For Immigration Emergencies while OGS Is Closed
Please call NYU Campus Safety at 212-998-2222.
Frequently Asked Questions
From International Students
Travel, Visas, and Immigration Status
What if I can't return to the US for the new semester given travel restrictions and visa processing delays?
Regardless of where you are, as long as you are full-time enrolled your ACTIVE SEVIS record will remain valid. If you have an "initial" SEVIS record, you will need to contact OGS so that we can defer your document’s program start date to be after when you’re able to return to the US.
The US Department of State indicated students traveling from the Schengen Area, the UK, and Ireland with valid F-1 visas do not need to seek a national interest exception to travel. Students with valid J-1 visas, should contact your nearest US embassy or consulate as soon as possible to initiate an exception request.
Students who do not have valid F-1 or J-1 visas planning to travel should try to schedule an appointment with the nearest US embassy or consulate. As a reminder, while US embassies and consulates are beginning to resume routine visa services, there may be delays in appointment availability. J-1 students should also consult with the US embassy or consulate about initiating a travel exception request.
Can I enter the United States with my unexpired student visa even if I have a new SEVIS ID number?
The US Department of State (the government agency issuing visas) Consulate Field Advisory Manual states that students should get a new visa. In practice, however, US Customs and Border Protection (the government agency you interact with when traveling into the US) has not indicated that this will be a problem and remain consistent in admitting students who are in this situation into the United States without issue.
I am in the US now, but will be traveling abroad and do not have a valid travel signature.
Please review how to get a travel signature.
I forgot to get a travel signature before leaving the country.
It’s possible for you to get a travel signature from outside of US. Please review how to get a travel signature.
I have questions on how to get a new visa for the US. If I can no longer make a visa appointment due to consulate and embassy delays, what should I now do?
We recommend you continue to review the website of the consulate or embassy you intend to apply for your US visa at to be aware of any further updates in their services. To find the website of the consulate or embassy nearest you, review this listing of websites of US Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions. Please note, we are still processing I-20/DS-2019 applications for newly admitted students during this time. We encourage you to apply as soon as you’re able. Newly admitted students can also review our information on how to get a US visa.
I applied for a new visa and was told that my visa will be delayed due to "administrative processing."
Contact your school and/or department to inform them of your situation and find out what the latest possible date is that you can return to begin the new semester. Please also review our information on visa delays and denials.
I am in F-1 status and will be completing my academic program/post-completion OPT/STEM OPT soon. I am concerned that I will not be able to leave the United States before my 60 day grace period ends. What options exist for me?
US government guidance has indicated that there is not currently any flexibility on extending the grace period for F-1 students.
For students completing their academic program soon:
All students in F-1 status have up to sixty days after their program end date (this is the day you complete all requirements for your academic program) to decide what they will do next. This sixty days is also referred to as your “grace period.” Please review the options available to students who are graduating on our alumni page. If you're an F-1 student and want to work, you must apply for OPT within a month of completing your studies. If you are staying on at NYU to do another academic program, apply for a new I-20 or DS-2019 on our Change Major or Degree page. If you are starting an academic program at another school within the US, learn how to transfer out of NYU. These are all options that would permit you to continue to remain in the United States. If, however, you are not interested in pursuing any of these options, we encourage you to schedule an online advising appointment to discuss whether changing from F-1 to another status in the United States may be a viable option for you.
For students completing their Post-Completion OPT soon:
All students in F-1 status who have not yet accrued ninety days of unemployment during the post-completion OPT time period have up to sixty days after their OPT end date to remain legally in the United States. This sixty days is also referred to as your “grace period.” If, however, you wish to see if you can extend your time in the United States even further, one option would be STEM OPT, which may be a possibility for students who are currently on post-completion OPT, and who completed their degree at NYU (or a previous degree from another college or university within the United States) in a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) field. You can find further details, including eligibility requirements on our STEM OPT extension page. If you are currently on post-completion OPT and you have an employer interested in sponsoring you for an H-1B work visa, you may also be eligible to apply for a Cap Gap Extension. If, however, neither of these options are possible for you, we encourage you to schedule an online advising appointment to discuss whether changing from F-1 to another status in the United States may be a viable option for you.
For students completing their STEM OPT soon:
Students in F-1 status who have not yet accrued 150 days of unemployment during the post-completion and STEM OPT time period have up to sixty days after their STEM OPT end date to remain legally in the United States. This sixty days is also referred to as your “grace period.” If, however, you wish to see if you can extend your time in the United States even further, one option would be the cap gap extension. If you are currently on STEM OPT and you have an employer interested in sponsoring you for an H-1B work visa, you may be eligible to apply for a Cap Gap Extension. If this option is not possible for you, we encourage you to schedule an online advising appointment to discuss whether changing from F-1 to another status in the United States may be a viable option for you.
Academics and Enrollment
Will my visa/status be affected if I'm only enrolled in online courses? I thought I had to be enrolled in in-person classes to keep my status valid.
Students who have had active SEVIS records since at least March 9, 2020 can continue to count online classes towards a full course of study. This temporary provision is in effect for the “duration of the emergency.” Regardless of whether you are currently inside or outside of the United States, as long as you are a full-time enrolled student, NYU will continue to maintain your student status. This means that if you have an active SEVIS record (F-1 I-20), you will continue to have a valid I-20 for as long as you are enrolled full-time at NYU and the expiration date on your I-20 has not yet expired.
According to ICE guidance, new or initial students who intend to pursue a full course of study that will be completely online will likely not be able to obtain a student visa (though ultimately that decision is made by the US Department of State). The guidance also indicates that nonimmigrant students in "new" or "initial" status after March 9, 2020 will not be able to enter the US to enroll in a US school if the course of study is 100 percent online.
I won't be able to finish my academic program on time because of the COVID-19 situation. Can I get more time to finish my degree?
If you need additional time to complete your degree, please review our information on extending your study.
I have questions related to my OPT application or current OPT. Where can I get answers?
Please review our OPT FAQ page.
I have questions related to my STEM OPT application or current STEM OPT. Where can I get answers?
Please refer to our STEM OPT FAQs.
Will time spent working remotely outside the United States count towards my unemployment limit?
During the current COVID-19 crisis, the US government has indicated that remote employment may be counted for OPT purposes as long as a student’s employer has an office outside of the United States or the employer can assess student engagement using electronic means. See this guidance from the US government for further details.
Can I do Curricular Practical Training (CPT) outside of the US?
The US government’s recent guidance indicates that students can engage in CPT during their time outside of the US as long as:
- Students continue to be enrolled in a program of study in which CPT is integral to the program of study;
- Students have authorization before the start date of the CPT; and
- Either the employer has an office outside of the US or the employer can assess student engagement and attainment of their learning objectives electronically.
Furthermore, guidance from March 13 indicates any associated course enrollment with CPT can be online.
Questions Still Unanswered?
Please contact us or schedule an online advising appointment. If you make an appointment and decide you can no longer attend, please be sure to follow the instructions listed on that page on how to cancel the appointment so that we can open up your appointment slot for another student.
From Students Needing Help with Visas for Countries Other Than the US
Can I apply for a visa to study away now?
At this time, consulates in the New York area and in many regions across the world are not issuing visas. Most countries that offer online visas have also put these services on hold. OGS will continue to monitor the situation and update you as soon as visa services resume either at the consulates or online.
I am no longer in the New York area. Can I apply for a visa at my local consulate?
You can apply at your local consulate, so long as you are considered within their jurisdiction. Please note that consulate visa requirements may vary based on location. We recommend you reach out to OGS Outbound to let us know where you will be applying so we can assist you further.
Is there anything I can do now to prepare my visa application?
We encourage you to gather all the documents listed in the document checklist for your study abroad site. If you would like to review these documents with an OGS Outbound Advisor or have any questions about how to obtain these documents, please schedule a virtual advising appointment.
The document checklist for my site says I need to show confirmation of my flight. Should I book my flight now?
We recommend that you hold off booking your flights at this time. OGP and OGS will update you when it is a good time to purchase flights.
The consulate cancelled my visa appointment. What do I do now?
You should contact the consulate that cancelled your appointment to ask when the next available appointment is. After taking the next available appointment, you should continually monitor the consulate’s website for new earlier appointments. We are unable to secure a new appointment for you and have no authority to influence the processing times or policies of consulates.
I'm studying abroad next semester and need a new visa. Where do I begin?
Please refer back to the emails you have received from the OGS. These emails include a link to our comprehensive visa instructions which will give you an idea of where you are in the process. There is also helpful information on our Visas for NYU Study Abroad pages.
I have questions about what I need to submit for my visa application.
Please refer to the visa instructions the OGS emailed to you. Document checklists can be found on the webpage for each NYU Site.
I need help filling out the visa application.
Please refer to the sample application provided in the visa instructions that were emailed to you. Sample applications can also be found on the webpage for each NYU Site.
I submitted my passport to a consulate, but I need it back now because I have to travel internationally.
If a true emergency has developed and you need your passport for international travel, you should contact the consulate where you submitted your application. In some cases, withdrawing your passport may mean you have withdrawn your entire visa application. You may need to start the visa process over again from the beginning. The consulate will be able to inform you about any impact withdrawing your passport would have.
Find the nearest US consulate for US visa-related concerns.
Search for a specific embassy or consulate in any country for non-US visa-related concerns.
In a Life- or Limb-Threatening Emergency
Call 911 to reach New York City Emergency Services.
Then call NYU Campus Safety at 212-998-2222 to report the emergency.
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