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Office of International Student Services

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

Announcement: SEVP Changes of Temporary Exemptions for Fall 2020 Semester.

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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

What changes will ASA College adopt to meet the new SEVP exceptions for the fall 2020 academic semester announced on 07/06/2020?

  • Please be advised that ASA College will assist in advising you of your options, whether it be taking the minimum online courses on-ground, or as part of a hybrid model, right here at ASA for the Fall 2020 semester. At the very least, ASA will be offering programs in a hybrid format, in compliance with the SEVP rules and the state mandates.

When does the new SEVP policy take effect?

  • The new policy will take effect at the start of the fall semester of 2020 for the Florida campus on 09/10/2020 and for the New York campuses on 10/05/2020.

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.

SEVP fall 2020 semester policies require students to present an I-20 with DSO’s certification as to the school’s adaptation for the fall semester. How can students get the I-20s?

  • Students are required to contact the DSOs at dso@asa.edu and request an updated form I-20 with DSO’s statement as to the Fall 2020 semester in the I-20 Remarks field. The DSOs will prioritize the requests of students who are currently abroad and will attempt their initial entry to re-entry to the U.S. SEVP will still allow electronic Form I-20 issuance for the fall semester, and DSOs may electronically send Forms I-20 to student email addresses listed in SEVIS.This requirement applies to all prospective and current/or continuing students. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers will deny entry if students fail to provide the I-20 with the required DSO’s certification as to the Fall 2020 academic semester.

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 Anna Horuk at ahoruk@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 Anna Horuk at ahoruk@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 Anna Horuk at ahoruk@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 Anna Horuk at ahoruk@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 Anna Horuk at ahoruk@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 Anna Horuk at ahoruk@asa.edu