Fall 2020 Course Load Guidance For International Students

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program released updated guidance on July 24, 2020 regarding permissible international student course loads for Fall 2020. The guidance is in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic and based on the March 9th Spring Guidance Broadcast Regulation. SEVP has also released Q& A information related to the Fall 2020 guidance.

To see the full course load guidance release, please visit:

https://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/fall2020faq.pdf

Important information:

Continuing International students are able to take all online classes whether in the US or outside of the US as long as: students are registered for the required number of courses, the courses are needed towards progress of their degree, and students are continuing to maintain their status.

New students can take online classes while outside the US. If new students take online only classes outside the US, they will not need an I-20 for Fall 2020 semester.

ISSS strongly encourages all new international students who will take classes while in the US to work with their Academic Advisor to enroll in at least one hybrid class.

 Hybrid courses are NOT considered online.  

 All F-1 undergraduate students have to register for 12 credits total and graduate students need to register for 9 credits to maintain their F-1 status.

Helpful Q&A:

1. I am a continuing student but due to COVID-19 I am currently in my home country, I am unable to come back to the US due to travel restrictions/unavailability of commercial flights etc. Can I register for all online classes for Fall 2020 and continue to maintain my F-1 status?

Yes, you can register for all online classes from your home country or in the USA and continue to maintain your SEVIS record. Currently, SEVP has continued with the exception for Fall 2020 semester. All F-1 Undergraduate students have to register for 12 credits total and Graduate students need 9 credits to maintain their F-1 status.

 

2. I am a new international student in the U.S, can I take online classes and still maintain my F-1 status?

New international students in the US are able to take online courses as long as they are needed for degree progress. Hybrid courses are not considered online.
ISSS strongly encourages all new international students who will take classes while in the US to work with their Academic Advisor to enroll in at least one hybrid class.

New students outside of the US can take all online classes and they will not need an I-20 for Fall 2020 semester.

All undergraduate students have to register for 12 credits total and graduate students need to register for 9 credits to maintain their F-1 status.

 

3. I will attend my class via Synchronous Zoom, is it considered classroom based?

Synchronous Zoom is still an online class because there is no classroom component. Hence, it is considered online class.

 

4. What will happen if NMSU moves to a completely online mode of instruction due to the pandemic and all my classes are converted to online? Do I have to exit US?

If NMSU, in the middle of Fall 2020 changes to offering an all “online mode of instruction” due to the pandemic, you can take all

online classes and continue to maintain status. You don’t need to leave the USA if you are in the USA.

 

5. I am in my final semester, can I take “Reduced course Load”(RCL)?

Yes, if you have continued to maintain your F-1 status you are eligible to take RCL in your final semester. Please email Padma at padmar@nmsu.edu after August 19th and let her know this is your final semester before you graduate.

 

6. I am a transfer student outside the USA, but I would like to come back to campus and take classes, do I need anything?

Please email Padma at padmar@nmsu.edu with your name and Aggie ID # and request a new I-20.

 

7. I am in my home country and taking all online classes. Do I have to pay for insurance for Fall 2020?

If you are in your home country and are not planning to enter the US until the beginning of January 2021 then you will not be charged for insurance for Fall 2020. But, we highly recommend that you continue to have insurance for Fall 2020 if you have any pending claims with the insurance company as they may not pay for your claims or plan to visit US during the semester.

For further questions about course load guidance, please contact  isss@nmsu.edu

8/5/20 Webinar on  course load guidance and student questions for the Fall 2020 semester:

 

 

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