Updated 07/11/2020 4:12 PM

Dear students,

We are aware of your concerns resulting from the recent broadcast message from SEVP dated July 6, 2020 and the Frequently Asked Questions for SEVP Stakeholders about the Fall 2020 guidance released on July 7, 2020.  The announcement and subsequent guidance by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is surprising considering the agency’s previous published guidance granting flexibility in support of F-1 students to pursue their education during the ongoing pandemic. Northeastern has put a plan in place to provide its students, including international students, with a hybrid-flexible learning opportunity, called hybrid NUflex, to accommodate their need to participate in both in-person and synchronous remote learning this fall. We continue to strongly advocate on behalf of our international students to provide the necessary supports they need to successfully engage in full-time study, and vehemently oppose the intent of this announcement and its inevitable negative impact on the U.S. as the most desired international education destination and the global exchange of ideas.

As President Aoun has stated, “The current pandemic has only underscored the vital importance of global cooperation and collaboration. This new guidance from Homeland Security creates chaos for international students and has the effect of weakening American higher education—one of our nation’s signature strengths. While we believe the hybrid-flexible model we have developed at Northeastern will insulate our international students from the pernicious effects of the new rule, we steadfastly oppose this divisive approach.”

OGS continues to seek clarifications from SEVP and advocate for international education. We have provided answers to students’ questions below and we will continue to be available for individual inquiries. OGS has designed webinars to respond to your questions and registration is available at https://international.northeastern.edu/ogs/  Please scroll down to Upcoming Webinars.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) issued a broadcast message on July 6, 2020. Frequently Asked Questions for SEVP Stakeholders about the Fall 2020 Guidance were released on July 7, 2020. Please refer to the following information for your knowledge as it applies to your studies at Northeastern University. Please be advised that the global pandemic continues to be an evolving situation. Any changes or updates will be provided as soon as SEVP provides further guidance.

Please be advised that the Fall 2020 guidance is focused on F-1 visas. Updates for J-1 visas will be provided when information becomes available.

What does the guidance mean for me as a new undergraduate F-1 student?

Fall Freshmen

1. Can I enroll in classes for Fall 2020?

    Yes you can:
  • If you are a fall freshman intending to be in Boston in the fall, you can take hybrid NUflex classes, which include both a remote and an in-person component as required by SEVP.
  • If you are a fall freshman intending to remain in your home country or outside the U.S., you can take your classes fully remotely via the NU Start Program. As a reminder, you can indicate your intent to participate in NU Start on your Application Status Check. The priority deadline to indicate your intent is July 24.

2. Will I be able to travel to the U.S. for Fall 2020?
Your ability to arrive in the U.S. will depend on whether you are able to secure a F-1 student visa and there are no travel restrictions limiting your arrival to the U.S. Please continue to monitor visa availability and information on travel restrictions.

3. If I am a fall freshman planning to arrive in the U.S. for Fall 2020 and enroll in hybrid NUflex classes, will I receive a new I-20 for my visa appointment?
Yes, OGS will prioritize sending you an updated I-20 electronically.  You do not need to submit a request.  OGS will do it automatically.  Please check your NU email regularly.

4.  If I am a fall freshman planning to arrive in the U.S. for Fall 2020 and enroll in hybrid NUflex classes, what are my options if there are any visa delays? 

 Any arrival after the program start date requires authorization from OGS. In the event your arrival is delayed or will be delayed for more three weeks after the program start date, please immediately reach out to OGS for guidance. 

5.  What if I don’t get my F-1 visa on time and would like to defer?  

The deferral deadline for fall freshmen students was July 1. Students should select NU Start if they are not able to arrive in the United States for the Fall Academic Term.  

 

NU.in Students

1. If I am an N.U.in Boston student, can I enroll in classes for Fall 2020?
Yes, you can:

  • If you are an N.U.in Boston student and are able to travel to the United States, you can you can take hybrid NUflex classes, which include both a remote and an in-person component as required by SEVP.
  • If you are an N.U.in Boston student and unable to travel to the United States, you can take your classes fully remotely via NU Start. As a reminder, you can indicate your intent to participate in NU Start on your Application Status Check. The priority deadline to indicate your intent is July 24.

2. If I am an N.U.in England or N.U.in Ireland student, can I enroll in classes for Fall 2020?
Yes, you can:

  • If you are an NU.in England or N.U.in Ireland student and able to travel to your location, you can connect with OGS after your first semester experience for your transition to the U.S. for the Spring term.
  • If you are a NU.in England or N.U.in Ireland student and unable to travel to your location, you can take your classes fully remotely via NU Start. As a reminder, you can indicate your intent to participate in NU Start on your Application Status Check. The priority deadline to indicate your intent is July 24.

 3.  What if I don’t get my visa on time and would like to defer?  

The deferral deadline for N.U.in students was July 1. Students should select NU Start if they are not able to arrive in the United States for the Fall Academic Term.

 

NU Immerse student

1. Can I enroll in classes for Fall 2020?
Yes, you can:

  • If you are a NU Immerse student and are able to travel to the United States, you can take hybrid NUflex classes which include both a remote and an in-person component as required by SEVP.

2.  If I am outside the U.S. and unable to join the Fall 2020 cohort due to travel restriction or visa delays, can I begin NU Immerse in Spring 2021?

Yes, you can make your deferral request by emailing nuimmerseadmissions@northeastern.edu, You will then enter the two semester program, which will take place in the Spring and Summer 2021 semesters. This will still allow you to complete the program, and if you meet the academic standards, matriculate as a transfer student on-time for Fall 2021.

3. Will I be able to travel to the U.S. for Fall 2020?
Your ability to arrive in the U.S. will depend on whether you are able to secure a F-1 student visa and there are no travel restrictions limiting your arrival to the U.S. Please continue to monitor visa availability and information on travel restrictions.

4. If I am a NU Immerse student, planning to arrive in the U.S. for Fall 2020 and enroll in hybrid NUflex classes, will I receive a new I-20 for my visa appointment?
Yes, OGS will prioritize sending you an updated I-20 electronically.  You do not need to submit a request.  OGS will do it automatically.  Please check your NU email regularly.

 

Transfer Students, including students who have completed the NU Immerse Program or NU Bound Program

1. Can I enroll in classes for Fall 2020?
Yes, you can:

  • If you are a transfer student already in the United States or intend to travel to the United States, you can take hybrid NUflex classes which include both a remote as well as an in-person component as required by SEVP.
  • If you intend to remain in your home country or outside the U.S., you can take your classes fully remotely through hybrid NUflex.

2. If I am a transfer student, enrolled in hybrid NUflex classes, and am planning to arrive in the U.S. for Fall 2020, will I receive a new I-20 for my visa appointment?

Yes, OGS will prioritize sending you an updated I-20 electronically.  You do not need to submit a request.  OGS will do it automatically.  Please check your NU email regularly.

3. If I am a transfer student, can I take hybrid NUflex classes from my home country or outside the U.S. while I am waiting for my visa to be approved?

Yes, you can. You will need to stay in touch with OGS to request permission to arrive after the Program Start Date on your I-20 if you will be delayed by a couple of weeks. In the event you are delayed beyond three weeks, please reach out to OGS for guidance.

4. What if I don’t get my F-1 visa in the fall semester as a transfer student?
You will have the following options:

  • You can complete the fall term remotely from your home country or outside the U.S. Please contact OGS at ogs@northeastern.edu before the start of the Fall term. An updated I-20 to support your arrival for Spring 2021 will be sent to you.
  • If you do not intend to complete the fall term remotely, you can request a deferral to the Spring 2021 semester. Please contact deferadmission@northeastern.edu to make this request. An updated I-20 will be sent to support your arrival for Spring 2021.

What does the guidance mean for me as a new Master's, Ph.D , Professional Doctoral and CPS Bachelors completion F-1 student?

1. Can I enroll in classes for Fall 2020?

Yes you can. If you are in the U.S. you can take hybrid NUflex classes which include an inperson component as required by SEVP. If you are in your home country or outside the U.S., you can take your classes remotely.  

2. Will I be able to travel to the U.S. for Fall 2020?

Your ability to arrive in the U.S. will depend on whether you are able to secure a F-1 student visa and there are no travel restrictions limiting your arrival to the U.S. Please continue to monitor visa availability and information on travel restrictions.

3. If I will be enrolled in hybrid NUflex classes and am planning to arrive in the US for Fall 2020 will I receive a new I-20 for my visa appointment?

Yes, OGS will prioritize sending you an updated I-20 electronically.  You do not need to submit a request.  OGS will do it automatically.  Please check your NU email regularly.

4. Can I take hybrid NUflex classes from my home country or outside the U.S. while I am waiting for my visa to be approved?

Yes you can. You will need to stay in touch with OGS to request permission to arrive after the Program Start Date on your I-20 if you will be delayed by a couple of weeks. In the event you are delayed beyond three weeks, please reach out to OGS for guidance.

5. What if I don’t get my F-1 visa in the Fall Academic Term?

You will have the following options:

  • You can start your Fall term by taking your classes remotely from your home country or outside the U.S. Please communicate with your academic advisor as well as OGS. An updated I-20 to support your arrival for Spring 2021 will be sent to you.
  • Wait to start classes in Spring 2021. In this case, you need to defer your admission to Spring 2021 AND request OGS to defer your program start date in SEVIS.

What does the guidance mean for me as a current/continuing F-1 Undergraduate, Master's, Ph.D and Professional Doctoral student?

1. Can I enroll in classes for Fall 2020?

Yes you can. If you are in the U.S. you can take hybrid NUflex classes which include an in-person component as required by SEVP to meet F-1 status requirements.

2. Do I have to leave the U.S. immediately?

No, you do not as long as you plan to enroll in hybrid NUflex courses for Fall 2020, which include an in-person component.

3. What is hybrid NUflex? Is it online, or hybrid?

Hybrid NUflex is a hybrid, flexible model designed to deal with density restrictions and provide the necessary flexibility to faculty and students. It includes in-person requirements for F-1 students. Please click here to learn more.

4. What if I want to take all online classes?

The current guidance from SEVP issued on July 6th states that continuing F-1 students have to limit their online classes. Students who elect to take all their classes online and do not enroll in hybrid NUflex classes need to consult with their academic advisor and OGS.

5. What are my options if I left the U.S. during the Spring/Summer 2020 term and I want to take my classes remotely during Fall 2020?

  • If you have a valid visa and travel signature, you can return to campus and enroll in hybrid NUflex classes. Please ensure there are no travel restrictions limiting your arrival to the U.S. OR
  • You may enroll in classes remotely in Fall 2020. Per the FAQs dated July 7, 2020, your SEVIS record will be kept “Active” and you will continue to accrue the benefits of your F-1 status.

6. I am currently in my home country or outside the U.S. planning to return to campus for Fall 2020. I have a valid visa. Will you send me a new I-20?

Yes, OGS will prioritize sending you an updated I-20 electronically.  You do not need to submit a request.  OGS will do it automatically.  Please check your NU email regularly. There will be no change to your SEVIS record.  Please ensure there are no travel restrictions limiting your arrival to the U.S.

7. How does this new SEVP guidance for Fall 2020 impact my ability to participate in co-ops or internships using my CPT?

You may utilize CPT to participate in academically approved co-ops and internships as long as your CPT is authorized by OGS prior to starting the employment, you are enrolled in the required CPT course and you meet all the employment requirements established by your employer.

8. How does the SEVP guidance for Fall 2020 impact my eligibility for OPT?

Continuing students with Active SEVIS records will be eligible for all F-1 benefits.

9. Can I take a break for one term?

If you choose to take a break and not enroll in any classes, you can request a non-medical leave of absence from the university and OGS. Consult with your academic advisor and an OGS advisor about the length of time you will be outside the U.S. OGS will advise you about considerations for your benefits such as CPT and OPT.

10. What if the pandemic worsens in the fall and all classes are moved online – will I have to leave the US?

The university is aware of student concerns and travel restrictions. Your safety and wellbeing will be prioritized when decisions are made.

 

What does the guidance mean for me as a current/continuing J-1 undergraduate and Master's, Ph.D and Professional Doctoral student?

Please be advised that the Fall 2020 guidance is focused on F-1 visas. Updates for J-1 visas will be provided when information becomes available.

1. Can I enroll in classes for Fall 2020?

Yes you can. If you are in the U.S. you can take hybrid NUflex classes which include an in-person component as required by SEVP.

2. Do I have to leave the U.S. immediately?

No, you do not as long as you plan to enroll in hybrid NUflex courses for Fall 2020, which include an in-person component.

3. What is hybrid NUflex? Is it online, or hybrid?

Hybrid NUflex is a hybrid, flexible model designed to deal with density restrictions and provide the necessary flexibility to faculty and students. It includes in-person requirements for J-1 students. Please click here to learn more.

*More FAQs coming soon*

 

OGS is offering several webinars for new and continuing students where we will continue to provide advice and updates. Please go to https://international.northeastern.edu/ogs and scroll down to Upcoming Webinars.