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Message to international students re: suspension of on-campus classes

Note: International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) sent the following message to all J-1 and F-1 international students at 11:45 a.m. on Thursday, March 12, 2020. More information can be found on the ISSS website.

Dear international students,

As Provost Love  announced  last night, Emory University has decided to extend spring break until March 22 and then transition to remote learning for the remainder of spring 2020 semester. We understand that it is challenging for you to navigate related changes, and we are here to support you.  ,

You might be wondering about your immigration status. Due to the unusual circumstances of the COVID-19 response, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced a special exception so that international students can continue their full-time studies this semester via remote learning. As a result, it is important that you do not drop your spring 2020 classes, but rather continue your current classes through Emory’s remote learning in order to maintain your immigration status.

If you currently live on campus, please refer to the message from Emory Housing Operations with special instructions for international students who will have difficulty returning to their home country based on governmental travel restrictions due to COVID-19, and other exception criteria. ,

If you are completing your studies in May 2020 and wish to apply for post-completion F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) or J-1 Academic Training (AT) to work in the US, please make plans to remain in the US as you cannot apply for OPT and AT from abroad.

If you choose to leave the U.S. as you continue your spring semester online courses remotely, please closely monitor the entry requirements related to COVID-19 for your destination country abroad. When you are ready to return to the U.S., please visit our website for relevant U.S. entry restrictions.

If you need a travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019, we are expanding our travel signature availability for you over the next several business days, beginning today. So, please complete the travel information update e-form in ISSS Link and come to ISSS anytime until 5 p.m. If you cannot come to ISSS before March 23, please do not worry as we can mail your I-20 or DS-2019 to you.

If you are currently participating in one of Emory’s study abroad programs, please contact your study abroad program advisor as they have country-specific information for you.

Regardless of where you remotely continue your studies starting March 23, you will still be able to contact your ISSS advisor by phone, email, Zoom, or  Skype, and submit your e-form requests online as usual.

We understand that this unprecedented decision will cause inconvenience and concerns. The Emory community is resilient and will come out of this crisis stronger than ever before. We are committed to helping you find solutions and connecting you to resources that will support you through this unusual semester. 

Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions or need our assistance. 

Best regards,
International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS)

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