Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: I am an international student. Can I take online/virtual classes?
A: Yes, for current international students, you can take online/virtual classes either here at Weber State or in your home country. SEVIS has special policies to accommodate this new situation. This applies to both Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 semesters.
Q: Can I go back to my home country to take the online/virtual classes?
A: Yes, you can. However, please communicate with your course instructors to make sure that the expected learning outcome can be achieved while you take these online/virtual classes in your home country. Dr. Mary Machira sent out an email on March 12th with a checklist/form for you to complete if you plan to leave the U.S. before the end of the Spring 2020 semester. The purpose of this checklist/form is to guide you through the aspects you need to consider (such as internet availability, technological need, the time difference in your home country) before you make the decisions. We are more than happy to discuss this with you during your decision-making process.
Q: Do I need to be full time to keep my international student status during this period
A: Yes. All international students still need to keep full-time status (12 credits for undergraduate, 9 credits for graduate students) for Spring and Fall semesters. You can take any number of credits in Summer from the SEVIS perspective.
Q: I plan to leave the U.S., do I need to come in person to get a travel signature on my I-20.
A: SEVIS just revised the policy – we are able to issue the travel signature on your I-20 electronically. Please just email us if you need a signature and we will guide you on the process.
Q: I plan to go home but I am worried that I am not able to come back to the U.S.
before Fall 2020.
A: If your U.S. visa will still be valid at that time, we don’t foresee problems with your re-entry into the U.S. before the Fall 2020 semester – unless something dramatic happens at the national/federal policy level that would impact all international students in the U.S. If your visa expires before you return, then you might have difficulty in getting a visa appointment to renew your visa, given most of the U.S. embassies around the world are not currently accepting visa appointments. We don’t know how long this is going to last, so please talk with Dr. Mary Machira (ISSC director) before you leave the U.S. We don’t know the answers to all the questions on this topic (there are a lot of uncertainties in many countries, U.S. included), but we can at least discuss the opportunities and risks with you in each option.
Q: I live in university residence halls. I am not planning to go home. Do I have to move out of the residence halls?
A: We understand that international students have challenges in locating alternative housing options. I am sure Housing will accommodate your request to continue to stay should you choose to do so. But please remember to fill out the “Request to Stay” form on the university housing website – Housing needs this information for management purposes.
Q: I am a visiting scholar. My DS-2019 program with Weber State is going to end soon, but I have difficulty in returning to my home country (such as the challenge in purchasing an air ticket).
A: Please contact Dr. Mary Machira (ISSC director) about your situation. We will work with your home institution and your Weber State faculty sponsor to make arrangements for you.
Q: If I experience or witness any (racial) discrimination, especially in relation to COVID-19, what do I do?
A: We would certainly encourage you to talk with us. If you want to keep the report anonymous, you can report this via Red Flag reporting or the new complaints website for students. We might have additional reporting processes in the near future – we will keep you informed. We would also appreciate your suggestions on this issue.
Q: I need to apply for OPT. What is the process? Can I find online work with American Institutions as my OPT appointments?... Or I am currently on OPT, can I work online/virtually from my home country?
A: This is a complex question, especially the “online work” part. Please contact Dr. Mary Machira to work through the process.
Q: I have a friend who would like to apply to Weber State. Are we accepting applications from new international students?
A: Yes, we are certainly accepting applications from new international students for both Fall 2020 and Summer 2020. If a student is accepted to start the Summer 2020 semester, the student can take our online/virtual classes from their home countries if they haven’t entered the U.S. yet for the Summer 2020 semester. For students who transfer from other institutions within the U.S., they can stay wherever they are and take our summer online/virtual classes. Fall 2020 application and admission processes remain unchanged. Please contact Ioana, our international student admissions advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information. She will also guide your friend through the application process.