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Immigration & COVID-19 FAQ

*Please check back frequently. This page will be updated as we receive new information.*

Fall Semester 2021 Update

CSP has announced a return to full campus operations in Fall 2021. You can read the full announcement HERE. This means classes will be in-person and the normal F-1 immigration requirements will be in effect for all international students. This includes in-person class registration requirements. Students outside of the Twin Cities should plan to return for Fall Semester 2021.

Campus, Classes, and Travel FAQ

Where can I learn more about CSP’s COVID-19 response and planning?
Visit the university’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information page.

Are classes in-person?
Yes, classes are in-person. 

How will the university maintain social distancing during classes? Are there any guidelines? Are masks required on-campus? Is the COVID-19 vaccine required?
CSP follows current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Visit the university’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information page for the most updated information on CSP's current COVID-19 response.

On September 1, Concordia is placing a requirement in place for all indoor public spaces to start the academic year. The mask policy will continue to be reviewed on a biweekly basis throughout the duration of the fall term.

Masks will not be required outdoors, within resident hall rooms or office spaces. 

While we follow state guidelines, we also encourage our workforce and students to inform themselves regarding the vaccine and make their own educated decision regarding getting vaccinated. At this time, CSP will not be requiring faculty, staff, or students to be vaccinated. In addition, social distancing and extraordinary cleaning requirements have also been lifted.

Do I need a negative COVID test before travelling to the US?
Yes, starting on January 26, 2021. Per CDC notice, "Air passengers are required to get a viral test (a test for current infection) within the 3 days before their flight to the U.S. departs, and provide written documentation of their laboratory test result (paper or electronic copy) to the airline or provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19. Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers or documentation of recovery before they board. If a passenger does not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery, or chooses not to take a test, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger. This order was signed by the CDC Director on January 12, 2021 and will become effective on January 26, 2021." More information can be found here.

Will students be required to quarantine after international travel?
The CDC recommends unvaccinated travelers get a COVID test and quarantine for 7 days after travel or quarantine for 10 days without a test. Be sure to adjust your arrival date accordingly if you need to quarantine before Admitted Student Day or the first day of classes. You can read the CDC's recommendations for safety after international travel here.

Housing FAQ

What should I do if I want to come to campus early before classes start?
Please contact Residence Life to make arrangements.

Where can I find information about off-campus housing?
Visit the Off-Campus Housing Resources page in the ISS Portal. Additionally, you can find information about furniture rentals HERE.

Immigration FAQ

Do I need to study full-time?
Yes, this part of the immigration requirements has not changed as CSP is not limiting course offerings due to COVID-19. F-1 students are required to study full-time unless they have a Reduced Course Load authorization in SEVIS.

Do I need a new I-20 explaining classes are in-person?
No, this is not required. If you would like documentation that classes are in-person, please request a letter from ISS.

Has the OPT application timeline been affected by COVID-19?
No, you may still apply for OPT 90 days before and up to 60 days after the end date of your program. USCIS has not changed the OPT application timeline or requirements due COVID-19. However, ISS always recommends you apply as early as possible due to long USCIS processing times.

I have just graduated or completed OPT. What if I cannot depart the US within the 60 day grace period due to lack of flights or COVID-19 travel restrictions?
The 60 day grace period has not been extended at this time. You should notify ISS and document all attempts to depart the US (lack of flight tickets, travel restrictions, etc.). You may also wish to apply for OPT if eligible or enroll in a new program of study to maintain F-1 status. You may also work with an immigration attorney to change to another visa status.

What if SEVP releases new guidance for F-1 international students?
ISS will be notified by SEVP of any changes to the current guidance. ISS will update all students of any changes made by SEVP.

The information contained in this web site is not intended as, and does not serve as, legal advice. It is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional legal advice. Content is subject to change, and students are advised to consult an experienced U.S. immigration attorney for advice and further information. Neither Concordia University, St. Paul nor the Office of International Student Services is responsible for any errors or omissions contained in this website, or for the results obtained from the use of this information.