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Coronavirus FAQs for International Students

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS) REGARDING CORONAVIRUS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

What can I find information on the Coronavirus Disease Info and Resources on the University’s website?
Updates and announcements can be found on the University’s website at www.cbu.edu/coronavirus.


I am a newly admitted student and am concern that I will not be able to receive my visa documents due to restrictions on mailing services. What can I do?
International Student Services (ISS) recommends checking with express mail carriers directly to verify whether they are able to send documents to your region of the world, as this information can change on a daily basis:


I am unable to book a visa appointment due to U.S. Embassy/consulate closures in my region. What can I do?
Check the U.S. Embassy and Consulates website for updates on visa services in affected countries. Check real-time availability of U.S. nonimmigrant/exchange visitor visa appointments on the U.S. State Department website. If you are unable to book immediately, you may consider traveling to another regional consulate, barring any travel restrictions within your country. If this is not possible, you will need to wait until visa appointment availability has opened up again.

If, by six weeks before your program start date you have still not been able to secure a visa appointment, email kbarnett@cbu.edu  for next steps.

If you are currently in the U.S and your visa has expired or is expiring soon, you are eligible to remain in the U.S. as long as you are maintaining your F-1 status. The visa must be valid in order to enter/reenter the U.S. but does not need to be valid/unexpired to maintain F-1 status while in the U.S.


My country is experiencing delays with passport issuance. What can I do?
Student & Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) guidance
generally requires that in order to enter the U.S., F-1 and J-1 students must have a passport that is valid at least 6 months after their planned date of entry into the U.S. If your passport will expire earlier than this, then you may experience entry delays at a U.S. port of entry. Therefore, ISS recommends waiting to travel to the U.S. until you have an up-to-date passport in hand.


I am unable to obtain recent financial documentation in support of my I-20 application due to bank closures in my home country/region. Will CBU accept older bank statements?
In order to issue a Form I-20 (F-1) or Form DS-2019 (J-1), regulations require that the applicant show recent evidence of funding support. ISS will accept a online documents and photocopies, in order to prove this. These documents must be no older than 6 months from the date of submission.


I am a newly admitted student and am thinking about deferring my admission for Fall 2020 due to coronavirus concerns. What can I do?
To request a deferral, students must contact their department (graduate students) or (undergraduate students) directly to arrange this. These requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.


I have an unexpired F-1 Visa from my last school that I attended. Do I need to request a new visa since I will be receiving a new I-20 from CBU?
Per SEVP guidance, you may not need to request a new F-1 visa to use with your CBU I-20, so long as the one you currently have is unexpired. However, ISS always recommends checking with your local U.S. consulate or embassy to verify this first.


Where can I find the most current information regarding inbound travel to the United States from regions affected by COVID-19?
There is a lot of uncertainty at this time due to the rapidly changing situation and response regarding the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). On February 2, 2020, the U.S. President issued a presidential proclamation on the suspension of entry into the U.S. of immigrants and nonimmigrants of persons who pose a risk of transmitting COVID-19. The proclamation went into effect on the same day. This proclamation suspends and limits entry into the U.S of all immigrants and nonimmigrants who were physically present within China or Iran during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the U.S. Travelers will be required to comply with all U.S. re-entry and potential quarantine requirements in place before returning to the university community.

Review the Center for Disease Control and Prevention information for travelers page.


How are airlines and flights impacted by the coronavirus?
Most U.S. carriers have suspended flights to China from the U.S. however it remains possible to fly from the U.S to China with non-US carriers. WorldAware, UC’s travel and risk management partner, is providing information on travel restrictions:
Novel Coronavirus Airline Restrictions by Country.
Novel Coronavirus Airline Restrictions by Airline.


I just learned that all classes will take place remotely, effective March 18, 2020. How will this affect my F-1 Status?
On March 23, 2020, CBU confirmed that remote instruction will be delivered to students through the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester.

On March 12, 2020, The U.S. Student & Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) that governs F-1 and J-1 regulations confirmed that F-1 and J-1 students can temporarily engage in distance-learning, either from within the U.S. or outside the country, in light of COVID-19.You may choose to remain in the U.S. or outside the U.S. on remote coursework. ISS will continue to maintain your F-1 or J-1 record as long as you remain enrolled full-time.

If you are unable to return to the U.S., and are unable to enroll for the Spring 2020 term, you will need to contact the graduate or undergraduate Admissions Office to request an update to the program start date on your I-20 to return in a later term.


I need to return home, what do I need to do?
F1 students have the ability to return home at any anytime if they feel it is unsafe for them to remain in the U.S. during the virus outbreak. In order to travel you should have your I20 signed by an international adviser prior to departing the U.S. In emergency cases you can depart without the signature but you will need to have the signed I20 with you when you come back into the U.S.