Frequently Asked Questions - Summer/Fall 2020

F-1 Student FAQ

Can I take less than full time units and still maintain valid status on my last semester?

Yes. please submit a Reduced Course Load application and select a reason for approval. You must be completing final course load to complete your program or only enrolled in the Comprehensive Exam/Thesis during that final term.

How can I make appointment with IPGE about an OPT application?

Request an Advising Appointment here.

Since my I-20 will expire by the end of MAY, what is the process to extend it before it expires?

You may extend the I-20 prior to the May end date by submitting an Extension of Stay form and proof of sufficient funds for the additional term/year needed.

I have to renew my student visa this summer. Will IPGE be able to mail me necessary documents such as transcripts, I-94 record, etc?

Visa services are currently suspended in countries abroad. Please note, you are able to stay in the U.S. with an expired visa and may renew it at a later time.

Travel FAQ

I want to go back to my home country during summer vacation. Will I still be able to come back for next semester?

There may be travel restrictions that may prevent your entry into the U.S. We advise you to review the Department of State Travel Advisories here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-information.html. You should also consult with the U.S. consulate/embassies in your home country before you return to see if there are any travel restrictions from your country. Please make sure you continue to communicate with us during your stay outside of the U.S.

Do we need an exit signature for domestic travel?

You may travel within the U.S. without a travel endorsement. However, please be mindful of Stay at Home orders and restrictions that each state has implemented due to COVID-19.

I understand that we need a signature to re-enter the United States. Is there anything else I need?

You may request an electronic copy of your I-20 form to include a travel endorsement prior to your travel to the U.S. Send your request to [email protected]. Also be sure to obtain a passport and visa that are valid 6 months into the future.

Taxes and Stimulus Checks FAQ

Since Fall semester is to be conducted online, will there be a reduction of fees? (non-resident)

The official decision regarding tuition and fees is not made by International Programs and Global Engagement (IPGE). This decision will ultimately be made by the University leadership and the Cashier’s Office who handle all tuition-related payments. The University administration is aware of international student concerns regarding non-resident fees for the fall 2020 semester. If any changes are put in place regarding tuition and fees, the campus community will be notified.

Will non-resident fees still be charged even if classes are online in the fall semester?

The official decision regarding tuition and fees is not made by International Programs and Global Engagement (IPGE). This decision will ultimately be made by the University leadership and the Cashier’s Office who handle all tuition-related payments. The University administration is aware of international student concerns regarding non-resident fees for the fall 2020 semester. If any changes are put in place regarding tuition and fees, the campus community will be notified.

Can IPGE advocate for reduction of fees for international students?

International Programs and Global Engagement (IPGE) hosts Q&A sessions as a way to collect comments and concerns from international students, like you. The University administration is aware of international student concerns regarding non-resident fees for the fall 2020 semester.

Grading Options FAQ

If we take no action, does that mean we will be reverted to the traditional grading system (A,B,C) as opposed to a C/NC grading system?

Yes. The grading option remains if you do not make any changes. The deadline to submit a change in grading option is May 9, 2020. You may visit the Records & Enrollment website: http://www.calstatela.edu/undergraduatestudies/spring-2020-grading-faqs.

Funding for International Students FAQ

Are we eligible to apply for school emergency financial aid?

Yes. We encourage you to look into the emergency funding grants that are available from the Dean of Students Office: http://www.calstatela.edu/deanofstudents/emergency-financial-and-housing-assistance.

Is there financial aid or any other funding sources for international-students?

At the moment and due to COVID-19, the Dean of Students is providing emergency funds to students. We encourage you to look into the emergency funding grants that are available from the Dean of Students Office and are eligible for all international students: http://www.calstatela.edu/deanofstudents/emergency-financial-and-housing-assistance.

OPT FAQ

Will EAD cards be arriving on time or is some delay is expected? If we apply our OPT now, will our EAD card be delayed?

At this time, we do not foresee a delay in USCIS processing OPT applications. The standard processing time is 90-110 days upon receiving a receipt notice. It is now late within the OPT filing period, we suggest you request a July 22, 2020 start date for OPT to be approved for up to 12 months of OPT.

President Trump is limiting and suspending the processing of green cards and/or working visas for 60 days. Would it affect the process of issuing the EAD card for students who are applying for OPT this semester?

Recent news reports only  mentioned H-1B and Permanent Resident visas. We do not foresee F-1 OPT applicants being impacted by this. You can expect OPT visas to be processed in standard time.

I will apply for OPT under my F-1 visa but the I-20 form is expiring in December. Will my I-20 form be extended?

When applying for OPT, you will receive a new I-20 form stating OPT is requested. You do not need to extend the current I-20 you have.

When does the OPT application open for fall graduates?

The OPT application period for fall graduates begins September 24, 2020.