The U.S. government has NOT released official F-1 and J-1 student guidance for the Spring 2021 semester at this time. However, OIPS has learned that the current F-1 guidance remains in effect unless new guidance is issued before Spring 2021. See the Spring 2021 FAQs to learn about enrollment and travel requirements that will be in effect IF the Fall 2020 guidance does not change. If new F-1 student guidance is issued, it will be updated on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Covid-19 Resource Page under the Nonimmigrant Students and SEVP-Certified School Section.
Until we receive official guidance about the topics below, we cannot provide definitive information to students about Spring 2021 plans. If you are currently in the U.S., we recommend that you register for face-to-face or hybrid courses if possible. Remember that the course must be defined as hybrid by George Mason’s Registrar. If the U.S. government allows F-1 and J-1 students to take a majority or all online classes, you might be able to switch to an online instructional method. If you choose to register for classes before guidance comes out, keep in mind that you may need to make changes. Prepare to be flexible and work with your academic department to discuss your options.
Once OIPS has reviewed new guidance, we will provide students with additional information on how it will affect F-1 and J-1 status. We hope that the following topics and many others will be covered in the new guidance so that we can provide more information to students:
- Online course flexibility
- Remote work for OPT/CPT/Academic Training
- Travel and travel document requirements
- Keeping F1/J-1 status active outside of the U.S.