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COVID-19 Update for Returning/ Current International Students

OISS Travel Guidance for International Students and Scholars During COVID-19

 

The OISS wants to share the information below to help F-1 and J-1 students understand the requirements for attending Tulane in the summer and fall 2021 semesters. This is based on the current US government regulations in place during COVID-19. If these regulations change, we will inform you as soon as possible.
 
The information below is for students who are continuing to study at Tulane in summer and fall 2021. If you are graduating this semester the OISS will send you a separate email soon with your options after graduation.
 
Continuing International Students Who started at Tulane before March 2020
You are a continuing student if you have already studied at Tulane University in the United States and you will be continuing your program in summer or fall 2021. Your start date at Tulane determines which requirements apply to you.
 
After March 2020
If you started studying at Tulane for the first time after March 2020, then you must continue to meet the following requirements:

Full-time enrollment:

Summer semester 2021 enrollment is optional. Your program may require summer enrollment, but it is not an immigration requirement.

Fall semester 2021 enrollment is required. You must be enrolled full-time. The standard minimum is 12 credit hours for undergraduates and 9 credit hours for graduates. It is your responsibility to enroll full-time to keep your immigration status.

  • Exceptions for final semester: If you will graduate in fall 2021 you only need to enroll in the courses required to complete your degree. You must submit a signed Underenrollment Form to the OISS before the start of the fall semester.
  • Exceptions for graduate students: Graduate students taking their full-time 0-credit dissertation research course are considered fully enrolled. Graduate students who are teaching or research assistants can be enrolled for fewer than the minimum 9 credits, but your TA/RA status must be reflected in their Banner records and they must have some course enrollment. Ask your department if these exceptions apply to you.

In-person requirement: You must continue to take at least one in-person course. This requires you to be present at Tulane University in New Orleans. You cannot study all-online inside or outside the US and keep your F-1 or J-1 immigration status.

 
Before March 2020
If you started studying at Tulane for the first time before March 2020, then you must continue to meet the following requirements:

Full-time enrollment:

Summer semester 2021 enrollment is optional. Your program may require summer enrollment, but it is not an immigration requirement.

Fall semester 2021 enrollment is required. You must be enrolled full-time. The standard minimum is 12 credit hours for undergraduates and 9 credit hours for graduates. It is your responsibility to enroll full-time to keep your immigration status.

  • Exceptions for final semester: If you will graduate in fall 2021 you only need to enroll in the courses required to complete your degree. You must submit a signed Underenrollment Form to the OISS before the start of the fall semester.
  • Exceptions for graduate students: Graduate students taking their full-time 0-credit dissertation research course are considered fully enrolled. Graduate students who are teaching or research assistants can be enrolled for fewer than the minimum 9 credits, but your TA/RA status must be reflected in their Banner records and they must have some course enrollment. Ask your department if these exceptions apply to you.

NO In-person requirement: Under current immigration regulations, you can study in-person at Tulane or all-online inside or outside the US and keep your F-1 or J-1 immigration status. However, your program may still have academic requirements that you study in-person at Tulane.

 
Travel and Visa Issues
The OISS does not recommend traveling outside the US at this time because global travel restrictions may make it difficult to return. If you are considering international travel at this time, please review the OISS Travel During COVID-19 website, especially the Fragomen resource, and speak to an OISS advisor so that you can learn the potential consequences.
 
If your F-1 or J-1 visa has expired and you are still in the US, you may stay in the country for the duration of your SEVIS program as long as you are meeting the requirements above and otherwise maintaining your F-1 status or J-1 status.
 
If you are already outside the US and your current F-1 or J-1 visa has expired, you will need to renew the visa in order to return. Currently, US embassies and consulates in many countries have limited or no appointments available to apply for F-1 and J-1 student visas. We hope that appointments will begin opening soon to allow you to attend your program at Tulane in New Orleans. Contact the US embassy or consulate where you plan to apply to find the next available appointment. Read these 10 points to remember when applying for a student visa.