Welcome and thanks for visiting. On this page you will find the most frequently asked questions that we have received. We have also included links to important information directly from SEVP and USCIS- with more answers and information.
You must realize that the COVID 19 crisis continues to be a fluid and rapidly changing event, therefore, there are scenarios that may arise that are unpredictable and the consequences of which are unknown. Travel and returning home will carry inherent and perhaps unknown risks. If you decide you want to leave the country and go home you must
- ensure that your F-1 visa will be valid at the time you intend to return.
- ensure your passport is valid.
- have a valid travel signature on page two of your I-20 (this is valid for 12 months from date of the first signature)
If you already left the US and still require a signature, you may submit an ISSS Document Request form via email three weeks before you are planning to return to the United States and we will send a signed I-20 to your home country via email.
Important: If you renewed any of your immigration documents (passport or visa) and haven’t provided a copy to our office, please do so with your document request. Your Travel Signature will be delayed if we do not have your updated information
Due to the temporary closure of FIU because of the COVID 19 crisis, it may be difficult to meet your needs immediately. If you are a student who has already departed the US or one who intends to leave shortly and are unable to get your I-20 travel signature, please be advised that when you come back to the United States, if your I-20 does not have a current signature or if you do not have your I-20 with you, the US Custom and Border Protection (USCBP) Officer who you see when you arrive typically issues students lacking a proper I-20 a form called I-515A at the port of entry.
If CBP issues you a Form I-515A, tell your designated school official (DSO)/International Student Advisor that you have been given this form. He or she can help you submit the right information to complete this form.
What is the “I‐515A” Form? The I‐515A is a form issued to international students/scholars/dependents by a United States Port of Entry (POE) when the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer is not satisfied with the admission documentation that a student/scholar/dependent provides. For example, the border patrol may issue an I‐515A if the I‐20 or DS‐2019 is missing a valid travel signature. The I‐515A Form allows temporary entry into the United States of no more than 30 days.
This information will be updated as we receive more guidance from USCIS. Please follow up with ISSS two weeks before you are coming back to the US.
Yes, you can schedule a phone/virtual appointment accessing the ISSS Virtual Appointment Request Form. Once our system received this form, you will receive an email with your appointment date and time.
CPT (Curricular Practical Training), OPT (Optional Practical Training), or STEM OPT extension applications are also available by appointment. Once you have scheduled the appointment, an advisor will contact you via email with further instructions.
In order to apply for OPT you need to be present in the United States. Once you are ready to start the process (you should be starting it as soon as possible)
- Make an appointment with ISSS (see instructions above)
- Visit the Optional Practical Training (OPT) section on our website and follow all the instructions.
If you abide by enrollment requirements (full time enrollment) you will be considered in status.
Students’ status will remain current As long as they remain enrolled in their classes maintaining full time status.
This section of the page was last updated on March 24, 2020- Continue to check this page as information gets continuously updated.