Skip to Content (Press Enter)
California State University, Fullerton
Titans Return: COVID-19 Recovery

To limit the spread of COVID-19 on campus, see the University’s COVID-19 Mitigation Measures & Guidelines (Presidential Directive No. 21).  View the full directive.

Updates for F1/J1 International Students & Scholars

Wednesday March 18, 2020 10:52 am

Dear International Student,

As concerns around COVID-19 continue to grow, we want you to know that the International Students and Scholars (ISS) office is operating with most services offered virtually. At this time, International Student Advisors are available by virtual or phone appointment. We will continue to accept requests via online forms and email.

Update Contact Information
Please be sure that your CSUF Student Center has your current US mailing address, US phone number, and at least 2 Emergency Contacts (one in the US and one in your home country).

Modified ISS Services
Drop-off/Pick-up of Documents
Beggining Thursday, March 19, 2020 the ISS Office (Titan Hall 1123) will be closed to the public. We will continue to operate and provide services virtually. Dropping off and picking up of documents from ISS will not be available. Documents that need to returned to you will be sent by mail.

Phone Inquiries: 657-278-2787
Beggining Thursday, March 19, 2020 you may leave a voicemail message at our main phone line. Your messages will be routed to the appropriate ISS team member for a response. Please be sure to provide your name, clearly stating your CWID.

Travel Signature Requests: https://international.fullerton.edu/students/travel-signature-request/
You do not need to drop-off your current I-20 or DS-2019 after submitting this online request. We will reprint your I-20 or DS-2019 and send to you by mail. US immigration law prohibits us from emailing copies of I-20’s and DS-2019’s. Documents sent by regular USPS mail do not have a tracking number and may be delayed. We highly encourage students to set up Express Mail via UEMS so you can track the shipment.

Letter Requests
Once requested letter is signed, it will be sent electronically to your CSUF email.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)
For graduating students who have already attended an OPT Workshop, please submit your OPT Request Form without other documents by email to ISS@fullerton.edu. Please be sure to include your name, CWID, and “OPT Request” in the subject of your email. Once your request is processed, your OPT I-20 will be sent to you by mail. We strongly recommend students set up Express Mail via UEMS so you can track this time-sensitive shipment. Documents sent by regular USPS mail do not have a tracking number and may be delayed.

Effective immediately, ISS will no longer require an academic advisor signature on your OPT request form. Additionally, the only documents you are required to submit to ISS if the OPT Request Form. After ISS issues your OPT I-20, you are responsible for assembling all required documents prior to mailing to USCIS. If you have questions regarding the Form I-765 or other documents on the OPT application checklist, please schedule an appointment with an ISS Advisor prior to mailing your packet to USCIS.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Submit your request by email to ISS@fullerton.edu. You do not need to attend any workshop prior to submitting your request. Please be sure to include your name, CWID, and “CPT Request” in the subject of your email. Once your request is processed, your CPT I-20 will be sent to you by mail. We strongly recommend students to set up Express Mail via UEMS so you can track the shipment. Please remember that you cannot begin your academic internship until you have been granted CPT.

Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to return to my home country?
No. While Cal State Fullerton is taking precautionary measures and providing virtual instruction mode for all students, F1 and J1 students can remain in the US if they choose to do so.

Do I need to submit my Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 before departing the US?
No. Please submit the online Travel Signature Request prior to departure. Your signed I-20 or DS-2019 will be shipped to your address. For more timely and secured receipt, we recommend setting up Express Shipping.

Can I remain in the US while doing online instruction for Spring 2020 semester?
Yes, you can remain in the US as long as you maintain full course of study for the Spring 2020 semester. If you are unable to maintain your full course of study, please schedule a virtual appointment with an ISS Advisor immediately.

Will my SEVIS record or immigration (F1/J1) status be terminated if I leave the US and continue doing online instruction from my home country?
No. As long as you maintain a full course of study for Spring 2020 semester and follow instructions from your Professors to complete course requirements, your SEVIS record will remain active.

Will my SEVIS record or F1/J1 status be terminated if I drop my classes or do not virtually attend online classes?
Yes, in most cases. Please refer to https://international.fullerton.edu/students/status/

I am planning to graduate in Spring 2020. After I complete my classes virtually, can I apply for Post-Completion OPT while I am overseas?
As of the time of this email, we are waiting for clarification on this topic from Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once we receive guidance, ISS will provide updates through emails and the ISS website.

These are unprecedented times. We at the ISS want to provide you with as much support and guidance during this challenging time. Please continue to frequently check the following links for COVID-19 updates.

Be well.

Jean Hotta, Associate Director, International Students and Scholars
International Student Advisors Mori Brett, Marissa Hoggard, Scott Hammel
SEVIS Team Janet Chen, Liza Pena, Albert Kim