COVID-19 Updates and Guidance > FAQs > International students

International students

On Dec. 22, 2020, Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) confirmed that the prior COVID-19 guidance is still in place until further notice.

Based on this guidance, continuing F-1 students may remain in the U.S. even if engaged in a fully online program of study provided they meet full-time enrollment requirements and are making normal progress towards degree. All new initial students coming to the U.S. will be required to enroll in an in-person course with an on-campus attendance component.

International Student and Scholar Services continues to monitor announcements from the SEVP on a regular basis and will update these pages accordingly.


​Yes. Individuals do not need to be a US citizen to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Chicago. According to the city of Chicago, “the COVID-19 vaccine is free to everyone, regardless of insurance or immigration status."  

However, individuals may need to prove city-residency. To review Chicago's list of approved documents to approve residency for the city-supported sites, visit here


Yes, you can begin your studies by taking online courses remotely. Please contact your admitting unit to defer your I-20 form to a future term. We will send you an updated I-20 form that would allow you to come to the U.S. and continue your studies in a future term. 

Any spring quarter classes completed and the grades you receive will count towards your academic progress and will be entered on your DePaul transcript, also known as your permanent record.

DePaul University will refund 50 percent of the tuition you already paid if all of the following criteria are met. You must: 
  • ​Be enrolled at DePaul University for the first time in spring 2021 with all of your courses being held remotely (online).
  • Reside outside of the U.S., require an F1 (student) visa in order to study in person in the U.S. and not be in possession of such a visa spring 2021 term.
  • Not be on academic probation.
  • Provide concrete evidence of three attempts to obtain a visa to study in the United States in the form of properly documented visa denials. Denials must be due to reasons other than your failure to submit required documentation as part of your visa application.


Yes, on Dec. 22, 2020 the Student and Exchange Visitor Programm confirmed that prior COVID-19 guidance provided is still in place until further notice.

Based on this guidance, continuing F-1 students can remain in the U.S. even if engaged in a fully online program of study provided they meet full-time enrollment requirements and are making normal progress towards a degree.

​If you are outside the US and wish to continue your studies remotely, you can do so. Current government guidance allows ISS to keep your SEVIS record active and the five month absence rule has been waived during the COVID-19 crisis. This means that you will continue to accrue time toward your eligibility for CPT and OPT. 

Please note however, that the government's position on the five month rule is subject to change. Students who are approaching a five month absence from the US may want to consult with their ISS Advisor to weigh the potential risks of remaining outside the US for more than five months and potential implications for CPT/OPT eligibility.

​Yes, but please check that you have valid travel documents (e.g. passport, visa, etc.) and that no COVID-19 related travel restrictions apply to you. 

We encourage students who are currently outside of the US to think realistically regarding their ability to enter the US for study in winter 2021, as ongoing travel bans and consular closures may make it impossible for some students to arrive in time for in-person instruction. 

If you have questions please consult with your ISS Advisor before making travel plans.

​If you are a recently admitted F-1 student and have been issued a “transfer pending" or “change of program/educational level” ​I-20 by DePaul University, please consult with your ISS Advisor regarding your enrollment and reporting requirements as well as any possible plans you may have for travel.

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