For International Students
I’m worried about being able to get an F-1 or J-1 visa this summer. What should I do? – June 9
Embassy closures will make it difficult for international students hoping to start studying in the U.S. this fall. ISS does not have any information about when embassies will resume non-emergency services, but we recommend that students pay close attention to the embassy’s website and social media accounts for announcements. Even when embassies are closed, students might still be able to proceed with the steps to request a visa interview appointment (https://www.plu.edu/iss/new-students/visa/). Check the website for your closest U.S. embassy or consulate for guidance on how to request an expedited appointment.
Am I able to do a remote or virtual internship for CPT? – June 9
Yes, students can complete their CPT internship remotely. Please contact Heather Jacobson, Coordinator of ISS, if you have additional questions about CPT.
Will the transition to distance learning impact my eligibility for Optional Practical Training? – June 9
Students will maintain their F-1 status and eligibility for OPT, even if they decided to return home for part of Spring Semester 2020. However, OPT applications must still be mailed from within the U.S. Please contact Heather Jacobson, Coordinator of ISS, if you have additional questions about OPT.
I have been admitted for Fall 2020. Will PLU open as scheduled? – June 9
Yes. At this time, no change is planned for the 2020-2021 academic year. Please refer to our Academic Calendar .
Are international students able to participate in distance learning/remote instruction without affecting their immigration status? – June 9
Given the extraordinary circumstances we are in, the U.S. government has announced that restrictions on online learning will be relaxed temporarily. International students will maintain their F-1 or J-1 visa status while PLU includes distance learning as part of its response to the pandemic.
If I don’t feel comfortable returning to my home country due to COVID-19 or other concerns, is it possible to stay on-campus? – June 9
Summer housing will be available and is managed by PLU Hospitality Services. You can learn more about summer housing and apply at https://www.plu.edu/hospitality/summer-housing/
Is the International Student Center open this summer? – June 9
The International Student Center will be open limited hours during the summer. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
I need to get my I-20 signed for travel ASAP! What can I do? – March 30
The International Student Center is closed as Heather Jacobson works from home. However, a travel signature is something that we can delay and take care of later by physical mail. You don’t need a valid travel signature to leave the U.S., only to enter it, so if you’re not planning to return until next fall there will be plenty of time to mail a new I-20 to your home country. Please contact Heather for instructions on requesting a replacement I-20.
Since the university is moving to remote learning, I plan to leave campus and come back by April 27th. What should I do before I depart? – March 16
I am graduating in May and plan to apply for OPT, but I want to go home for a few weeks. What should I do? – March 16
Students will maintain their F-1 status and eligibility for OPT, even if they choose to return home for part of the semester. However, OPT applications must be mailed from within the U.S., so students are advised to complete their applications before returning home. Please contact Heather Jacobson, Coordinator of ISS, if you have additional questions about OPT.
I am on CPT right now: Do I need to stop my employment? – March 16
Students on CPT are not required to stop their employment. However, they should discuss with their CPT employer whether alternate work arrangements (such as working from home) are feasible.Please contact Heather Jacobson, Coordinator of ISS, if you have additional questions about CPT.
Will it affect my PLU scholarship if I return to my home country? – March 16
No, as long as you stay enrolled. If you withdraw from your classes and receive a tuition refund, then your scholarship might be prorated.
What else will International Student Services do to support international students? – March 16
International Student Services remains committed to supporting international students as they navigate these challenging times. If you have questions or concerns, we are available to advise you and we will help liaise with other offices as needed to support you.