International Student and Scholar Updates

Updated: 12:00 p.m. on 4/1/20


ISSS has moved to a remote advising model. Please view the advising webpage for updated information.

As of Wednesday, March 18, all documents that must be returned to the student will be sent via mail. Please be sure your preferred address is updated in MyUCSC or otherwise emailed to your advisor.


International students who choose to remain fully enrolled remotely and are otherwise maintaining their status for the Spring Quarter may do so whether they remain in Santa Cruz or return to their home residence, even if they are gone for longer than 5 months.  Students who instead choose to take a Leave of Absence for the Spring Quarter will have their SEVIS record closed for Authorized Early Withdrawal. Depending on when you decide to return to campus, you will need to apply to have your record reopened or request a new initial record before returning. Please see our Leave of Absence site for instructions on reopening your SEVIS record.

If you have already requested a Leave of Absence for Spring Quarter with your College or Graduate Advisor and now no longer wish to go on leave, please reply to the confirmation email from your college or graduate advisor and copy to ask to cancel your request. Once we receive the email, both ISSS and your College or Graduate advisor will reach out to confirm.

Remote Learning

We recognize the difficulty in following a course remotely from another time zone. Some of the accommodations that may be available to make this easier include: alternative meeting times, class recordings, or duplicate engagement activities. Students should consult their individual course instructors to find out what alternatives will be made available. 

For additional information and resources related to remote learning, please visit the UC Santa Cruz Remote Learning page.

Newly Admitted Students

We appreciate that you have chosen UC Santa Cruz and we recognize the potential difficulties you may face in arriving here given the current world events and the COVID-19. The Department of State has currently temporarily suspended routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies, which could impact your ability to arrive on time for a Fall start.   We do not yet know when visa services will be restored. Please be sure to monitor this site and the Admissions update site for new information.

We recognize that you have a lot of unanswered questions surrounding your visa and your travel to the US and we are doing our best to support you during this time of uncertainty.


Per the recent Presidential Proclamations, until further notice, foreign nationals who have been in China, Iran, or most countries in Europe in the previous 14 days will not be admitted to the U.S. Only essential travel will be permitted between the US and Canada.

Students traveling away from campus during the remote instruction period

The situation is changing daily and we encourage everyone to monitor the travel options to and from their home country. Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. The Department of State provides updates on travel safety and restrictions. Students who choose to enroll in Spring Quarter remotely may choose to leave the U.S. immediately to avoid possible flight cancellations or other travel restrictions. Students who do leave the U.S. should be prepared for possible restrictions upon their return.


Spring Housing

Student housing, dining, health services, the library, and research support operations will remain open through the Spring Quarter, although there will be changes in most operations and services. 

Should you wish to cancel your housing for the entire spring quarter, please contact Housing.

Summer Housing

We are aware that world events may cause some of you to choose not to return home this coming summer. To assist our international student community, on-campus housing will be available during the 10-week summer session.  Please visit the UC Summer Session Housing website or email  for details.  Please note that summer housing may be limited.

If you choose to remain on campus or in Santa Cruz for the summer, UC Santa Cruz Summer Session offers options that can help keep your academics on track.

Social Security Numbers

On Tuesday, March 17, 2020, the Social Security Administration (SSA) suspended face-to-face service to the public in their field offices nationwide until further notice due to COVID-19 and public safety concerns. All SSN applications must be mailed, including original identity documents, to the local Social Security office in order to apply for an SSN. Please note you must mail original documents as the SSA cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. 

For more information and step-by-step instructions, please see our SSN/ITIN page.


Students who have questions about their UC SHIP insurance while they are away should consult the UC SHIP Off-Campus Care page.

International Scholars and Employees

Per the recent Presidential Proclamations, until further notice, foreign nationals who have been in China, Iran, or most countries in Europe in the previous 14 days will not be admitted to the U.S. Only essential travel will be permitted between the US and Canada.

Following the Department of State guidance, ISSS recommends delaying all incoming scholar program start dates to at least 6/1/2020 or later. In order to delay a scholar’s start date, please continue to send amendment requests to We must receive the amendment request within the first 30 days of the original program start date.