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Office of International Student Services

ASA College is authorized under Federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students.

PUBLISHED: July 08, 2021

Maintain F and M Status in Emergency Events

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) understands that international students studying in the United States may face emergency situations while attending their Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified school. These emergencies can range from natural disasters to manmade events and can affect your safety and impact school operations.

It is important that F and M students maintain their nonimmigrant student status, even during emergency events. This means F and M students should continue to take all the necessary actions to remain in status, to the extent possible under the circumstances, and communicate with their designated school official (DSO) about the emergency plans on their campus.

Items to Keep Safe

F and M students should keep the following items in a safe, secure place so that they are easily accessible in the event of an emergency:

Preparing for Emergencies

Campus disruptions can range from natural disasters to manmade events, pandemics, or campus violence. The impact of these events can be far-reaching and highlight the need for all students to have an emergency plan in place.

We encourage F and M students to take the following actions to begin making their own emergency preparedness plan while they study in the United Sates:

To learn more about DHS’ work to strengthen campus resilience and international student efforts on U.S. campuses, visit the DHS website.

https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes

Source: https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/students/study/maintain-f-and-m-status-in-emergency-events

PUBLISHED: June 23, 2021

National Interest Exceptions for Certain Travelers from China, Iran, India, Brazil, South Africa, Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland

On May 27, 2021, the Secretary of State made a national interest determination regarding categories of travelers eligible for exceptions under Presidential Proclamations (PPs) 9984, 9992, 10143, 10199, and similar subsequent PPs related to the spread of COVID-19.  As a result of this determination, together with national interest determinations already in place, travelers subject to these proclamations due to their presence in China, Iran, India, Brazil, South Africa, the Schengen area, the United Kingdom, and Ireland, who are seeking to provide vital support or executive direction for critical infrastructure; those traveling to provide vital support or executive direction for significant economic activity in the United States; journalists; students and certain academics covered by exchange visitor programs; immigrants; and fiancés may now qualify for a National Interest Exception (NIE).  Qualified travelers who are applying for or have valid visas or ESTA authorization may travel to the United States following the procedures below, even as PPs 9984, 9992, 10143, and 10199 remain in effect.

Travelers in categories described above who have a valid visa in the appropriate class or who have a valid ESTA authorization for travel under the Visa Waiver Program and seek to travel for purposes consistent with ESTA authorization, should contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate before traveling, if they believe they may qualify for a National Interest Exception.  If a NIE is approved, they may travel on either a valid visa or ESTA authorization, as appropriate.  Each approved NIE is valid for 30 days and a single trip to the United States.

Students with valid F-1 or M-1 visas traveling to begin or continue an academic program do not need to contact an embassy or consulate to seek an individual NIE to travel.  They may enter the United States no earlier than 30 days before the start of their academic studies.  NIE eligibility for students who have been present in Brazil, China, India, Iran, or South Africa applies only to programs that begin on or after August 1, 2021. Students seeking to apply for new F-1 or M-1 visas should check the status of visa services at the nearest embassy or consulate; those applicants who are found to be otherwise qualified for an F-1 or M-1 visa will automatically be considered for an NIE to travel.

The Department of State also continues to grant NIEs for qualified travelers seeking to enter the United States for purposes related to humanitarian travel, public health response, and national security.  These travelers and any others who believe their travel to be in the United States’ national interest should also review the website of the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for instruction on how to contact them.

Source: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/national-interest-exceptions-for-certain-travelers-from-china-Iran-india-brazil-south-africa-schengen-area-united-kingdom-and-ireland.html

Embassy: https://www.usembassy.gov/

 

 

PUBLISHED: December 22, 2020

Dear International Students,
We are thrilled to announce addition of multiple bachelor’s and associate degrees as well as a diploma program in our Hialeah, FL campus. New degrees available to F-1 students are:
  • Bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Nursing, and Psychology.
  • Associate degrees in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Radiologic Technologist Professional.
  • Heating, ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Refrigeration Technician diploma program.
Please be informed that we are looking to re-activate the Network Administration and Security associate degree program in the Hialeah campus in the nearest future. Additionally, ASA College will be adding an associate degree in HVAC and Refrigeration in Hialeah as well as an associate degree in Technology in Ophthalmic Dispensing in our Manhattan, NY campus.

PUBLISHED: December 16, 2020

 

Dear students,
Please review latest Study in the States announcement below:

“END OF YEAR ROUNDUP: COVID-19 RESOURCES


December 14, 2020

As the year comes to a close, revisit resources that will be helpful as one semester ends, and another begins in January.

Please reference the below resources for information about Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates, visa requirements, and more.

Contacting SEVP with COVID-19 Questions

The SEVP Response Center (SRC) is actively responding to calls and emails but please keep in mind that they are experiencing high volumes of calls and emails. If you are waiting for an email response from the SRC, refer to www.ICE.gov/covid19 for up-to-date SEVP guidance under the ‘Nonimmigrant Students and SEVP-Certified Schools’ tab.

Follow These Government Partners on Social Media for COVID-19 Resources

Government partners like the Transportation Security Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Education offer resources and important updates on their social media channels. Read the complete list on the blog.

Electronically Signing Forms I-20

Due to COVID-19, designated school officials (DSOs) can electronically send signed Forms I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” to students via email addresses listed in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) instead of physically mailing forms. Additionally, read the below blog posts for information about managing student records and signing the Form I-17.

Guidance on Student Visas

The U.S. Department of State is responsible for issuing nonimmigrant visas. The below resources from the State department include guidance on how to apply for a student visa and where to find the most up-to-date and accurate information on the impact of COVID-19 on visa services.

  • Visit the Student Visa page to learn how to apply for a student visa.
  • Monitor the U.S. Visas News page for the latest updates on U.S. visas, including news about visa services and policies.
  • Find the website of your local U.S. Embassy for the embassy’s contact information and information on visa services.
  • Visit covid19.state.gov to use the State department’s FAQ tool and find the department’s latest guidance related to COVID-19.

Reporting Requirements for Students and DSOs

International students and DSOs must remember to report student employer information related to optional practical training (OPT) in SEVIS. Regulations require that international students work with their DSO to ensure information captured in the SEVP Portal and SEVIS are accurate.

For more information, reference the OPT Student Reporting Requirements or the Unemployment Counter page. DSOs may also contact their local SEVP field representative with any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions for SEVP Stakeholders

The FAQs document on ICE.gov provides answers to frequently asked questions from SEVP stakeholders about the impact of COVID-19 on SEVP-certified schools and F and M students.”

 

PUBLISHED: December 9, 2020

 

Dear students,
Please beware scammers pretending to be SEVP representatives. Please read the below message issued by the SEVP:

Broadcast Message: Fraud Advisory – Scammers Using SEVP Phone Numbers to Target International Students

To:All SEVIS Users

Date:Dec. 9, 2020

Number:2012 – 02


General Information

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has been made aware of a spoofing scam involving individuals using the SEVP Response Center (SRC) phone numbers (703-603-3400 and 800-892-4829) and claiming to be SRC representatives. The fraudulent callers are inquiring about Form I-94 documents and asking students to provide information regarding monetary transactions.

We are urging you to follow up with your international students to ensure they don’t fall victim to this dangerous scam. If you or one of your students encounter, or are a victim of this spoof call, you are encouraged to report the incident to the HSI tip line. If you are unsure about the validity of a call from an SEVP official, you can also reach out to your designated SEVP field representative.

Things to remember:

·        SEVP officials will NEVER ask stakeholders to provide credit/debit card/gift card numbers, wire transfers, or bank routing numbers, or to make bitcoin deposits for any purpose.

·        NEVER divulge personal or financial information to unknown callers.

·        Report all suspicious calls to the HSI tip line and if you are unsure about the validity of a call from SEVP officials reach out to your designated SEVP field representative.

 

If you have any additional questions regarding this matter, please contact the SEVP Response Center at 703-603-3400 or 800 892 4829, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, except federal holidays.

Disclaimer

The Broadcast Message is not a substitute for applicable legal requirements, nor is it itself a rule or a final action by SEVP. It is not intended to, does not, and may not be relied upon to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by any party in any administrative, civil, or criminal matter.

 

 

________________

Please email  dso@asa.edu to report changes in your contact information and/or address.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to impact international students and SEVP-certified schools. ASA College is closely monitoring crucial developments and will provide further updates to its international students as necessary.

We encourage student to check ASA email accounts and monitor official agencies to remain informed.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are multiple travel bans which prevent students from re-entering the U.S. What will happen to the F-1 status of students who are unable to return to the U.S. for that reason?

  • Applicable to current ASA students only!

    As of 07/08/2020, continuing F-1 holders who are not able to re-enter the U.S. may continue their study fully online while they are outside of the United States. Students’ F-1 SEVIS record and status will remain active and in a good status. Students should complete their registration by contacting the Office of the Registrar and settle financial obligation by contacting Student Accounts Office.

    Students are required to contact the DSOs via email dso@asa.edu in their preparation to re-enter the U.S. Dependent on school’s return to normal operations and any continuing travel restrictions, students should attempt to return to the United States within 30 days of the next available session start date.

Will students be able to return to the U.S. if they are continuing studies abroad as a direct result of COVID-19?

  • Students who continue to make normal progress in their course of study remain eligible for admission into the U.S. We encourage students to refer to their country’s respective embassy’s website through the U.S. Department of State for any updates about visa issuance and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website for information about current travel restrictions to the United States.

Is there an extension to the grace periods for students who need to return to their home countries within 60 days after completing their program of study but were not able to do so due to lack of available flights or prohibition of inbound travel by their home country?

  • Students are encouraged to communicate with their DSO for guidance and to assess alternative options such as enrollment into an additional class or transfer to another school. DSOs will document in the student’s record his/her inability to leave the country due to COVID-19.

 

Do F-1 students need an approved USCIS employment authorization to volunteer as part of COVID-19 relief efforts?

  • No, F-1 students who work without wages, taxable compensation or other remuneration are considered volunteers.

 

COVID-19: for OPT Students ONLY!

Must students cease engaging in OPT if they are now working fewer than 20 hours a week due to the economic impacts of COVID-19?

  • According to the recent FAQ posted by ICE.gov, for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency only, SEVP considers students who are working in their OPT opportunities fewer than 20 hours a week as engaged in OPT.

Will there be an extension or suspension of the 90-day allowed period of unemployment for OPT during the COVID-19 emergency?

  • DHS is evaluating this issue but has not yet determined whether to implement a specific exemption for exceeding the regulatory limits for unemployment of 90 days for OPT.

 

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

  • According to the recent FAQ posted by ICE.gov, Students who are unemployed due to COVID-19 should contact their local or state employment agency for more information.

 

We hope that you find the information and resources helpful, and we welcome your feedback. Please submit your comments or questions to dso@asa.edu

 

F-1 student status entails many responsibilities. While studying in the United States, students must:

Enroll in a full course of study. At ASA College, degree program students are required to take at least 12 credit hours per semester, while language training students need to enroll in at least 4 courses. IEP, TOEFL and Business English courses students must adhere to a program-specific requirements.  Contact the DSO at dso@asa.edu if you are unable to meet this requirement.

Attend and pass classes. It is essential that students do well in their classes and make normal progress toward completion of their educational objective, and attendance is a crucial part of a student’s academic growth and success. If your courses are too difficult, speak with your instructor and the Office of Academic Advisement about your options.

Attain travel authorization in advance. Students should inform their DSO of any travel plans. The DSO will verify the “Active” SEVIS status, endorse the I-20 form and provide helpful re-entry tips.

Report changes and updates to the DSO. Students are obligated to report to the DSO any changes in their program of study, major, plans to travel outside of the U.S., address/contact information updates, and they must attain an updated Form I-20, when applicable.

Request program extension ahead of time. Students must speak with the DSO if they believe that they will be unable to complete their program by the end date listed on their Form I-20. They might need to ask for a program/I-20 extension. The request must be submitted to the DSO at least 30 days prior to the program end date listed on the I-20.

Attain applicable employment authorization prior to engaging in a training. F-1 students may engage in a practical training or employment only when authorized. Depending on the case, a DSO and/or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will do so. Students choosing to work without authorization will be forced to leave the United States and may not be able to re-enter the United States at a later date.

Do not drop a class without first speaking to the DSO. Students are encouraged to communicate with the DSO about dropping out or quitting school, and students must complete an appropriate exit process when necessary.

Take appropriate action when completing studies at ASA College. Upon completing a program of study or Optional Practical Training (OPT) period, students must inform the DSO of further plans. To maintain status, students may enroll into a different program at ASA College, transfer to another SEVP-certified school, apply for a change of status, or depart the U.S. within 60 days after completion of the program of the practical training. Failing to act may result in an out-of-status situation.

Please review the below resources for subject-specific regulations:

We hope that you find the information and resources helpful, and we welcome your feedback. Please submit your comments or questions to dso@asa.edu

An F-1 student may be enrolled in two different Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified schools at one time as long as the combined enrollment yields to a full-time course of study. In cases where a student is concurrently enrolled, the I-20 is issued and updated by the school from which the student will attain the degree. At ASA College, we reserve the rights to request evidence of student’s enrollment at the second SEVP-certified school to verify full-time enrollment and authorized concurrent enrollment approval. Please visit the below page for regulations:

 

We hope that you find the information and resources helpful, and we welcome your feedback. Please submit your comments or questions to dso@asa.edu

Although ASA College does not mandate F-1 holders purchase health insurance, we strongly recommend international students and their accompanying dependents purchase healthcare plans. Healthcare insurance allows students to get routine check-ups and seek medical treatments when needed. Student may get their own coverage or browse the following affordable options to learn more about available plans and options:

 

We hope that you find the information and resources helpful, and we welcome your feedback. Please submit your comments or questions to dso@asa.edu

An annual vacation is a break in a student’s study. It lasts one semester and is available to eligible students once per academic year at a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified school and once every year after that if the student maintains their status and registers for classes in the academic term following their annual vacation. F-1 holders must complete at least one full academic year to be eligible for annual vacation and must intend (clarify this. How does one demonstrate “intention”?) to register for classes in the academic term following their annual vacation. Students may take courses during their annual vacation if they wish.

A college break, a period when the school’s classes are in a recess for a short period of time, differs from an annual vacation. The break time does not count as an annual vacation. Students traveling abroad during their annual vacation or a school break should speak with the DSO and verify their “Active” status in SEVIS. The Designated School Official (DSO) will help make sure they have the proper documentation before they leave the United States. Please review the following resources for more regulations:

 

We hope that you find the information and resources helpful, and we welcome your feedback. Please submit your comments or questions to dso@asa.edu

Students should consult their Designated School Official (DSO) prior to travelling. They should ensure they have the following documents when returning to the U.S.:

  1. A Form I-20, endorsed for travel and signed by the DSO
  2. Proof of having been out of the United States for less than five months
  3. A current passport valid for at least six months after the date of reentry
  4. A valid, current visa
  5. Financial information showing proof of necessary funds to cover tuition and living expenses

More travel resources may be found below:

 

We hope that you find the information and resources helpful, and we welcome your feedback. Please submit your comments or questions to dso@asa.edu

F-1 Student Information Update!

USE THIS FORM TO REPORT CHANGES IN YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION AND/OR ADDRESS

    Hialeah, FLBrooklyn, NYManhattan, NY Phone NumberEmail AddressAddress