Office of International Students and Scholars

COVID-19: International Student FAQs

Important Updates


May 26, 2020:

We have updated FAQ page under the Immigration and Travel Section: "What should I be aware of if I am returning home?" and "What should I be aware of if I am returning to the U.S.?" Students will be able to find answers related to traveling restrictions and guidance.  We will be updating this page over the next few days and weeks as more information becomes available.

May 8, 2020:

Please refer to our updated FAQ page regarding President Harris' recent announcement about the Fall 2020 semester. Please read through this information carefully and check back frequently. We will be updating this page over the next few days and weeks as more information becomes available.

April 23, 2020:

Our FAQ page was recently updated with information regarding President Trump's recent immigration ban and the IRS Economic Impact Payments. Be sure to check this page periodically for the latest updates.

March 20, 2020:

There are two critical announcements from the local and federal governments listed below which may impact your current or future plans:

March 19, 2020:

  • We would like to update you that due to new orders issued by the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, on-campus housing is no longer permitted to any students.  All on-campus residents must move out by March 22.  However, the university has secured limited housing at two off-campus locations to accommodate those who are unable to travel.  For more information, please click on the link under Section Student Life and Wellness, then look for "What will happen to my on-campus housing?"  
  • The U.S. Department of State has raised the Travel Alert to Level 4: Do Not Travel.  This may impact your existing or pending travel plan.  Please check with the airline or travel agent immediately.  Email us if you have any questions.
  • In order to continue maintaining your F-1 or J-1 status, please complete the Remote Study Plan, if you have not done so, or your plan has changed.  

March 18, 2020:  

Some international students struggle to make the final decision on whether or not to stay or return to their home country especially when traveling home is still an option and permissible.  It is critical to make the decision based on the safety, health care resource, and support system in light of illness at any point from now through the end of the semester. Please involve your family in the process. 

  • If you do decide to return to your home country, please check with your embassy's website first on any travel restrictions and then make your travel arrangement immediately as the situation changes rapidly.  For a complete list of Contact Info for Foreign Embassies and Consulates, please click on the link
  • If you do decide to remain in San Diego, it is important that you follow the new guidelines issued by the White House for the next two weeks – avoid gathering in groups of 10 or more, avoid discretionary travel (including domestic travel), shopping trips, social visits, and dining out, etc.  The situation is serious and we need everyone to follow through.

March 17, 2020:

Our office will continue to process requests and offer immigration advising during our regular business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm) through email and Zoom. However, we will not be conducting any in-person meetings and appointments or accepting walk-in traffic during this time.  Please refer to USD's Coronavirus (COVID-19) page for the latest campus-wide updates.  In addition, we encourage to check with your embassy's website for updated information.  For a complete list of Contact Info for Foreign Embassies and Consulates, please click on the link

Welcome to USD!

Welcome to our international family! USD hosts international students and scholars from more than 70 countries around the world. We are delighted that you are joining this group of distinguished students and scholars, and we hope that your experiences here will prove intellectually challenging, culturally enriching, and personally enjoyable, whether you stay only for a few weeks, or several years.

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OISS attempts to provide the most recent, useful information to our students. However, we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to here, the iTorero Portal, and in emails coming out of OISS. Information provided by OISS does not constitute and should not be considered legal advice or a legal opinion, and it may not necessarily reflect the most current legal developments. OISS likewise cannot guarantee the outcome of status-related benefit requests filed with US government agencies.  Students should seek the advice of counsel or a tax professional for additional guidance. OISS reminds students and scholars that failure to comply with F-1 and J-1 regulations is a violation of your status, which may result in serious consequences including the termination of your SEVIS record, your inability to re-enter the US, and the accrual of unlawful presence which could lead to your removal from the US. Direct all questions regarding your F-1 and J-1 status to OISS,