Loyola University Chicago

International Student and Scholar Services

COVID-19 Information

The International Student and Scholar Services team (ISSS) has prepared a list of Frequently Asked Questions that may help you with any concerns you have regarding your status and current immigration guidance. Please see below:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

For continuing F-1 students outside the United States, SEVP will allow students to study online from their home country and remain in active F-1 status. The five-month temporary absence provision will not apply for students who remain in Active status. 

Please note that you must still maintain full-time enrollment, even if you are studying online from home, to maintain your F-1 status. If you are unsure if you are enrolled in enough credit hours to maintain your status, please contact your ISSS advisor for assistance.

If you are an F-1 student currently on OPT, the updated guidance should not impact you. Please continue to work on OPT as normal; if you have any changes of employment to report, please contact your ISSS advisor.

If you have not done so already, please check in with our office by emailing isss@luc.edu with the following documents:

  • A copy of page 1 of your I-20 - make sure you signed it!
  • A copy of your passport information page
  • A copy of your F-1 visa
  • A copy of your I-94 record - get it here
  • Your local U.S. address

As an F-1 student already in the United States, you are not required to enroll in any in-person coursework unless your program requires it. You may study 100% online if you would prefer.

If you have not done so already, please check in with our office by emailing isss@luc.edu with the following documents:

  • A copy of page 1 of your I-20 - make sure you signed it!
  • A copy of your passport information page
  • A copy of your F-1 visa
  • A copy of your I-94 record - get it here
  • Your local U.S. address

Please note that new F-1 students arriving from outside of the United States are required to be enrolled in at least one face-to-face course this term. 

The ISSS team strongly discourages any non-essential travel at this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic and increased volatility in travel guidelines. If you must travel, our team can provide you with an updated travel endorsement on your I-20/DS-2019; however, please note that we are limited in our ability to assist if any travel restrictions go into effect while you are outside of the United States.

We encourage you to contact your home country's embassy in the U.S. and/or your U.S. embassy in your home country in advance of any travel to see if there are any travel restrictions which may impact your journey.

As a reminder, you must always travel with the following documents:

  • Your I-20/DS-2019, endorsed for travel
  • A valid passport
  • A valid F-1/J-1 visa

For continuing F-1 students in the United States, SEVP will allow students to temporarily count online classes toward a full course of study; students are not limited to one online class per term (as is the case under normal circumstances) and are not required to have a minimum of one in-person class to be a hybrid student (as was the case with the ICE guidance from earlier this month). 100% online enrollment is now acceptable under the updated SEVP guidance. 

Please refer to the Wellness Center site for information on testing resources. 

If you are an initial status F-1 student and have decided to study online from your home country for Fall 2020, we will need to issue you an updated I-20 for the term you intend to arrive on campus. We may contact you to verify your intent to arrive in Spring 2021 and will email you an updated I-20 as soon as it is ready.

If you have questions in the meantime or urgently require an updated I-20 for consular processing purposes, please email us at isss@luc.edu.

If you are outside of the United States and plan to take a leave of absence/gap term for the Fall 2020 term (i.e. not enroll in any coursework), your F-1 record will be terminated for Authorized Early Withdrawal.  You will need to contact our office for a new I-20 and apply for a new F-1 visa when you return to campus in the future.

Please contact your academic advisor/program director to inform him or her of your Leave of Absence and work with this person to fill out this form. Our office needs to receive this form once completed as it will help us assist you in your transition back to campus when the time comes. 

If you have not done so already, please contact your admissions counselor to notify them of your intent to defer; contact information can be found below:

Once your deferral has been approved, we can issue you a deferred I-20. Please email us at isss@luc.edu to initiate this process.

If you have any questions or would like to speak with someone from the ISSS team, please email us at isss@luc.edu for assistance. For ongoing university updates regarding COVID-19 resources and Loyola's response, please visit the university's Coronavirus page for more information.