COVID-19 Updates and Guidance > FAQs > International students

International students

On December 22, 2020, SEVP officially confirmed that prior COVID-19 guidance provided 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 Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) on a regular basis and will update these pages accordingly.


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 US and continue your studies in a future term. Any classes that you take, and grades that you receive during the winter 2021, will be counted towards academic progress and entered on your DePaul transcript (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 either winter 2021 or spring 2021, with all of your courses being held remotely (online).
  • Reside outside of the US, require an F1 (student) visa in order to study in person in the US and not be in possession of such a visa during winter 2021 and/or 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.

If you are planning to attend DePaul University, applied for an F1 (student) visa and are denied for reasons other than failure to submit proper documentation, then you may appeal the housing cancellation charge. You will be refunded your $400 prepayment fee. DePaul Housing must receive your visa denial paperwork prior to the start of your housing agreement.​

​ISO covers medically necessary health care costs related to testing and treatment of infectious diseases and medical conditions, including COVID-19. If you have any questions about ISO coverage, contact customercare@isoa.org or call 800-244-1180. Additional information is also available here.​

On July 13, the Department of State indicated that US embassies and consulates have begun a gradual move to resumption of visa services. For current operating status, please check the website of the embassy or consulate in your home country here

​Check the travel and visa restrictions that may be in place at the time you are planning to travel. The situation is changing daily. If you are currently outside the US or plan to travel outside the US, we recommend that you continue to monitor the Centers for Disease Control and Preventio​n (CDC)'s travel updates

For a list of travelers prohibited entry to the US, visit the CDC site here.

​Policies on deferment and cancellation remain the same. Most programs all​ow students to defer enrollment for up to one year after the acceptance term. If you would like to defer, you may convey that in the applicant portal (Blue Demon Domain or DePaul Grad Gateway) and please contact your admitting unit to defer your I-20 for a future term. 

Yes, on December 22, 2020, SEVP officially confirmed that prior COVID-19 guidance provided 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 a degree.


​No, you can remain in the US even if you are engaged in a fully online program of study, provided you meet full-time enrollment requirements and are making normal progress towards your degree. Know that DePaul University has your health, safety and best interest in mind, and we are committed to supporting you and looking for solutions that will allow you to continue your academic career at DePaul.

​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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