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February 5, 2021

International Center Service Operations for Spring 2021
For Spring 2021, the International Center will be continuing to operate remotely. The International Center's offices will remain closed and in-person advising and services will not be available. The best way to connect with us if you have questions about visas, immigration, or other matters is by e-mail at Please provide a detailed description of your question and your student ID number (if applicable). We will endeavor to answer your question within 1-2 business days of receiving your question. Other ways to connect with us are through individual on-line appointments, drop-in on-line appointments, and by participating in our on-line workshops and information sessions.

All advising will be done remotely, using Zoom or similar means. We will be offering individual advising by appointment, as well as drop-in hours most days of the week. Refer to our Hours of Operation and information about advising appointments and drop-in hours to schedule an appointment or access drop-in advising.

F-1 Student Visa Status Requirements for Spring 2021
Welcome – or welcome back – to Tufts for the Spring 2021 semester! Immigration has extended allowances to maintain F-1 status throughout remote or hybrid operations for the Spring 2021 semester. Continuing students may maintain F-1 status through remote study, even from outside the US. Please remember that you must register a full courseload (12 SHUs for undergraduates/9 SHUs or 6 SHUs +RA/TA for graduates) in order to keep F-1 student status, whether you are studying within or outside the US. If you have less than a full courseload remaining to complete your degree, you do not need to register for extra courses, but please be sure to submit a Final Semester Reduced Course Load notification to our office as soon as possible.

IMPORTANT: As a reminder, all new students who have entered the US for the first time in Spring 2021 must register for at least one in-person or hybrid course in order to maintain F-1 status.

International Student Orientations
For new undergraduate and graduate students starting at Tufts this Spring (whether inside the US or remotely), you should have received an email notification about completing an International Center Orientation. All students who are attending Tufts this Spring are required to complete this Orientation program, which will be presented asynchronously on Canvas. The Orientation sessions involve watching videos to meet our team, to understand policies and procedures to maintain your visa status, and to learn about resources and departments on campus that are available to assist you during your time at Tufts. You will be asked to confirm that you have watched and understood specific modules. There will also be forums to chat with other students and ask any questions you might have. We hope the Orientation helps you feel prepared to succeed at Tufts and feel knowledgeable about maintaining your visa status in the United States.
Fletcher Students: The Spring 2021 new student orientation has been completed on January 15, 2021.  If you could not attend the mandated SEVIS information session over Zoom during the orientation week, please email Reiko Ohmura: .

New Students – Confirmation of Arrival
If you are a new or transfer student attending Tufts from within the United States, we will need to activate your SEVIS record within 30-days of the start of classes.
**New students studying remotely from outside the US do not need to complete this.**

In order for us to do so, you will need to:

  1. Submit your Spring 2021 Study Plan, if you have not already.
  2. Complete the Confirmation of Arrival (COA).
  3. Register as a full-time student (Undergraduate students: 12 SHUs, Graduate students: 9 SHUs or 6 SHUs+ RA/TA). If you came to the US on an Initial I-20 for Spring 2021, you must have at least one hybrid or in-person class on your course schedule.
  4. Update your local U.S. address and phone number in SIS.
    • Save your Massachusetts Address as CURRENT ADDRESS
    • Save your Foreign Permanent Address as HOME ADDRESS
    • Add your 10-digit U.S. phone number if available. Do not use dashes or add ‘1’ before area code.

CPT and OPT Workshops for Spring 2021
The International Center has scheduled several on-line Zoom workshops throughout the next few months for F-1 students interested in either Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT). Please visit our calendar for dates, times, and links to register in advance. Students who are completing their programs in Spring 2021 are strongly encouraged to attend and to apply for OPT early, as USCIS processing times can take between 3-5 months on average. Additional information about OPT can be found at

Filing 2020 Taxes
It’s that time of year again! All international students and scholars who were present in the US at any time during 2020 will need to file a tax return, whether or not you earned income. Our office has arranged tax filing software through Sprintax to assist you with the tax filing process. We encourage you to use this software to make sure your taxes are filed correctly. We will be sending out information about how to use Sprintax to file your 2020 tax return next week – please keep an eye out for it!

Programming Assistant Job Opening
The International Center is hiring a part-time Programming Assistant for the Spring 2021 semester. The main responsibility of this role will be to plan and execute 2-3 events during the spring semester, that address the varied needs and interests of the Tufts international student population. Please view the listing on Handshake and Fletcher Core for more information.

Tufts 101 – Introducing Tufts and our Peer Advisors
The Tufts International Center Peer Advisors would like to invite first year students, especially those arriving on campus for the first time, to a virtual welcome event. Get to know our Peer Advisors and learn about that various university resources and organizations that aid and support both international and domestic students, as well as the different student groups and community development opportunities here at Tufts. The International Center Peer Advisors are undergraduate students across the Medford and SMFA campuses that are here to help you with questions and concerns that go beyond immigration advice, such as life in Boston (or the US more generally), how to make friends and meet new people virtually, and how to locate resources that can help you make the most of your time at Tufts. Join us via Zoom on Wednesday, February 10th 12:00 – 1:00 PM EST.

My Tufts Story: Deadline Extended: 9am EST on Monday, March 1st, 2021
Submit to the 2nd annual My Tufts Story Video Contest! Open to all Tuft students, My Tufts Story, sponsored by the Office of the Provost, aims to showcase all the different ways students have shaped their Tufts experience around their interests and passions. Tell us your story! What path have you taken since coming to Tufts? Whatever your passions are, we want to know!

All videos should be no longer than two minutes, and cash prizes will be awarded to the top videos.
More details including contest rules, guidelines, how to enter, and examples from past winners can be found on our website at:

Thank you for your attention and we very much look forward to working with you in the coming weeks, months, and years. In the meantime, please stay healthy and safe.

Tufts International Center