COVID-19 Updates

Recent Updates

Dashew Center Front Desk Virtual Q&A

MONDAY - FRIDAY

MORNING: 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Join URL: https://ucla.zoom.us/j/653160112

Join by telephone: +1 669 900 6833 

And enter - Meeting ID: 653 160 112 

When asked for your Participant ID, select # 

Note: Zoom Q&A is in a group setting with one staff member as host. Participants will type general questions to the host via chat and the host will answer verbally to the group as a whole. Zoom meeting may appear "open" after cutoff times.  If you have case specific questions or have already emailed the appropriate unit, please wait for a response or request an appointment.


AFTERNOON: 1:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Join URL: 
https://ucla.zoom.us/j/872598433 

Join by telephone: +1 669 900 6833 

And enter - Meeting ID: 872 598 433 

When asked for your Participant ID, select # 

Note: Zoom Q&A is in a group setting with one staff member as host. Participants will type general questions to the host via chat and the host will answer verbally to the group as a whole. Zoom meeting may appear "open" after cutoff times.  If you have case specific questions or have already emailed the appropriate unit, please wait for a response or request an appointment.

Schedule an Appointment

To schedule an appointment, email: oissassi@saonet.ucla.edu with the following:

·       First and last name

·       Bruin UID (if applicable)

·       Reason for appointment

Note: Please make sure to include “Appointment Request” in the subject line.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Can I request an electronic I-20 from the Dashew Center?

U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently announced that they will allow the electronic issuance and signing of I-20 Forms for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. Both the U.S. Department of State (oversees U.S. Embassies/Consulates) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (oversees admission of non-immigrants to the U.S. at ports of entry) have also confirmed that they will accept electronic I-20s and signatures for visa processing and entry to the U.S. for the same duration. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), who oversees processing of benefits petitions, such as OPT, STEM OPT Extension, Change of Status, etc., has also announced flexibility in their ‘wet signature’ requirement.

Effective 5/22/20, the Dashew Center will offer the option of electronically issued I-20 Forms to students for the following requests:

  • Lost/damaged/stolen
  • Change of major/name/citizenship
  • Change of funding
  • Change of education level
  • Extension
  • Return from leave of absence
  • CPT
  • OPT
  • STEM OPT Extension
  • Newly admitted I-20 (initial attendance and transfer)

Students who are issued electronic I-20s may only download, print, and sign the student attestation section. Tampering with the Form I-20 is a federal crime (18 U.S. Code § 1546. Fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents).

Students can continue to request original I-20s from the Dashew Center for the reasons listed above, but must submit a completed F-1 Document Shipping Request Form with their request and are responsible to cover I-20 shipping fees.

Are F-1 and J-1 visa holders eligible for the Economic Impact Payments?

Please see the Economic Impact Payment Information Centerfor more details. If you have further questions, please contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or consult with an immigration attorney. The Dashew Center provides a list of immigration attorneys for information only.

Can I submit my OPT application to the Dashew Center during an in-person OPT Hand-In Session?

We have changed our OPT request procedures due to our inability to accommodate in-person Hand-In sessions and in-person document pick up. To apply for OPT, please request an OPT I-20 and follow the OPT Application: Preparation and Mailing Instructions to mail your OPT application to USCIS. For more information, please see the OPT Online Workshop and the OPT Guidelines.

Can I travel abroad after applying for OPT?

You may travel abroad after submitting your OPT application package to USCIS per recent communication from USCIS. It is strongly recommended that you wait to receive your OPT application Receipt Notice from USCIS prior to your departure from the U.S. Please note that USCIS will mail EAD cards only U.S. addresses (residential and P.O. Box). If your OPT application is approved, your OPT start date has been reached, and you do not have qualifying employment while you are overseas, you will start to accrue unemployment time.

Can I apply for OPT while outside the US?

USCIS has not issued any provisions due to the COVID-19 pandemic that will allow OPT application filing while students are physically overseas.

How long will it take for the Dashew Center to issue my OPT I-20 after I submit my request?

Your OPT I-20 will be issued in 15 business days and it will be sent you to by FedEx or eShipGlobal. For more information about OPT I-20 shipping, please see our Shipping and Mailing Options.

Can I still apply for a U.S. visa at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate?

No. The State Department has temporarily suspended all routine visa services. For more information, please see this U.S. State Department page.

Do I need a new travel authorization signature before departing the U.S.?

No, you do not need a valid travel authorization signature to depart the U.S.

F-1 Students: Please remember that each travel authorization signature is valid for 1 year from the date it was last signed and must be valid at your time of re-entry to the U.S. You do not need to request a new travel authorization signature if the most recent travel signature on your current I-20 will be valid for your return to the U.S.

Do I need to submit my travel authorization request to the Dashew Center in person?

IMPORTANT NOTE: You may submit an online travel authorization request only if the travel authorization signature on the second page of your I-20 will be older than one calendar year (6 months if on OPT/STEM OPT Extension) at the time you plan to re-enter the U.S. A valid travel signature is NOT required to depart the U.S.

F-1 Students: No- please submit an Online Travel Authorization Request form to request a new travel authorization signature. You do not need to submit your original I-20 to request a new travel authorization signature. Your new I-20 (with a new travel authorization signature) will be shipped to your address (in the U.S. or overseas) via FedEx service.

Should I sign a new lease for fall quarter? 

According to UCLA Student Legal Services (SLgS), if you sign, you likely will be responsible for paying rent for the entire term of the lease even if you are not living in the apartment. SLgS suggests trying to negotiate with your prospective landlord to add a provision that would relieve you of your responsibilities under the lease for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit their website for sample provisions, to make an appointment to have your lease reviewed, and information on terminating a lease. 

Are you seeking housing for Spring Quarter?

If you are interested in subleasing an apartment for spring quarter, you can contact Student Legal Services (SLgS) as they are assisting many students who are looking for sub-tenants.  SLgS can add your name to a list that will be shared with the students who hope to sublease their apartment.  You can contact SLgS at slegal@ucla.edu or 310.825.9894.  Please be sure to include your name, phone number, and email address.

Do I have to return to my home country?

No. While the campus is taking precautionary measures to reduce the population density on campus, F-1 and J-1 students may remain in the U.S. if they choose to do so.

Will my F-1 status (I-20) or J-1 status (DS-2019) be terminated if I leave the U.S. to continue my full-time enrollment online and from my home country?

No. As long as you maintain full-time enrollment in Spring 2020, the Dashew Center will maintain an active F-1 or J-1 status.

What happens to my F-1 or J-1 visa if I am outside the U.S. for more than 5 months?

If you enroll full-time for the Spring 2020 quarter and complete all classes, have a valid visa, and an I-20/DS-2019, we do not anticipate F&J visa cancellations if you intend to return to the U.S. for the Fall 2020 quarter/semester or Summer Session 2020.

Will my F-1 or J-1 status be terminated if I drop my classes or declare non-attendance?

Yes, in most cases. Please see:

What if I am a continuing student from a country that has heavily been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and it is safer for me to stay in the U.S. Can I stay?

Yes, as long as you maintain full-time enrollment and conform to all regulatory compliance requirements. If you are unable to maintain full-time enrollment, please contact the Dashew Center.

When will the COVID-19 related travel restrictions be lifted?

We do not have an estimated timeline from the federal government. We will provide updates as they become available.

Is it possible that the travel restrictions due the COVID-19 outbreak will be expanded?

This is a fluid situation and other countries could be added to the list of travel restrictions countries as more COVID-19 cases are being detected.

Can I apply for CPT / AT and work remotely?

F-1 students may engage in CPT during their time abroad, provided they are:

  • Enrolled in a program of study in which CPT is integral to the program of study;
  • Their DSO authorized CPT in advance of the CPT start date; and
  • Either the employer has an office outside the United States or the employer can assess student engagement and attainment of learning objectives electronically.

Messages from the Dashew Center Director

The President's COVID-19-related proclamations and orders to limit travel to the United States:

On May 24, 2020 - Presidential Proclamation titled Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Coronavirus. The proclamation cites INA 212(f) to suspend entry into the United States of all aliens (immigrants, nonimmigrants, and other non U.S. citizens) who were physically present in the Federative Republic of Brazil during the 14-day period preceding their attempted entry into the United States. This coronavirus travel ban is effective starting 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on May 28, 2020.

On March 18, 2020 - The President announced that the U.S. and Canada had agreed to close their border to non-essential travel. For more information, please see this article.

On March 14, 2020 - Presidential Proclamation titled Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Coronavirus. The proclamation cites INA 212(f) to suspend entry into the United States of all aliens (immigrants, nonimmigrants, and other non U.S. citizens) who were physically present in the United Kingdom or Ireland during the 14-day period preceding their attempted entry into the United States. This coronavirus travel ban is effective starting 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 16, 2020.

On March 11, 2020 - Presidential Proclamation titled Proclamation - Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus. The proclamation cites INA 212(f) to suspend entry into the United States of all aliens (immigrants, nonimmigrants, and other non U.S. citizens) who were physically present in the Schengen Area (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland) during the 14-day period preceding their attempted entry into the United States. This coronavirus travel ban is effective starting 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on March 13, 2020.

On February 29, 2020 - Presidential Proclamation titled Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Coronavirus. The proclamation cites INA 212(f) to suspend entry into the United States of all aliens (immigrants, nonimmigrants, and other non U.S. citizens) who were physically present within the Islamic Republic of Iran during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. This coronavirus travel ban is effective starting 5:00 p.m. eastern standard time on March 2, 2020. This proclamation does not apply to persons aboard a flight scheduled to arrive in the United States that departed prior to 5:00 p.m. eastern standard time on March 2, 2020.

January 31, 2020 - Proclamation 9984 titled Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus. The proclamation cites INA 212(f) to suspend entry into the United States of all aliens (immigrants, nonimmigrants, and other non U.S. citizens) who were physically present within the People's Republic of China, excluding the Special Autonomous Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. This coronavirus travel ban is effective starting 5 p.m. on Sunday, February 2, 2020.

Important Links:

COVID-19 Basic Needs Resource Guide

CPO Online Food Closet

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) information for the UCLA campus community

COVID-19 information sessions

Contact Info for Foreign Embassies & Consulates

The Arthur Ashe Student Health & Wellness Center (The Ashe Center)

UCLA Bruins Safe Online

CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Updates

COVID-19 Country Information from DOS Visa Office - The Department of State provides links to country-specific information related to COVID-19.

U.S. Visa Services in China Remain Suspended

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health