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International Students in the U.S. – the news you need to know, June 2020

For many people, this year has been a truly once in a lifetime experience to be alive. Yet for you as young professionals combining work experience and academic degrees during your stay in the United States, you have goals that still need to be met. Timelines that are edging ever closer. The world around you has been upended in many ways. Regulations are changing, exceptions are being made, so it’s more important than ever to stay informed as to what may impact you and your status. Here’s a quick summary of what you need to know

Guidance from SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program)

Be sure to read through this information so that you are aware of the recent changes due to the pandemic. Everything is covered in this update:

  • Maintaining F-1 status while taking classes online.

  • The usability of I-20s with electronic signatures, and

  • Whether you can work remotely if on OPT currently during the pandemic.

Speaking of OPT: What is the current state of affairs?

  • Here from one Canadian student’s perspective on applying for Optional Practical Training during these challenging times.

  • This National Law Review article takes a look at the Impact of COVID-19 on students applying for Optional Practical Training

  • Even though there have been rumors circulating for months about significant changes to OPT, nothing has yet been sent down from this administration which is a good thing for now. More than ever it is important to stay up-to-date on current facts about Optional Practical Training and STEM OPT.

D/S: Duration of Status

A new rule is coming to eliminate “D/S” (Duration of Status) F-1 students typically receive when entering the U.S. Remember when you had stamped in your passport when you passed through Customs and Border Patrol review at a U.S. airport? That stamp included the language “F-1 D/S” which allows you to remain in the country as long as you are maintaining your F-1 status by either attending a degree program at a SEVP-approved institution or utilizing OPT benefits.


If you are looking to switch to a new college or university in the United States it’s important to know what that process entails in terms of your SEVIS record and academic progress. Check out this piece on “How to transfer to a U.S. college.

That’s it for now. In the meantime get connected with your August Network counselor for institutions that may be good fits for your needs.

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