COVID-19 Updates

Recent Updates

  • Winter 2021 Instruction and F-1/J-1 Updates

    The recent communication from Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Emily Carter describes the limitation on in-person UCLA course offerings for the 2021 winter quarter intended to protect the campus community and limit the spread of the COVID-19.

    We expect that U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will continue their policy to require students with initial attendance SEVIS records (Initial and Initial Transfer I-20/DS-2019 documents) to enroll in an in-person course for winter quarter 2021 to lawfully enter and remain in the U.S.

    If you are an admitted UCLA student who has not yet entered the U.S. and established valid F-1 or J-1 status due to Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) restrictions, you should not attempt to enter the U.S. if you are unable to enroll in at least one in-person course for winter quarter. You will be in violation of your student visa requirements upon arrival to the U.S. if you are not enrolled in an in-person course and UCLA will be unable to validate your F-1/J-1 status, even if you have an valid F-1/J-1 student visa, an F-1/J-1 admission stamp in your passport, and an updated Form I-20/DS-2019 for the winter quarter. Continuing UCLA international students who have already established their valid F-1/J-1 status in the U.S. are exempt from the in-person course enrollment requirement, and can enroll in all online classes for the winter term without impacting their visa status.

    In-person course offerings for winter quarter will highly depend on guidance from our local health authorities to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Any decisions made by campus leadership for the winter and spring quarters will prioritize the health and welfare of our campus community. The Registrar’s Office has compiled a list of approved winter on-site courses for your reference.

    Important Note: Courses not included in the approved winter on-site courses list will not be considered as in-person courses for F-1/J-1 visa status purposes. In addition, if a course is included in the approved on-site courses list, it does not guarantee that the course is available and will be held in-person as conditions may change or academic departments may decide to offer the course remotely. We strongly recommend that you check and verify in-person course availability with the academic department that is offering an in-person course before making your travel plans to the U.S. Individual arrangements made directly with professors to conduct in-person academic or research activities will not constitute approved in-person course enrollment for purposes of F-1/J-1 visa status validation if the course is not included in the approved campus list.

    We will send email updates to all international students in the coming weeks with more details as they become available. We strongly encourage you to check our COVID-19 Updates page regularly for updates to inform your plans.

  • Proposed Duration of Status (D/S) Rule

    On September 25, 2020, U.S. Department of Homeland Security published a proposed rule to eliminate duration of status for F, J and I visa holders (international students, exchange visitors, representatives of international media, and their dependents). Duration of status (D/S) currently provides F-1 and J-1 visa holders admission to the U.S. without a fixed end date to allow students and exchange visitors to maintain valid status for the duration of their programs and any following periods of practical training.

    If the rule is finalized as proposed, F and J visa holders would be admitted to the U.S. only until the program end date noted on their Form I-20 or DS-2019, not to exceed 4 years, plus a 30 day grace period. In addition, certain groups would be subject to a limited 2-year admission, depending on one’s country of citizenship, the type of institution where they are enrolled, or matters of U.S. national interest. International students or exchange visitors who need additional time beyond their period of admission would be required to file an extension of stay with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services before their period of admission expires. The public comment period for the proposed rule will end on October 26, 2020.

    The Dashew Center acknowledges the challenges and hardship that this new rule may create for our international student and scholar community. We support and uphold our commitment to making your welfare a priority and ensuring that you are always welcome at UCLA. We also are committed to providing accurate and transparent information as they become available. Therefore, the Dashew Center is currently unable to comment or advise on questions pertaining to the proposed D/S policy change and its potential impact on the UCLA community prior to the publication of the final rule. We will continue to work closely with campus partners, other UC campuses, UCOP and national organizations on joint advocacy efforts to support our international student and scholar community and will provide guidance and appropriate directions as soon as we can.

  • Fall Update: Shift to Primarily Remote Instruction, Reduced Housing and Implications for Newly Admitted International Students

    Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Emily Carter sent out a message on August 21 regarding UCLA's shift to primarily remote instruction and reduced student housing. 

    Dashew Center Director Sam Nahidi sent out a subsequent message on August 21 regarding the possible ineligibility for newly admitted students to meet DHS' in-person enrollment requirement for the fall. 

  • International Student Town Hall Questions 

    The Dashew Center would like to thank the campus community, especially our international students and scholars, who participated in the August 5 town hall. Several hundred questions were submitted during the Q&A portion and the Dashew Center in collaboration with campus partners is currently reviewing those questions. We will continue listing answers to submitted questions on the FAQ section of the COVID-19 Updates page. Thank you again for your participation.

  • State Department updates on U.S. Embassies and Consulates closures

  • Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) 7/6 Guidance Rescinded

    On 7/14/2020, a judge presiding over the lawsuit filed by Harvard and MIT against U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in Massachusetts announced that DHS had agreed to rescind the July 6, 2020 policy directive. Per the judge's announcement, “the government has agreed to…return to the status quo as established by the 3/9/20 policy directive and the addendum issued on 3/13/20,” allowing continuing international students to maintain valid F-1 status within the U.S. and overseas with full-time online enrollment for the fall term. 

    The Harvard/MIT case was one of many lawsuits that was filed against U.S. Department of Homeland Security to challenge the 7/6 SEVP guidance. Both the University of California (UC) the State of California also filed lawsuits in the Northern District of California against U.S. Department of Homeland Security, seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief of enforcement of the 7/6 policy directive. 

    In light of the announcement that the 7/6 policy directive was rescinded, both UC and the State of California agreed that their preliminary injunction motions are no longer needed at this time, but they will continue to monitor the federal government's implementation of the rescission and are scheduled to report back to the judge on July 21. As noted in the University's press release, the University of California stands ready to take further action if needed. 

    We will support and stand with you, and uphold our commitments to make your welfare a paramount concern and ensure that you are always welcome at UCLA.

  • Current Document Processing Times and Mailing Options