On Friday, July 24, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program issued updated guidance and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that includes instructions to schools and to F-1 students regarding enrollment requirements for Fall 2020 programs. This new guidance expands on earlier guidance from March 9 and illustrates how the March 9 rules should be applied to the Fall 2020 semester.
The guidance confirms the following points:
New students are not permitted to enter the US as F-1 students at this time if their Fall 2020 programs are 100% online. However, new students may come to the US for in-person or hybrid programs. Once the Fall 2020 semester begins, new students must enroll in at least one in-person or hybrid class.
Continuing students who were in active F-1 status at Tufts during Spring 2020 may continue to maintain their current F-1 status by enrolling full-time. Students may take more than one on-line class and may enroll entirely on-line if necessary. Students can continue their studies either inside or outside the US and maintain their records in active status.
Transfer students who were in active F-1 status at another school during Spring 2020 are eligible to maintain their F-1 status by enrolling full-time at Tufts in the Fall 2020 semester. Students may take more than one on-line class and may enroll entirely on-line if necessary. However, special procedures may be required for students who plan to or must start their Tufts programs from outside the US since F-1 transfer procedures ordinarily require a student to report to campus first.
In addition to these general guidelines, the current guidance indicates that if Tufts were required to move to a 100% on-line program later in the semester due to a resurgence of COVID-19 emergency conditions, students would not lose their existing F-1 status.
We know that these general rules, as described above, do not address every situation. For greater detail about more specific situations, please take advantage of the following resources: