COVID-19: International Student FAQs

In order to provide clarity on various topics in regards to the latest update to USD's response to the COVID-19 crisis, we put together this page to answer some commonly asked questions. Please review the information below as it pertains to you. We will be updating this page frequently as we continue to receive information. You are advised to check this page regularly.

If you have concerns, you are invited to contact the International Center. The USD Counseling Center remains open as well, which each of you are welcome to access for free and confidential counseling services, regardless of whether or not you are enrolled in the USD insurance plan.

The information and advice indicated on this webpage is based on prevailing guidance as mandated by the US Dept. of Homeland Security. Please be advised that this information is subject to change; updates announced hereafter will be published on this page as soon as we receive official notification. Please check this page regularly for the most current information. Continuing F-1 students will also receive applicable notifications via their USD email.

Update on the Spring 2021 semester - (undergraduate students only)

Per the recent announcement regarding the Spring 2021 semester, USD will begin the semester, which starts on January 25th for undergraduate students and some graduate programs, with remote instruction only. USD intends to move to the hybrid academic model when state recommendations and county orders permit us to do so. 

Please refer to the USD COVID-19 Campus Action Plan and the FAQs below for more information. Students should continue to check both these page regularly over the coming weeks.

International Travel Update - New CDC Order

Students should be aware of a new CDC order that will go into effect in January 26, 2021. Per this order: "Air passengers are required to get a viral test (a test for current infection) within the 3 days before their flight to the U.S. departs, and provide written documentation of their laboratory test result (paper or electronic copy) to the airline or provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19. Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers or documentation of recovery before they board. If a passenger does not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery, or chooses not to take a test, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger."

More information can be found on the CDC's FAQ page, and we advise students to contact their airline directly if they have questions about this policy. Students planning a return to the U.S. should review the "Immigration and Travel" section below for more information.

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 13th

Spring 2021 Semester Plan

  • What is the plan for the Spring 2021 semester? Will classes be in person or online?
  • What can I expect in my hybrid classes?
  • Will the 100% remote option be available for the spring semester?
  • I am a new international student seeking to enter the U.S. in the spring. Who should I contact regarding my I-20?
  • I am a continuing F-1 student. How does this announcement impact me?
  • I am a graduate student. Where can I find information regarding the Spring 2021 semester plan for my program?

Immigration and Travel

  • I'm a continuing student who is currently abroad. Can I return to the U.S.?
  • I am a continuing student traveling to the U.S. soon. Am I allowed to enter the U.S.? What documents do I need?
  • I am a continuing student from a travel ban country. What are my options for returning to the U.S.?
  • What will happen to my F-1 status?
  • I am traveling home soon. What do I need to be aware of?
  • I will graduate after the spring semester. Am I still eligible for OPT?
  • What if I am starting CPT or OPT soon and I need a Social Security number?

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