Information Update

ISSS is committed to serving you in the safest possible manner as we resume on-campus operations on August 17th.  To prioritize your health and safety, ISSS will continue to provide a variety of phone and virtual advising options to assist you. In-person appointments will be limited to exceptional circumstance only. We encourage you to contact us to request information and/or telephone/web appointments for advisement during our regular advisement hours.
For the Atlanta campus, please call 404-413-2070 or email isss@gsu.edu.
For Perimeter campus, please call 678-891-3235 or email issspc@gsu.edu

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Based on the latest SEVP guidance, new students planning to enroll in online only courses should remain outside the U.S. Students should report their intent to enroll online via the “eLearning” e-form in iStart. ISSS will update the program start date on the SEVIS record and reissue a new I-20 by 09/13/2020. Students receiving an updated program start date will not be required to pay the I-901 fee again or reapply for a visa if they have already received one.
Based on SEVP guidance issued on July 24, new Students entering the U.S. are required to be enrolled full-time and at least one class must be a blended (b) or face-to-face (f) course for the fall.
The latest SEVP guidance rescinded prior guidance requiring all students to receive updated I-20 reflecting enrollment plans for the term; however, new Students entering the U.S. are required to be enrolled in at least 1 blended (b) or face-to-face (f) course fall 2020 and should contact their respective campus to request their I-20 be updated with the necessary enrollment language.

Email:

Atlanta Campus: isss@gsu.edu

Perimeter College:  issspc@gsu.edu

If you do not plan to re-enter the U.S. for fall semester, ISSS will defer your start date on the transfer I-20 to the spring 2021 term. In this situation you will not be required to pay the I-901 fee again and will not need to apply for a new visa if the previous F-1 visa is not expired.Students should report their intent to enroll online via the “eLearning” e-form in iStart. ISSS will update the program start date on the SEVIS record and reissue a new I-20 by 09/13/2020.
Transfer students will complete the International Student Check-In process online via the iStart portal and will not be required to physically report to the institution to complete international student check-in. Instructions regarding Orientation and Immigration Check-In will be sent to your GSU student email. Be sure to check your GSU student inbox daily.
Georgia State is offering a blended learning model for fall. Based on the latest SEVP guidance students who are unable to take a full schedule of face-to-face or blended courses due to the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to enroll in online sections to maintain status during the pandemic.
Yes, students planning to enroll in full time coursework outside the U.S. can maintain Active SEVIS status for fall term. Additionally, under the same guidance, the 5-month rule requiring students to apply for a new I-20 and visa to return is suspended. Continuing students planning to study outside the U.S. are required to report their intent to enroll online via the “eLearning” e-form in iStart. Time accrued towards practical training benefits would not be lost due to enrolling online from outside the U.S. under the latest SEVP guidance.
Yes, based on the latest SEVP guidance continuing students enrolled fully online are able to enter the U.S. with a current I-20. Be sure to request an updated Travel Signature via iStart if your current signature will be more than 6 months old upon re-entry. Your I-20 will be digitally endorsed and emailed to your GSU student email. Note also that there are still international travel restrictions in place.
Yes, F-1 student visa holders maintaining status while enrolled inside the U.S. or outside the U.S. are should maintain full-time enrollment in all required academic terms in order to keep the SEVIS record Active.
Georgia State is offering a blended learning model for fall. Based on the latest SEVP guidance F-1 students who are unable to take a full schedule of face-to-face or blended courses due to the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to enroll in online sections to maintain status during the pandemic.
If you are currently outside the U.S. and have indicated to our office that you will be enrolling entirely online for fall – then, you should remain outside the U.S. for the entire semester. You will be contacted via email by our office in October to update your study plans for the spring 2021 semester.
F-1 students not planning to enroll in fall term must submit the “F-1 Departure” eform in iStart to report that they will not enroll in fall. F-1 students not enrolled for fall 2020 term will be required to depart the U.S.

Prior to re-entering the U.S., you need to request reactivation of your SEVIS record by emailing their respective ISSS campus with the following information:

  • Request for Reactivation
  • Degree program
  • Date of departure from the US
  • Reason for Leave of Absence
  • Name and email address of your academic advisor/graduate coordinator so that we can confirm your expected graduation date

Email:
Atlanta Campus:  isss@gsu.edu

Perimeter College:  issspc@gsu.edu

Based on the latest SEVP guidance, the rule requiring the student to apply for a new visa and I-20 if outside the U.S. for more than 5 months is currently suspended. Due to the suspension of this rule, F-1 students planning to return in Spring 2021 should not be required to apply for a new visa if their prior visa is unexpired. We encourage students to contact their US embassy or consulate for more information on visa validity concerns.

F-1 students with medical conditions preventing a full course of study in fall term are encouraged to complete the iStart “Medical Reduced Course Load” e-form to request support with an authorized reduction of course load for the fall term from ISSS.
Students interested in this option will need to consult with an ISSS adviser in an individual advising appointment to review CPT eligibility for the term.
USCIS announced a delay with printing EAD cards on July 21, 2020. The announcement can be found here. Students will need to continue working directly with USCIS to receive EAD cards.
Per the Georgia Department of Public Health (GDPH), all students that are arriving to campus following international travel from a country with widespread transmission as defined by the CDC should stay home and/or quarantine for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health and practice social distancing. This guidance should be followed by students planning to live in either on-campus housing or private housing located off-campus.

For students with on-campus housing assignments, please contact University Housing at housing@gsu.edu to receive guidance and assistance. Off-campus residents should plan to quarantine in their off-campus housing.

If you need information about how to quarantine, please follow the GDPH guidance or contact the GSU Student Health Clinic with questions.

Your quarantine period may overlap with the beginning of academic courses (Aug. 24). Please contact Student Assistance in the Office of the Dean of Students at deanofstudents@gsu.edu for assistance with contacting and coordinating accommodations with your faculty and/or campus employer.

International students with questions related to immigration travel concerns can contact International Student & Scholar Services at isss@gsu.edu.