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ICE COVID Enrollment Guidance

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ICE COVID Enrollment Guidance

This information is based on the ICE guidance issued in March 2020, which ICE announced would apply to the Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, and Spring 2022 semesters.

This page will be kept as up-to-date as possible. Please continue to check back as we add additional resources.

How Does the ICE Policy Affect OU International Students?

Based on the guidance, the following are among the enrollment scenarios that may apply to international students at OU:

Click the link for your situation to learn more.

I am a current OU international student who was present in the US on March 9, 2020

Spring enrollment: You can enroll in any combination of in-person and online coursework, including all online coursework. You will need to otherwise meet F-1 enrollment requirements by maintaining the usual minimum number of credit hours – 12 hours for undergraduate students, 9 hours for graduate students, and 5 hours for graduate students with 0.5 FTE Graduate Assistantships.

  • If you are not able to enroll in a full course load as a direct result of the impact from COVID-19 (lack of technology resources, course cancellation, illness, etc.) please contact ISS immediately.
  • Whether you plan to remain in Oklahoma or if you left to stay with family or friends in another state, please be sure to update your Mailing address in one.ou.edu so we can update your US address in SEVIS.
  • If at any point OU’s instructional plan moves to all online instruction, you can continue to remain enrolled and in F-1 status. You can remain in the US or leave the US.
  • Research hours: If you are a graduate student enrolled in research hours only, this is fine under the current policy.

If you cannot (or choose not to) remain in the US for spring classes: you can maintain an active SEVIS record if you continue to enroll in the minimum number of credit hours online from abroad. 

  • Students who are in their last semester and who plan to apply for OPT should contact their ISS advisor now to discuss their application.

 

I am a current OU international student who arrived in the US after March 9, 2020

Spring enrollment: You must enroll in at least one in-person course. You will need to otherwise meet F-1 enrollment requirements by maintaining the usual minimum number of credit hours – 12 hours for undergraduate students, 9 hours for graduate students, and 5 hours for graduate students with Graduate Assistantships.

If you cannot (or choose not to) return to OU for spring classes: Please contact your ISS advisor as soon as possible. Since you will not be physically present in the US and enrolled full-time in an academic program, the ICE policy requires ISS to terminate your F-1 SEVIS record for Authorized Early Withdrawal (this is a nonnegative termination reason and should not hurt future US visa applications). Please see our page on Taking a Leave of Absence for more information.

  • Because you will not have an active SEVIS record, you will not have minimum enrollment requirements to meet, but you can enroll in OU classes online from abroad. If you would like to do this, please contact your academic department for advising.

I am a new OU international student

Continue your effort to secure a visa appointment with a US Consulate as soon as possible. See our pages on Visa Delays and Travel for more information.

  • The Mandatory Internet Orientation (MIO) is emailed to all new students a few weeks before classes begin. Please review it carefully for detailed information and additional instructions.
  • Frequently Asked Questions for new students can be found here.
  • OU has set February 7 as the last date that new international students can arrive on campus to start the spring semester.


Spring enrollment: 
You must enroll in at least one in-person course. You will need to otherwise meet F-1 enrollment requirements by maintaining the usual minimum number of credit hours – 12 hours for undergraduate students, 9 hours for graduate students, and 5 hours for graduate students with Graduate Assistantships.

If you will not be able to arrive at OU for spring classes: You can enroll in OU classes online from abroad. Since you will not be physically present in the US, contact ISS to defer your arrival to a later semester.

 

Updated 10/20/21