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LEC International Education Information

Important Information for International Students at CU-Louisville

Select from the following topics to quickly access information you may need while at CU.

  1. COVID-19 Updates and Healthcare
  2. Immigration Status
  3. Program Details
  4. Enrollment Status
  5. Practical Training and Employment
  6. Personal and Family Travel

COVID-19 Updates and Healthcare

COVID-19 Travel Information
COVID-19 FAQs
Health Insurance Coverage
Reduced Course Load (RCL)

Immigration Status

Maintenance of Status Compliance Notification (pdf)

Maintenance of Evidence (pdf)

Change of Address Compliance Notification (pdf)

Change of Status Information Guide (pdf)

Address Change Form (TigerNet e-form)

Preparing for Successful Visa Interviews (pdf)

How you answer your H-1B RFE (pdf)

Reinstatement of Status Information Guide (pdf)

EShip Global/UEMS Mailing Instructions (pdf)

Program Details

PMBA and MSITM FAQ’s (pdf)

Enrollment Status

Courtesy SEVIS Record Transfer Form (pdf)

Reduced Course Load (RCL): Exceptions to the Full-Course of Study Requirement

    • Academic Difficulty in the First Semester
    • Temporary Illness or Medical Condition
    • Completion of the Semester when Only One Course Is Needed
    • Second Consecutive Final Semester, Not a Third

Program Extension Form (pdf)

Authorized early withdrawal (pdf)

MSITM Withdrawal Form (pdf)

Practical Training and Employment

Social Security Number

Economic Hardship

Employment

Personal and Family Travel

Travel and Your Programs FAQ (pdf)

Family Visit Visa Letter Template (MS Word template)

Traveling while on OPT


COVID-19 Travel Information

CU understands this is a stressful time. Many of you have friends and family around the world are impacted by the pandemic. There continues to be much uncertainty and travel restrictions can change rapidly. University administration and OISS staff are monitoring the news and government updates.
Presently, the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel restrictions do not apply to any foreign nationals who are:

  • Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR/Green Card holders) of the United States
  • Spouses of US citizens or LPRs
  • Parents or legal guardians of US citizens or LPRs, provided the US citizen or LPR is unmarried and under the age of 2
  • Sibling of US citizens or LPRs, provided that both are unmarried and under the age of 21
  • Children, foster children, or wards of US citizens or LPRs or who are prospective adoptees seeking to enter the US pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications

For additional exceptions, see the Presidential Proclamation

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Covid-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Last updated on March 15, 2020.

What is the status of spring semester classes?
The Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) provided general guidance earlier this week that made accommodations for students already/currently in the U.S. regarding online study and maintenance of status. At this time all CU classes are provided via distance learning.  As soon as the learning format changes to the residencies you will be notified.

Since the CU decision on March 10 is to offer spring classes online, can I return home for classes; will my F-1 SEVIS record and I-20 remain valid?

Yes, nonimmigrant students can temporarily engage in distance-learning, either from within the U.S. or outside the country, in light of COVID-19. SEVP will provide updated guidance as additional information concerning the scope and length of this situation becomes clearer. International student records will remain active in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) so long as students intend to resume their course of studies when classes start up again, just as they would for regularly scheduled academic breaks.

I am considering returning home for spring semester and possibly summer semester as well? What should I do?

It is important to understand the impact taking time off from your studies may have on your immigration status. If you decide to take spring semester (and possibly summer semester) off, please review the following information.

Submit an Authorized Early Withdrawal form

Other Full-Time Enrollment Exceptions

Also, consider these factors before making your decision:

                        • Are you completing your current semester or withdrawing from this semester?
                        • How many semesters do you plan to be away from CU?
                        • Are you close to graduation?
                        • Do you plan to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT)?

If you have additional questions, please submit a request through the ISSRS ticket system be sure to read the knowledge base before submission as the answer to your question may already be there.

I am currently in the U.S. but was planning to travel outside of the U.S. soon. Should I cancel my trip?

We do not know how long these travel restrictions will last and what additional countries may be added to the restrictions already in place.
If you decide to travel, be prepared, understand the risks, and be advised that you might not be able to return to the U.S. for an unknown period of time. Your trip may be disrupted, or you may be quarantined upon your return.

Which countries are impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions to the U.S.? If I am outside of the U.S., what should I do?

The restricted countries changes frequently.  Please view the Department of Homeland Security website to get up to date facts and travel restrictions.

I am currently in my home country and was planning to return to CU for spring semester. If I am unable to return to the U.S. due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, what should I do?

Every student’s situation is different please submit a request through the ISSRS ticket system and an Immigration advisor will help you work through this decision. The CU advisor may not be able to answer all questions until we hear more from CU leadership and the U.S. government. Options may include:

                      • Continue to monitor the situation until we are closer to summer semester. We are waiting for updates from the U.S. government to determine if there will be any exceptions or accommodations for students needing to return for studies.
                      • Leave of Absence
                      • Medical Reduced Course Load (if applicable)

Can I travel to another country before traveling to the U.S.?

If you plan to travel to another country before entering the U.S., be sure to review any travel restrictions in that country before making travel plans. Be aware that you must remain physically present outside of the country impacted by travel restrictions for 14 days or more before you will be allowed to enter the U.S. ISS advisors cannot advise on travel to countries other than the U.S., so make sure you do your research and understand any restrictions or requirements before traveling.

How long will these travel restrictions last?

The U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services will monitor the situation. No more than 15 days after the date of the proclamation, and every 15 days after, the Secretary will advise whether the restriction continue, change, or end. See proclamation section 5.

I am currently in a country impacted by the travel restrictions. Can I provide a negative test result for COVID-19 to enter the U.S.?

The U.S. government is not allowing exceptions at this time. Continue to monitor the news or this web page for updates.

I am currently in a country impacted by the COVID-19 travel restrictions but have not been near any of the impacted cities. Can I return to the U.S.?

The U.S. government is not allowing exceptions at this time. Continue to monitor the news or this web page for updates.

Are there travel restrictions in the U.S.?

Please monitor the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to determine if there are any recommendations for the state to state or regional restrictions.

I am having difficulty paying my tuition by the deadline what should I do?

Contact Vickie Montgomery about your situation before the tuition deadline. The Business Office may be able to offer you payment plan options.  vlmontgomery@campbellsville.edu  (502) 753-0264 x6027

I am nearing the end of my F-1 status and my plan was to return to my home country. I would prefer to stay in the U.S. for now. What are my options?

Every student’s situation is different. Open a ISSRS ticket if you have not already done so and an ISS adviser reply to you directly about your options.

I am feeling very anxious about the COVID-19. What should I do?

If you are experiencing stress or anxiety about this situation, we encourage you to reach out to counselors, advisers, or friends to talk about your feelings.

Main Campus Director, Counseling Center  Peggy Richerson 270.789.5070 pcrichardson@campbellsville.edu

Director, Marriage and Family Therapy (non-students) Kenneth Hollis 502.753.0264 x6016

These professionals are available to help.

Will students be able to return to the United States if they are continuing their studies outside of the country as a result of COVID-19?

Students who continue to make normal progress in their course of study remain eligible for admission into the United States. However, because of the changing array of travel restrictions, nonimmigrant students should refer to their local embassy’s website through the U.S. Department of State for any updates about visa issuance. Also, DHS and CDC websites both provide information about current travel restrictions to the United States.

Can F-1 students who were previously employed and are now unemployed due to COVID-19 apply for unemployment benefits?

Students who are unemployed due to COVID-19 should contact their local or state employment agency for more information.

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Health Insurance Coverage

Campbellsville University recommends new world-class coverage plans to support student access to healthcare through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI), as well as dental and vision care through DeltaDental of KY and DeltaVision of KY. These companies have nationwide networks of providers available in most areas across the country. (See pdfs attached for complete details with specific coverages and exclusions.)

These insurance programs are Self-Enroll and Self-Pay, meaning students work directly with the insurance companies. Campbellsville University is not involved in any enrollment or any transactions and it has no impact on your program of study.

CISI Medical Insurance (Aetna Network) provides medical insurance plans on the nationwide Aetna network for students on F-1 VISAs and their dependents. The can be found here Cultural Insurance (CISI). The pdf World Class Coverage Plan includes everything students need to review the plan and sign-up for coverage.

Delta Dental is generally accepted nationwide and offers a couple of tiers for their plans (see Delta Dental Brochure). Students may search for local providers in their area at https://www.deltadental.com/us/en/find-a-dentist.html. Kathy Hawthorne (Kathy@jessieinsurance.com) from Jessie Insurance Agency of Central Kentucky is the local contact who can assist students with enrollment.

These insurance programs are Self-Enroll and Self-Pay; they are not administered by or billed through the University.

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Reduced Course Load

SEVP regulations provide limited reasons for granting students a Reduced Course Load (RCL). Only students having specific initial academic difficulties in their first semester, students experiencing temporary illnesses or ongoing medical conditions, or students needing fewer courses than a full-load in their final term to complete the program of study may be authorized by a DSO to drop below a full course load. In extreme circumstances when complete documentation is provided, a student may be granted a reduction in course load to zero credit hours (“no course load”).

Limitations:

1. An RCL for academic reasons may be authorized only once per degree level.
2. An RCL for health reasons:

    • may be authorized on more than one occasion while pursuing a course of study, so long as the aggregate of authorizations does not exceed 12 months per degree level
    • may be authorized for no course load, if necessary
    • must be reauthorized each new term
    • must be substantiated by current medical documentation from a licensed Medical Doctor, licensed Doctor of Osteopathy, or licensed Clinical Psychologist
    • must be recommended for a specific period
    • may render students ineligible for employment authorizations of any kind, including CPT, for the du- ration of the RCL

3. An RCL for final term program completion:

    • is intended to be used only once per program of study, however…
    • a student may be approved for a second consecutive final-term RCL
    • a student cannot be approved for a third consecutive final-term RCL

4. Once approved, an RCL cannot be canceled.
In order to receive an RCL for health reasons, you must:

  • Login to myGlobalCU using your TigerNet credentials
  • Complete the Student section of the Reduced Course Load Request Form (download from instructions Reduced Course Load Instructions Page; your SEVIS ID number must be included on this form)
  • Submit the RCL Request Form for the Medical Provider section to be completed by a licensed Medical Doctor, licensed Doctor of Osteopathy, or licensed Clinical Psychologist (the form cannot be signed by Nurse Practitioners and Physicians Assistants)
  • In the RCL Portal:
    • verify your current residential address
    • enter the requested start and end dates for the RCL
    • upload your completed and signed RCL Request Form

In order to receive an RCL for completion of one course in a final semester, students must:

  • Login to myGlobalCU using your TigerNet credentials
  • Complete the e-form RCL Portal:
    • verify your current residential address
    • enter the requested start and end dates for the RCL
    • upload a copy of your unofficial transcript

The Office of International Student Services will make a decision on your RCL request within seven (7) busi- ness days of its submission and will notify you through your University email.

CAUTION: Do not discontinue participation or enrollment before receiving written notice of authorization of your RCL request, otherwise you risk having you SEVIS record terminated for unauthorized withdrawal, which would require the immediate departure of you and your dependents from the U.S.

The full text of the RCL regulations is available at: 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(iii).

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Special Student Relief and Severe Economic Hardship

Special Student Relief (SSR) originally permitted students to enroll part-time, apply for a work permit, and request a fee waiver—-­­­­ to apply for the I-765. In today’s COVID-19 environment with about one million international students in the US and the fact USCIS could not process benefits in a timely manner before this crisis, it is doubtful that this plan will be rolled out as it was in the past. If an SSR is rolled out it will likely be adjudicated by the Universities. If this is approved by DHS, CU will notify any eligible students with instructions about how to process a request.

For additional information:Humanitarian/Special Situations and Special Student Relief for F-1 Students: Essential Concepts.. Keep checking these sites and this page for updates.

Another option for students is called Severe Economic Hardship (SEH). This benefit is for students who have completed at least an academic year (two complete full-time semesters; about 8 months) at CU and have had unforeseen economic hardship. Examples of severe economic hardship could include such things as death of a sponsor or severe devaluation of currency.

Before you apply for this benefit, keep in mind that the eligibility requirements are extensive. If you have not completed two full semesters, you are not eligible.Further, the work permit only permits 20 hours per week, takes a minimum 90 days to approve, may require a $410 application fee, and approval is not guaranteed. Additionally, the work authorization will never permit more than 20 hours per week, since there are no vacations in for the Masters programs at CU.

If you already have work authorization through CPT, there would be no benefit in applying for a work permit outside your current benefit. The only difference between the two is, with the SEH employment authorization, you would not be limited to a job related to your program of study.

For additional questions and the links to the sites that offer work permits, contact Peter Thomas, PDSO at pithomas@campbellsville.edu so he can quickly help assess your situation and get you a rapid response.

Only DHS can authorize this. Do not be fooled by anyone else assuring you they can get you a work permit. CU will guide you if you have questions.

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Practical Training and Employment

While employment options are available for F-1 students, always remember: F-1 students have been ad- mitted to the US based on education, not employment; all employment for F-1 students is practical training as a part of a student’s program of study.

At CU, we support practical training during the program only through Curricular Practical Training (CPT). We support practical training after completion of a program through Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT allows students to gain experience in the fields for which they are studying while their programs are in process. To be eligible, students must be maintaining their immigration status and making normal academic progress toward completion of their educational objectives. This training opportunity is adjudicated at the University level by DSOs. For more information about eligibility and applying for CPT, login to myGlobalCU using your TigerNet credentials and click on F-1 Curricular Practical Training.

Remember, as an F-1 student you are not enrolled in your program in order to support your employment; your employment is practical training for the program of study in which you are enrolled.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

turning to their home countries or beginning a new educational objective in the US. CU supports students for two types of OPT: Post-Completion OPT and STEM Extension OPT. These training opportunities are not adjudicated on the University level; rather, students must first receive a recommendation from a DSO and then must apply to USCIS for OPT approval.

Post-Completion OPT is a practical training experience available to students who have just completed a program of study. It is generally approved for up to 1 year. Students may apply as early as 90 days before the completion of their program or up to 60 days after. Great care must be taken when applying in order to ensure a smooth process, so DSOs will help you prepare for your application. You must first receive a DSO recommendation, then gather all of the required documentation, and then submit your application packet to USCIS on time. For more information about eligibility and applying for OPT, login to myGlobalCU using your TigerNet credentials, click on F-1 Optional Practical Training and refer to the Post-Completion OPT Request instructions.

STEM Extension OPT is a practical training experience available at the conclusion of Post-Completion OPT to students who have earned a degree in a STEM field, either at the current or previous education level. It is generally approved for up to 2 years. Students must receive a recommendation from a DSO and apply before the end of their Post-Completion OPT. Great care must be taken when applying in order to ensure a smooth process, so DSOs will help you prepare for your application. You must first receive a DSO recommendation, then gather all of the required documentation, and then submit your application packet to USCIS on time. For more information about eligibility and applying for OPT, login to myGlobalCU using your Tiger- Net credentials, click on F-1 Optional Practical Training, and refer to the STEM Extension OPT Request instructions.

Days of unemployment on OPT: While on OPT, students are responsible for tracking and reporting periods of unemployment. Failure to do so can result in termination of a student’s SEVIS record, with all the legal implications of failing to maintain F-1 status. On Post-Completion OPT, students are permitted to accrue up to 90 days of unemployment before the OPT is automatically terminated. On STEM Extension OPT, students are permitted an additional 60 days of unemployment. The accrued Days of Unemployment be- tween Post-Completion and STEM Extension OPT can be no more than 150 days in total.

Reporting Requirements on OPT: While on OPT, students are responsible for providing updates to SEVIS and the University for employment data, personal contact information, and travel. Updates and changes must be reported within 10 days of the change — including resignations, dismissals, terminations, or layoffs. Travel while on OPT also requires special considerations, so travel must always be reported to the University through myGlobalCU using the Travel Endorsement e-form.

Travel while on OPT: Travel when OPT applications are pending is strongly discouraged by CU. But in cases of emergency, students who must leave the US before their OPT is approved must carry specific documentation in order to return.

    • Students with pending Post-Completion OPT Applications:
        • Passport valid for 6 months beyond entry date
        • Valid F-1 Visa stamp in your Passport
        • Form I-20 with OPT recommendation and recent travel signature (within past 6 months)
        • Form I-797C Receipt Notice showing USCIS is reviewing your application
        • Copy of EAD Card (if OPT was approved while you were out of the country)
    • Students with pending STEM Extension OPT Applications:
        • Passport valid for 6 months beyond entry date
        • Valid F-1 Visa stamp in your Passport
        • Form I-20 with OPT recommendation and recent travel signature (within past 6 months)
        • Form I-797C Receipt Notice showing USCIS is reviewing your application
        • Unexpired EAD Card for Post-Completion OPT
        • Proof of employment (offer letter or employment confirmation letter from employer)

Additional Considerations:

  • If you travel outside the US while unemployed, the time spent outside the US will still count as unemployment against the 90-day limit for Post-Completion OPT and the additional 60-day limit for STEM Extension OPT (maximum 150 days altogether).
  • If you travel outside the US while employed, whether during an employer-authorized leave of ab- sence or as part of your employment, the time spent outside the United States will not count as unemployment.
  • If you travel outside the US during a Cap-Gap Extension period while an H-1B petition is pending approval, the petition will be considered abandoned.
  • Travel endorsements for students on OPT are only valid for 6 months, not 12 months.

How to Follow-Up on an OPT Application: USCIS will notify students by e-mail or cellphone when their OPT application has been received, if the student submitted the optional Form G-1145 in their OPT application packet. (The form cannot be sent later.) Applicants generally receive receipt notices within about 4 weeks of sending the application packet. These are not approval notices and do not grant any immigration status or benefit.

Receipt notices provide a receipt number, the date when application was received, and a brief statement about how to get status updates on the USCIS website using the receipt number.

It generally takes a minimum of 3 months for USCIS to adjudicate OPT application; currently, many are taking 180 days or more. Once USCIS approves the OPT, they send the student an Employment Authorization Document (EAD Card), bearing the OPT Start and End Dates and the student’s photograph. Communications from USCIS will be sent to the mailing address the student included on the OPT application, so be sure to use an address that is being checked often.

Students must have their EAD Card in-hand and wait until start date before engaging in employment. When the end date passes, students must immediately stop working unless they have a STEM Extension OPT application pending or they have been granted a Cap-Gap extension for H-1B.

OISS is not responsible for lost or delayed OPT applications. For questions about missing applications, students must contact USCIS directly at 1-800-375-5283; DSOs are not ermited to inquire on behalf of students.

Completion/Termination of OPT: When a student’s EAD Card has expired, a student must discontinue working. The student will have a 60-day grace period during which to decide what to do next. Before the end of the 60 days, a student must do one of the following:

    • Begin a new academic program (if the program is at a different school, the student must have their SEVIS record transferred)
    • Apply for a Change of Status to another Visa classification
    • Depart the US

Only students who complete OPT are eligible for the 60-day grace period. Students whose OPT has been terminated for any reason, including exceeding the maximum number of Days of Unemployment have no grace period.

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