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

COVID-19 Travel Issues

You are not required to leave KU or Lawrence.  This is your current home and we will work to help you stay and finish the semester here if you would like.  Staying may be the least complicated way to manage everything at this time.  However, we certainly understand the many emotions involved in this decision. 

Visa Services Suspended at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates
The Department of State is temporarily suspending routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates. This means that visa appointments will not be scheduled until further notice. It is not yet known when regular services will resume. Please contact your local U.S. Embassy/Consulate for the most updated information. If the current visa in your passport is expired, the suspension in visa services will impact your ability to return for the next semester.

What should I know if I'm returning from international travel?
On March 14, the university implemented new requirements for people who traveled internationally within the past 14 days. Anyone who traveled anywhere outside the United States, which includes cruises, MUST take these steps:
  • Self-isolate for 14 days upon return to the U.S. For details, see CDC guidelines for self-isolation.
  • Call and report any symptoms of respiratory illness, such as fever, a dry cough or shortness of breath, to a local medical provider for instructions on treatment.
Domestic restrictions have also been put into place for those returning from areas of COVID-19 outbreaks within the United States.
What travel restrictions are in place for KU?
Out of an abundance of caution, all university-sponsored domestic and international business-related travel and attendance at meetings and conferences is to be discontinued, effective immediately. Business-related travel in and around Kansas and Missouri is excluded from this restriction. Please do not make new plans for business travel during the next 60 days. Under extreme circumstances, exemptions to the travel restriction will be considered in advance by the provost or her designee. Travel appeals should be sent to

Students traveling internationally on university-affiliated activities must register through the Student International Travel Registry.

Collectively, these processes will enable the university to help Jayhawks who may be traveling and provide tailored support on and off campus as circumstances evolve.

For questions related to travel, contact our KU International Affairs Office in Lawrence, the Office of International Programs at KU Medical Center, or the Office of Global Operations and Security.

What if I have personal plans for international travel?
Moving forward during the spring semester, KU strongly encourages faculty, students and staff to reconsider any personal international travel that may be planned. The reality is, there are two circumstances you need to consider while traveling: 1) you might become ill, and 2) as countries evaluate travel into and out of their regions, limitations and bans are being enacted, often with little or no warning.

If you do plan to travel internationally for personal reasons, KU asks you registered with KU ahead of time. This will enable KU to help and provide tailored support if circumstances around COVID-19 change.

Students can register via the Student International Travel Registry.

Lawrence employees can send an email summarizing planned travel to the Administration and Finance unit.

KU Medical Center students and employees should contact the Office of International Programs.

If you travel for personal reasons, please use everyday preventative measures such as hand-washing to prevent the spread of disease and avoid regions that are experiencing widespread transmission of the virus. Importantly, if you are experiencing symptoms -- either during travel or as you return to campus -- please practice social distancing and call your doctor immediately. Each of us plays a role in helping to keep our university community healthy.

Travel to countries with Level 3 designations by the CDC and Level 4 designations by the U.S. State Department is highly discouraged. Beginning March 14, travelers returning to KU from anywhere outside the United States, which includes cruises, MUST self-isolate for 14 days upon return to the U.S.

What travel restrictions are in place for J-1 Exchange Visitors?
Per an advisory from the U.S. Department of State, KU is suspending all new incoming J-1 exchange visitor programs for the next 60 days and will reevaluate on May 10. This pertains to visiting scholars, visiting faculty, postdoctoral researchers, fellows, as well as other temporary academic appointments intending to arrive in J-1 status. For questions please reach out to KU International Support Services for the Lawrence and Edwards campuses, or the Office of International Programs at the KU Medical Center. They can provide in-the-moment guidance.


Deciding to stay or leave Lawrence is a difficult decision. Please know all international students have a home at KU. The university is not requiring any international student to leave their KU residence, Lawrence, or the United States. You are in a very unique situation and all of KU supports you fully.

On-Campus Housing
Students and scholars living on campus can stay in their residence hall or apartment by registering with KU Housing for an exception through the myKU portal. If you live on-campus and need more time to prepare to leave, you can also request that through the myKU portal.

KU Dining Services will remain open for students remaining in on-campus housing. However, dining locations have transitioned to carry-out options only. Please reference KU Dining's Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information page for the most up to date information. Operational hours for March 23rd - May 15th have been posted for each dining location

Off-Campus Housing
If you live off campus, you should check with your landlord regarding if you are moving out or keeping things there and if you would be able to break your lease and get a partial refund. You shouldn’t expect this, but if you need help you can contact Bill Larzalere in Legal Services for Students at
Other items to consider
  • Storage of your belongings. ISS has no access to store things for you. You should check with either KU Housing or your landlord, depending on where you are living.  You can also contact any local storage unit to make arrangements and pay a fee for a storage unit.
  • Pay all unpaid bills before you leave or make arrangements to pay them later.
  • Turn off utilities and close out accounts if necessary.
  • Forward your mail. This can be done online through the post office, whether that be temporary or permanent.

Immigration Status

Whether you stay in Lawrence, or leave for elsewhere in the US or overseas, ISS will continue to maintain your immigration record even if you are out of the country. Your legal status will not be impacted by classes being offered online for the rest of the semester. For you to maintain status you will need to:

  • Report changes of address through iHawk using the COVID eforms.
  • If you are a student, maintain a full course of study in your online courses. If you are a scholar, maintain your teaching/research program.
  • Get ISS approval before dropping any classes. You can initiate the Reduced Course Load Request through iHawk.
  • Send an email to ISS to let us know your travel plans. We will respond and let you know next steps.

Maintaining online enrollment

Wherever you will be, you should also consider if you are able to have internet connectivity. We can pretty much guarantee connectivity here in Lawrence. This will be necessary to maintain your online enrollment. 
If your internet connectivity is uncertain, you may want to reconsider your decision to leave the US or you may need to withdraw from your courses. At this time we cannot guarantee that you will receive any refund of tuition if you withdraw. 

If you need to withdraw from all of your spring 2020 courses, you should first submit the request in iHawk under 'Leaving KU' and get approval from ISS. This will allow you to return later with a minimum of immigration difficulty. 
After you have the ISS approval, you should refer to the Registrar website for information on this process.

Incoming Students and New Applicants

At this time, applications are still being reviewed and immigration documents (I-20s and DS-2019s) are being processed as normal for admitted students. If you have questions about the admissions process, please contact your department or respective admissions office. If you have questions about the immigraiton document, please contact More information about this process can be found on our Newly Admitted webpage.

Important Links

KU Campus-wide COVID-19 Updates

International Affairs - COVID-19 Updates

KU On-Campus Housing - COVID-19 Updates

KU Dining's Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information page

Watkins Health Center - COVID-19 Updates

Human Resources - COVID-19 Employee Information

KU Transportation - COVID-19 Updates


Stay in Touch!

The ISS office will continue to be working during this time.  We will be working remotely for the most part, but we are available to serve you. Emailing ISS is probably your best option to communicate with us at Students should maintain communication with all of your professors regarding your coursework and any difficulties about being online. Scholars should maintain communication with their faculty advisor.


Please stay safe and healthy.  Contact us with any question you might have.



International Students

International Students

Use the navigation tools on this page for student information

International Scholars and Employees

International Scholars and Employees


Stamp Icon

We are located at Room 2, Strong Hall on Jayhawk Boulevard.

Learn more about our office.


Find us on Facebook
follow us on Twitter

KU Today
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times