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COVID-19 FAQ for Students

Please note: This page will be updated as more information is provided. Please check back often for updates.  *Last updated: November 2, 2020

KU - CLASSES AND SERVICES

What are the plans for spring 2021 classes?

KU intends to offer a flexible, hybrid model Spring 2021 of in-person, hybrid and online classes.  KU is trying to provide as many flexible options as possible to meet students wherever they are so students can enroll full time and continue to make progress on their degrees.

What if I went home and am having trouble returning by the start of spring classes?

We know that not every student will be able to come to Lawrence in time for the start of the semester.  KU is working on offering hybrid courses and online classes which can be started from abroad, to allow extra time for arrival.

Even though students may need to arrive late, they should enroll full-time before classes begin on February 1, 2021.

I have an I-20 and have F-1 immigration status.  What are the limits of online enrollment?

The type of classes (online, in-person, hybrid) largely depends on when you started at KU and if you travelled outside the U.S. before started at KU. 

For more details, please read the Spring 2021 Enrollment Guide

Please note: The government has not yet released guidance for Spring 2021, which could change the above information. 

Can I study full-time online from outside the U.S. in Spring 2021?

Yes.

KU is working on providing hybrid and online options for the spring so you can continue to make progress toward your degree even if you cannot attend classes in-person on-campus.

KU is anticipating that you will be able to maintain your I-20 if you enroll full-time even if you cannot return to campus Spring 2021.

Please read the Spring 2021 Enrollment Guide.

What type of Classes (in person vs. online) should I enroll in for Spring 2021?
The federal government has not yet provided guidance for spring 2021 enrollment. Therefore, at this time KU is assuming guidance from fall 2020 will still be in place. This will be updated if the government should provide updated guidance.

Based on current guidance F-1 international students should enroll for Spring 2021 per the instructions below that match their situation. Please work with your Academic Advisor when choosing courses.

I HAVE AN ACTIVE I-20 AND I WANT TO KEEP THAT I-20 ACTIVE

I Was Enrolled Spring 2020 In The U.S. At KU

  • You can continue to enroll in ANY instruction mode
  • You must be full time (or approved by ISS for a Reduced Course Load) if in the U.S. or Abroad

I Transferred To KU After Spring 2020 And I Have NOT Traveled Outside The U.S. Since March 9, 2020

  • You can continue to enroll in ANY instruction mode
  • You must be full time (or approved by ISS for a Reduced Course Load) if in the U.S. or Abroad

I Am New To KU After Spring 2020 And Entered The U.S. Between March 10 And October 31, 2020

  • It is recommended you enroll in at least one class that is In Person
  • You must be in at least one class that is Hybrid Classroom (if you do not already have a completely in-person course)
  • You cannot be 100% Hybrid Online and/or Online
  • You must be full time (or approved by ISS for a Reduced Course Load)
  • Since an in-person component is required; study from abroad is not allowed

I CURRENTLY HAVE AN ACTIVE I-20 BUT PLAN TO BE ABROAD SPRING 2021 AND CANNOT MAINTAIN ENROLLMENT REQUIREMENTS

  • ANY instruction mode is okay
  • Email iss@ku.edu to request a Virtual Drop-In to discuss how to end I-20 without negative consequences

I DO NOT HAVE AN ACTIVE I-20. I AM ABROAD FALL 2020 (I STARTED AT KU ABROAD or ENDED MY I-20 TO ENROLL PART TIME FROM ABROAD)

I Do Plan To Enter The U.S For Spring 2021
  • It is recommended you enroll in at least one class be In Person
  • You must be in at least one class that is Hybrid Classroom (if you do not already have a completely in-person course)
  • You cannot be 100% Hybrid Online and/or Online
  • You must be full time (or approved by ISS for a Reduced Course Load)
  • You will need a new I-20 to start F-1 status for Spring 2021
I Do Not Plan To Enter The U.S. Before Or During Spring 2021
  • ANY instruction mode is okay
  • You can be full time or part time
Can I keep my GTA or GRA if I enroll from abroad?
No. You cannot keep an on-campus job in spring 2021 if you are outside the U.S.. In some situations, you may be able to enroll in a combo of hybrid and online classes and arrive late to start a GRA. If you cannot be in Lawrence for the entire spring semester, do not expect to hold a GTA position at all. Contact your department for your options regarding your assistantship.
How can I get tutoring?
Tutoring Services and Supplemental Instruction are available online via Zoom. Additional information is available from the Academic Learning Center. The KU Writing Center offers in-person and online writing consultations.
What will my academic advising check-ins be like?
You can schedule appointments with various academic advisors across campus through Jayhawk GPS or by emailing the advisor directly. 
What is the instructional format for dissertation or research hours?
Dissertation and research hours are usually considered in person. A few departments have recoded the course from in person to online.
If I can't arrive due to visa/travel restrictions, can I cancel my student housing contract for Spring 2021?
If you are inside the US and have questions about canceling your contract, please see the KU Housing cancelation policy. Cancelation fees may apply. Please also contact KU Housing directly at housing@ku.edu.

If you are outside the US and you must cancel your housing contract because you cannot travel to the US, you may be able to waive the cancelation fees. To waive the cancelation fees, you must contact KU Housing before January 1st and notify them of your cancelation request. 

GENERAL QUESTIONS

I’m F-1 and graduating in December. How do I extend my stay?

There are limited options for remaining in the U.S. as an F-1 student after completion of your academic program. Possibilities, depending upon your personal situation, are described below. If you have questions or would like to explore any of these in greater detail please contact ISS to schedule a time to speak with one of our advisors.

  1. You automatically have a 60-day grace period to remain in the U.S. following the completion of your academic program. This time is allowed for you to prepare to depart the U.S. During this period you may also pursue one of the following three options. If you do not take action on one of these options within this 60-day grace period then you must exit the U.S. before the end of the grace period.
  2. Apply for post completion Optional Practical Training (OPT). See http://iss.ku.edu/opt for details.
  3. Apply for and be admitted into a new academic program (non-degree may even be an option). The new program must have a start date within 5 months of the end of your current program. If the new program is at a school other than KU you will need to request ISS to transfer your SEVIS record to the new school. Information about the transfer process can be found at http://iss.ku.edu/leaving-ku-1.
  4. Apply for a change of status to B-2 (tourist) or another status for which you may be eligible. This application can take 6 months or more to process, but you will likely be legal to stay in the U.S. while your application is pending. See http://iss.ku.edu/change-status#changeinside for more information.

Please note that F-1 students are not eligible to extend their stay except in one of the situations described above. Information on the USCIS webpage is a bit misleading and could be misunderstood to imply that it is possible to extend status by filing an application for an extension of stay. This is not correct. Filing a Form I-539 is not currently an option for extending F-1 status.

My visa expires soon. Is it okay if I stay in the U.S. after it expires?

Yes, it is okay for your visa (in your passport) to expire while you are in the U.S. It was issued by the U.S. Embassy/Consulate and only needs to be valid when you enter the U.S. Other documents such as your passport, I-20, or DS-2019 should remain valid while you are in the U.S.

Can I apply to get a new visa in the U.S.?

No, unfortunately you cannot apply for or renew a U.S. visa from within the U.S. You must apply at a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate abroad.  It doesn’t matter if your U.S. visa (in your passport) expires while you are in the U.S. but you must plan to renew your visa the next time you leave the U.S. 

Note: On July 14, the State Department annouced Phased Resumption of Routine Visa Services. These services will occur on an embassy by embassy basis. You will need to visit the embassy website directly to find out when they resume services. Unfortunately there is no central location on which embassies will resume services. Search in the "News & Event" section of the website. If there is no announcement of the embassy resuming services, then visa services are still suspended.

See previous news alerts about visa services being suspended.

Will I have to buy insurance if I am outside the U.S. taking all online classes for spring 2021?
If students are outside of the USA from 1/1/2021-5/31/2021, they can submit an "Out-of-Country" insurance waiver request in iHawk. The spring insurance fees should be assessed to student accounts by the first week in January.

What opportunities are there for me to stay engaged and connected with the KU community during the COVID-19 pandemic?

ISS Programs have moved online for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out the ISS programs calendar to get involved and follow us on social media. Check your KU email account for weekly updates on campus events via the ISS Events email. In addition, many companies are offering adjusted services or online services for free. Examples of such services may be found on our Support Services Webpage.

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL CONSIDERATIONS

Will I be expected to quarantine upon my return to Kansas?

For details, please see the Travel Quarantine Update provided by Watkins Health Services. The quarantine section is about half way down the page. Please keep scrolling on the Watkins Health Services page.

What do I need to consider if I am planning to travel outside the U.S.?

Factors you should consider before traveling:

  • Return Flight
    • Many airlines have significantly reduced flight options, especially internationally. You may have trouble getting a return flight.
  • Travel Restrictions to Enter the U.S. or Leave Country
  • Quarantine Upon Return
    • Expect to spend at least 14 days in self-isolation after your return.  In other words you need to return at least 14 days before classes start.
    • CDC’s Suggestions on Returning from International Travel
  • Expired Visa
    • If your visa is expired you will need to apply for a new visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.  As of March 20 the U.S. Dept. of State suspended routine visa services at ALL U.S. Embassies. On July 14, the State Department announced Phased Resumption of Routine Visa Services. These services will occur on an embassy by embassy basis. You will need to visit the embassy website directly to find out when they resume services. Unfortunately there is no central location on which embassies will resume services. Search in the "News & Event" section of your embassy's website. If there is no announcement of the embassy resuming services, then visa services are still suspended.
  • COVID-19 Testing
    • We have heard some reports of negative tests results for COVID19 being required before travel is being allowed.​

How do I get a travel signature on my I-20 or DS-2019?

ISS created an eform in iHawk to request a travel signature. 

  • Submit the appropriate eform in iHawk
    • F-1 Student Services
      • COVID-19 Travel Signature I-20 Request
    • J-1 Student Services
      • COVID-19 Travel Signature DS-2019 Request

Is your question not listed here?  Email ISS with your question.  

 

Other Resources:

SEVP's Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19

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


 
 

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