Dear International Students,

This message is sent with great care and thoughts for you and your families. Many of you have reviewed the July 6th guidance from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). We are sure that you are concerned and worried about how this guidance affects you. Please read this message carefully as it contains information about the guidance.

The main questions we have received from our international students, what does this guidance mean for me?

As WFU Reynolda and Wakehealth campuses will be operating a model using in-person, online, and hybrid courses the information below is very specific to our students. Please note that the exemptions made available during the spring and summer sessions have been modified and this information is specifically for our fall 2020 operations.

Here is what we DO know:

  • This guidance does not affect students actively engaged in their OPT, STEM OPT, or Cap-Gap employment authorization.
  • For international students who remain in your home country, you can enroll online but WFU cannot leave your F-1 status open. ISSS will be required to close your F-1 record.
  • International students cannot enter the U.S. or remain inside the US for online-only enrollment.

If you arrive to or are currently on campus:

  • You must maintain full-time enrollment and make normal academic progress in your academic program
  • You cannot enroll in ALL online courses
  • You may enroll in online, hybrid (both in-person and online instruction), and in-person courses
  • If WFU has to move to remote operations during the fall semester, you will be required to depart the U.S. under this current SEVP guidance
  • Hybrid or Blended courses count towards your on-campus enrollment requirement

What we do NOT know:

  • If your F-1 status is closed for the fall 2020 semester, how will this break in your F-1 status affect future eligibility for employment authorization such as CPT or OPT?

Will the exception to the 5-month rule regarding time spent outside the U.S. be available for the fall semester?

  • Within the SEVP guidance, you will note that ISSS must update the I-20s of all of our international students with a note confirming WFU’s enrollment options. These I-20s will be provided electronically. ISSS will be emailing you specific instructions regarding the procedures that we will use to collect the required information and update your I-20s. Please be sure to take action quickly once you receive our instructions.

Unfortunately, this is not the type of update we were expecting, it is, in fact, more restrictive than we thought. We care about you, we support you, and we are grateful for all that you bring to WFU. We are sorry that this appreciation is not reflected in the SEVP guidance. Please know that we are working diligently to advocate for you but we must comply with this guidance as issued.


Your ISSS Team