We are pleased that additional Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) guidance has been issued allowing international students to move forward with their fall plans. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program issued clarifying questions on 24 July for the Fall 2020 semester based on the March 9 spring guidance.
Included below are Frequently Asked Questions including important items of information, guidance, and resources to help our international students and those who support them achieve their educational goals at UNO.
Please note that FAQs are based on the currently available information in and related to this SEVP announcement.
UNO and International Programs will continue to monitor this developing situation and keep our campus community up to date as changes are made.
Students with further questions regarding changes to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, should contact UNO International Programs at 402.554.2293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any student experiencing emotional stress or needing someone to talk to should contact UNO Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) or call 402.554.2409.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can international students in F-1 status take all online classes remotely from outside of the United States during the Fall 2020 semester?
Yes. UNO students who returned home in the spring or summer and decide to study full-time outside of the United States for Fall 2020 semester can remain active in SEVIS. International Advising will note on the SEVIS record, "Outside the United States due to COVID-19".
Can international students in F-1 status take all online or remote classes while present in the United States during the Fall 2020 semester?
International students may remain in the United States in a hybrid program like we have at UNO, which consists of both in-person and online components. Students returning to UNO must enroll full-time and may take in-person, hybrid, online, or remote classes. Academically, international students are encouraged to take some in-person or hybrid classes along with some online and remote classes.
Can international students in F-1 status take a leave of absence (not enroll in any courses) for the Fall 2020 semester if they are currently outside of the United States and are unable or unwilling to return?
Yes. However, the student’s SEVIS record will be terminated for an early authorized withdrawal and reactivated before the student's return to the United States. If an international student in F-1 status is interested in taking a leave of absence for the fall semester and has questions about the process, please email International Advising at email@example.com.
Can new students from outside of the United States, come to study full time in Omaha for the Fall 2020 semester?
Yes. However, new students with an initial I-20 for the Fall 2020 semester must take at least one in person or hybrid class.
What should new international students with a Fall 2020 semester start date planning to come to the United States on F-1 visas do if they are unable to obtain their visas in order to arrive in the U.S. by the first day of courses, August 24, 2020 or if they would like to defer their admission to the Spring 2021 semester?
New international students may defer their admission and I-20 to a future term or study online or remotely from outside the United States and defer their I-20 to a future term. To defer admission or an I-20, undergraduate students should contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Graduate students should contact email@example.com.
What would happen if UNO unexpectedly needs to change its operation mode to online only mid-semester?
Nonimmigrant students with F-1 visas will be considered to be maintaining status if UNO moves from hybrid to entirely online or remote at some point during the Fall 2020 semester.
Can a student who is inside the U.S. transfer to UNO for the Fall 2020 semester?
Yes. Students transferring to UNO from another school in the United States may take in person, hybrid, online, or remote classes.
Can a student who is outside the U.S. transfer to UNO for the Fall 2020 semester?
Students who transferred to UNO, who left the United States during spring or summer, may choose to study online or remotely full-time, part-time, or to not enroll at all. These students may request a transfer I-20 for January 2021. Students who enter the United States on a transfer I-20 are advised to be enrolled in at least one in person or hybrid class.
What are the options if international students in F-1 status outside of the United States want to return to campus but are unsure if they will be able to?
The most recent information about U.S. entry restrictions and COVID-19 is on the websites below:
- COVID-19 Restrictions and US Visas and Entry (NAFSA)
- Country-Specific Travel Restrictions (Department of State)
- Travel Restrictions and Health Notices (CDC)
- Travelers Prohibited from Entry to the United States (CDC)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) (DHS)
- International Air Transport Information (IATA)
If an international student in F-1 status is unable to return to the United States, and would like to take classes remotely or is interested in taking a leave of absence for the Fall 2020 semester, and has questions about the process, please email International Advising at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the difference between in-person, remote, hybrid, and online classes at UNO?
- In-Person instruction (“001 sections”) will refer to instructors and students attending synchronous classes on either the Scott or Dodge campuses, or, in the case of practica, field work, internships, service learning, or flight training, at community locations, subject to public health conditions.
- Remote instruction (“820 sections”) will refer to instructors and students meeting synchronously using digital technology at the scheduled times according to the Registrar’s calendar.
- Hybrid instruction (“860 sections”) will refer to a mix of in-person instruction and either remote or online instruction, with guidance from HLC that in-person instruction will not exceed 11.25 contact hours per semester.
- Online instruction (“850 sections”) will refer to asynchronous instructor-student interactions using digital technology to make academic content available to students, with students able to interact with each other and the instructor at flexible hours.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.