FAQ for Continuing Students

  • Yes, it is. ICE officially announced it on their FAQ on April 6, 2020.
  • If you are completing your coursework for your degree program in Spring 2020 the last day you can work on-campus remotely is May 15, 2020.  If you will not be enrolled at CalArts for Fall 2020 semester you may not continue your student job.

  • You can walk-in via zoom 2-3pm (PST) on Monday-Friday.
  • Please see the zoom info. in the newsletter.

You need I-20 with a valid travel signature, valid F-1 visa, and a valid passport to enter the U.S. Optionally, you can carry an enrollment verification letter from the Registrar's Office, and any proof that you are a full-time student at CalArts.  

  • The proclaation's focus is on immigrants. F-1 and J-1 student visas are non-immigrant visas. International students who are on non-immigrant visas are not directly affected by the proclamation.
  • We will keep updating you if there is any change.

  • If you haven't already please fill out the Current Address Form for SEVIS
  • It is only required for F-1 students, however other visa students are encouraged to let us know where you are.

Yes, it is true.  SEVP issued an update on the F-1 policy for remote instructions for continuing students. We don't know how long this change will be effective.

Yes, you could, provided that there is no travel ban/restriction at the time.

Yes, if you continue your courses remotely for the spring semester and if you intend to be enrolled full-time at CalArts for the Fall 2020 semester you can travel back to the U.S. as an F-1 student in summer.

They tend to change suddenly and overtime. Please check the NAFSA website. J-1 students should check the ECA page.

We don't know if you could or not yet.

  • You can't drop off your I-20 at our office any more, but we can issue a new I-20 with a travel signature. 
  • Please email us.
  • As of March 25, 2020, we are allowed to email your I-20 to your CalArts email address.
  • You have to print all 3 pages, sign and date on the first page.
  • Staple all the pages and keep it with your passport.

No. The campus will be closed throughout the spring semester, so we won't be having a check-in day.  Please refer to the newest Newsletter and Reminder email as well as the CalArts website for the most current information.

Digital and wet travel signatures are good for one year for continuing students.  Keep in mind that when you discontinue your classes your status will be terminated on the system, so your I-20 and travel signature will automatically expire at that time.

When you discontinue your classes (intentionally getting "I" or "W" or leave of absence) we have to terminate your F-1 status and you will only have 15 days to depart the U.S. You do not have a 60-day grace period after your status is terminated.

Your visa stamp can only be renewed outside of the U.S. As long as you are in the U.S. you don't need to renew your visa stamp in your passport.  If you travel internationally and need to re-enter the U.S. you will need to renew your visa at the American Embassy/Consulate outside of the U.S. before returning to the U.S.

  • Please make an appointment online to renew your visa as soon as possible.  Please directly contact each embassy/consulate. 
  • You will have to wait for them to resume the visa services. Please monitor each embassy/consulate's website carefully for their operations.

Ιf you are maintaining your F-1 status as an OPT student or a student at another school in the U.S. you could. If you don't have an F-1 status in September you should enter the U.S. as a visitor.

The annual IRS deadline is extended to July 15, 2020.  Free in-person tax preparation assistance is available at College of the Canyons.  If you didn't earn any income the only form you should fill out and mail to IRS is 8843. For tax software options please see the info.

You can either email us to request a meeting or sign up for a slot online.  Please describe what your questions are about.


The first group of students' applications sent in February and March are beginning to be approved already! Check your application status online.

If you mailed it out already and have not gotten a text or email receipt, you still have some time to cancel your application. First, if you can, stop your payment by contacting the bank or place you got your money order from. Please email ASAP if you would like to do so.

If you've sent in your application and it is currently being processed, there is a very low chance of canceling your application. If you still want to, contact us ASAP and we will see what we can do.

**If you want to cancel your application please let us know ASAP so we can contact the USCIS office before they process your payment. It is nonrefundable**


  • Yes, you can change your mailing address through https://egov.uscis.gov/coa/displayCOAForm.do
  • If you put your CalArts mailbox as your mailing address you should change it to a reliable off-campus address, just in case.
  • As of May 1, 2020, you can still pick up your mail from your mailbox on campus after you notify Campus Safety that you are coming to campus.

No mail from the USCIS office can be forwarded. It will be returned to USCIS.  It will be very difficult for you to retrieve the returned mail from USCIS.

No. Your mailing address must be within the United States.

No. USCIS is still open and working. They don't foresee any delay for non-in-person applications.

We haven't heard any news about that.

Maybe there will be an update to the policy, but not yet.

Under the current policy, yes. You can come back to the U.S. before May 15 with your current I-20 and other usual travel documents. Or if you want to come back to the U.S. after May 15, you can request a new I-20 showing OPT being approved. You will need I-20, EAD, and valid F-1 visa in your passport to come back to the U.S. during OPT.

If you come back before May 15, you could do that.  You cannot come back to the U.S. after May 15 and apply for OPT because you are not allowed to enter the U.S. during the grace period after completing the program without applying for OPT.

Under the current regulations and the SEVP updates issued for COVID-19, your F-1 status will be terminated when you discontinue your classes. SEVP will consider favorably when our office requests reactivation of your F-1 status for Fall 2020, but at this point, there is no confirmation that the reactivation would be approved. (We are waiting for their updated guidance.) If the reactivation request is denied you will have to be issued a new SEVIS ID number. As a result, you will lose eligibility to apply for OPT. So it's not risk-free at this point.

No, you can't postpone it.  If the thesis is the only thing left for you to complete before you can graduate you must be on OPT to do so under the current F-1 regulations.

  • There is no update on the possiblity of extending OPT due to COVID-19. We will let you know as we receive more information.
  • According to the SEVP updates on April 30, if you cannot find employment that is more than 20 hours per week you don't have to count it as unemployment during this temporary COVID-19 situation.