Post-COVID-19 FAQs- Current students
Effective May 11, 2023, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) ended its Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) guidance, consistent with the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, following the end of the COVID-19 National Emergency on April 10, 2023.
Although SEVP’s COVID-19 guidance is terminated as of May 11, 2023, active F-1 students will be able to complete the 2022-23 academic year under the COVID-19 flexibilities through the 2023 summer semester.
For the 2023-2024 academic year, regulations will revert back to pre-COVID:
- Requiring enrollment in in-person or hybrid courses with the exception of one online course per semester.
- Being physically present in the U.S. by the start of the fall 2023 academic semester to maintain valid F-1 status.
- Maintaining status in your final semester by enrolling in at least one in-person or hybrid course.
Is ISSS open?
Yes, International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) is open with both in-person and virtual services available. We continue to be committed to our international student and scholar populations. Advising is being conducted in-person, via Zoom or by telephone. Click here to book an appointment to meet with an advisor.
Can I continue my courses for fall 2023 outside the U.S.?
No. If you have been studying from outside the U.S., then you will need to make plans to re-enter the U.S. by September 8, 2023 to maintain your F-1 status. If you are unable to return back to the U.S. by September 8, 2023, then please schedule an appointment with an ISSS advisor to discuss further.
Can I continue my courses for fall 2023 inside the U.S.?
Yes. If you are maintaining your F-1 visa status in the U.S., then you can remain in active status as long as you are enrolled full-time. This means that all F-1 students need to be enrolled in a fully in-person or hybrid course load (12 units for undergraduates and 9 units for graduates), with allowance for only one online course per semester. In other words, enrollment in all online courses will create an issue for F-1 students to maintain their immigration status.
I am currently in the U.S. and fall 2023 is my final semester. Am I eligible for a reduced course load (RCL) even if it is all online, since I only have one course left?
No. Your final class at SJSU will need to be in-person or hybrid to maintain F-1 status. Therefore, you may need to take one more in-person or hybrid course to maintain your status in the U.S., if your final class is online.
I am currently in the U.S. and plan to travel after the semester ends. What should I do?
Please complete the travel signature request form so we can verify your record and determine if a new travel I-20 is required. You will get a follow up email within 1-2 days with more instructions/information. Keep in mind that travel signatures are valid for 12 months, when you are in your degree program. A validity of 6 months, when you are on OPT/STEM OPT. Check page 2 of your current I-20 to see when your I-20 was last signed for travel. If you are unsure, please email ISSS to verify.
I am currently in the U.S. and plan to request a leave of absence to go back to my home country. What should I do?
Please schedule an appointment with an ISSS advisor, as each case is different and we want to ensure we give you the best advice possible for your situation.
I am currently out of the U.S. and did not get an updated travel signature before leaving the U.S.
Please complete the travel signature request form so we can verify your record and determine if a new travel I-20 is required.
I have recently moved, do I need to report this change in address?
Currently enrolled students: You will need to update your SEVIS D (Domestic) address in your mySJSU portal within 10 days of the change.
Students on post-completion OPT and STEM OPT: You will need to report your change in address in your SEVP portal account within 10 days of the change.
I am working on CPT this semester and my employer is having me work remotely, do I need to report this change?
Possibly. If your I-20 with CPT authorization indicates the remote work address, then you do not need to report this. If this has changed since your CPT was approved, then keep records of your employer's policy and procedure for remote work, including the dates and address of where you worked remotely.
I am working on CPT this semester and due to COVID-19, I have lost my internship. How do I report this change?
Email ISSS at email@example.com letting us know that you are no longer working on CPT. We will need to know the dates that you worked, so we can update your CPT authorization in your SEVIS record.
Are there any changes to OPT/STEM OPT? Application deadlines? Unemployment rules?
No, there are not any changes in the OPT/STEM OPT process to apply, application deadlines, or unemployment rules. You must be in the U.S. to submit the application to USCIS. Our Post Completion OPT and STEM OPT webpages are up to date. If changes do occur, we will update our tutorials and webpage.
I am working on post-completion OPT and my employer is having me work remotely, do I need to report this change?
Yes. You will need to update the address of where you are working from in your SEVP portal.
I am working on post-completion OPT and I have lost my job. How do I report this change?
It is essential that you report within 10 days of the change. Log into your SEVP Portal account, update or enter the last day of work under the ‘Employment End Date’ field. Please remember that you can accrue an aggregate of 90 days of unemployment during post-completion OPT. In order to stop the unemployment clock, you must be working more than 20 hours per week in a position that is related to your major field of study at SJSU. The job can be paid or unpaid, as long as you are not violating labor laws.
I am working on STEM OPT and my employer is having me work remotely, do I need to report this change?
Yes. If you are working remotely for your STEM employer, then you will need to update the employer address on page 3, section 5 of your I-983 to your home address. You will then need to report this to ISSS by submitting your updated I-983 to ISSS by submitting the STEM OPT Employment Update. The employer’s address should be listed on page 2.
I am working on STEM OPT and I have lost my job. How do I report this change?
You need to report this change to ISSS within 10 days of the change in employment, by submitting the STEM OPT Employment Update. You will also need to submit the bottom part of page 5 of the I-983, ‘Final Evaluation on Student Progress’, which has been completed and signed by you and your employer.
Please remember that you can accrue an aggregate of 150 days of unemployment during post-completion and STEM OPT. To stop the unemployment clock: you must be working for an e-verified employer for more than 20 hours per week in a PAID position that is related to your STEM major field of study at SJSU. If you change employers, you will need to submit a new I-983 for ISSS to review
I am planning on returning to my home country. Can I get a refund on my insurance payment?
Yes, please contact ISSS before September 8, 2023 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I stay connected with others during this time?
ISSS, along with many other campus departments, is creating opportunities for students to connect with each other and engage with us online. For the latest ISSS event updates, please see our website at https://www.sjsu.edu/isss/events/ or follow us on Instagram or Facebook @SJSUinternational.
CDC (Center for Disease Control)
Department of State Travel Advisories
USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services):
SJSU Health Advisories COVID-19 Website
ISSS Immigration Updates page
California DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles)