Greetings from ISSSO!
We would like to reach out to you with information on spring 2022 enrollment, a reminder to check your immigration documents and certain deadlines, travel planning, and the opportunities to enjoy some of our programs/events. Please read the following information carefully.
Spring 2022 Enrollment:
Continuing F-1 students who were in active SEVIS status with the same SEVIS ID number since spring 2020 (including U.S. transfer students and UH students changing degree level after spring 2020 and remained in the U.S.):
You can choose to take any courses, online, hybrid, or face-to-face to fulfill your full course load requirement, as long as you are making normal academic progress in your degree program, either in the U.S. or abroad.
If spring 2022 is your final semester, this is a reminder that you will not be able to apply for OPT while outside the U.S., and you cannot re-enter the U.S. after the spring term ends.
Newly admitted F-1 students (including summer/fall 2020, spring/summer/fall 2021, and spring 2022) who were not in the U.S. or not in active SEVIS status in spring 2020:
- If you entered the U.S. or changed your status to F-1 after spring 2020, you must enroll for a full course load with at least one face-to-face or hybrid class in spring 2022. HyFlex courses do not count as face-to-face for spring 2022.
- If you plan to enroll in 100% online courses, you should take the coursework outside the U.S.; or if you do not plan to take any classes:
- If your I-20 has been activated, you should submit the F-1 Student Early Withdrawal Form to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to January 18, 2022.
- If your I-20 has not been activated and you are outside the U.S., please contact either Admissions (for undergraduate students) or Graduate School (for graduate students) to defer your I-20.
Newly admitted J-1 students (including summer/fall 2020, spring/summer/fall 2021, and spring 2022) who were not in the U.S. or not in active SEVIS status in spring 2020:
If you entered the U.S. or changed your status to J-1 after spring 2020, you must enroll for a full course load with all face-to-face classes.
*Any students from Iran, Syria, Cuba, North Korea, and Crimea Region must contact ISSSO if you plan to take online courses outside of the U.S.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) Reminder
For F-1 students who are going to graduate this fall semester and plan to participate in Post-Completion OPT, you need to visit How to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) to schedule and join an OPT workshop to receive assistance for your OPT application if you have not done so. We offer these workshops virtually and the counselor will provide you with the link to register as the time for your session approaches.
Academic Training for J-1 Visa Holder
If you are going to graduate this fall semester and plan to participate in Academic Training, you must complete the application and receive authorization from ISSSO prior to the completion of your degree. Please visit the ISSSO website for the application form and procedure:
I-20 or DS-2019 Program Extension
Verify the program end date on your I-20 (F-1 visa holder) or DS-2019 (J-1 visa holder). If you need additional time to complete your degree requirements, you must apply and receive the program extension prior to your current I-20/DS-2019 expiration date. Please download and submit the application form to email@example.com.
Report any Changes of Major or Program Level (F-1 or J-1 Visa Students)
Please email our office immediately if you are changing your major or level of studies. If you are changing your degree level from an undergraduate program to a graduate program, please contact the Graduate School to request an updated I-20 and email a copy of the new I-20 to ISSSO. You must request and receive the new degree level I-20 within the 60-day grace period or prior to the start of the next semester, whichever is sooner.
Planning Travel Internationally
F-1 and J-1 Travel Information
Be sure your I-20 or DS-2019 is current, and up to date. If you are traveling outside the U.S., and plan to return to UH, our signature on page 2 of your I-20 is only valid for one year from the date of our last signature. You will need a current travel endorsement, valid visa, valid passport, and a copy of your I-901 (SEVIS fee) receipt for re-entry. If you have any questions, please check with us before you leave.
Passport and Visa Information
Your passport must be valid at least six months into the future at all times, and you will need a valid visa for re-entering the U.S.
You can bring your I-20/DS-2019 to obtain a travel endorsement and chat with ISSSO staff and check your immigration documents during the following dates and times:
- Monday, 11/22/2021, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
SGA Senate Chamber, Room 487, Student Center North, 2nd floor
- Tuesday, 11/23/2021, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
SGA Senate Chamber, Room 487, Student Center North, 2nd floor
Come and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or coffee while chatting with ISSSO staff while also taking care of your travel endorsement if needed.
If you can't come in person, you can follow the information on our website to request a reprint I-20/DS-2019 with the travel endorsement.
Also, please check the website of the U.S. Department of State and the country you are going to see if there are any restrictions for you to enter or re-enter. Here is a link to resources from NAFSA:
UH International Travel Guidelines
Students traveling from international destinations to the University of Houston must follow the Travel Guidelines. If you have a confirmed contract with Student Housing and Residential Life to reside on campus, please contact the Housing Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or by office phone at 713-743-6000 to arrange for a space for your self-quarantine. For those students and scholars arriving from international destinations who are living off-campus, you will be responsible for providing your own self-quarantine accommodations.
F-1 and J-1 Students Who Are Leaving UH
Going Home for Good
If you do not plan to return to UH after this semester, please email ISSSO and let us know. The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) requires us to report that you are leaving and to state the reason. An example might be that you are completing your degree, and returning to your home country
Plan to Transfer to Another U.S. School
If you are planning to go to another U.S. school or start a new program at another U.S. school, please email the SEVIS F-1 or J-1 Transfer-Out Form along with the approval of your admission to ISSSO before the official closing date of this semester.
International Education Week
We are pleased to announce a number of events that will take place during the University of Houston's recognition of International Education Week (IEW) 2021! We look forward to seeing you there!
Please feel free to email email@example.com (including your student ID number and your SEVIS ID number) if you have any questions.