International Student and Scholar Updates

Updated: 2/24/2021


ISSS continues to offer advising services remotely advising model. Please view the advising webpage for updated information.


New Spring 2021 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. 

Students who enter the US for Spring 2021 in SEVIS Initial status will be required to enroll in at least one in-person course.  Information about in-person offerings will be provided in time to enroll before the beginning of the quarter.

Continuing Students

US Universities continue to follow the  March 9, 2020 guidance and March 13th guidance offered by SEVP, which allows continuing students who are presently in the US to continue their studies, even if they will pursue a remote course of study.

Continuing students who are outside the US may keep their SEVIS records active so long as they are otherwise maintaining the conditions of F-1 status.

Resumption of In-person Instruction

As of January 2021, the University has announced its plans to resume in-person instruction for Fall 2021, enabling prospective and current students and their families to begin their planning.  

For further information about housing and instructional planning, please visit the campus News Center.

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.   We expect that Spring and Summer quarter course offerings will be remote and we hope for a return to campus and a selection of in-person course offerings in time for Fall 2021.

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

Visas and Consulates

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

Please continue to search the  Department of State’s Visa Appointment Wait Time to see if your local consulate is now offering visa appointments. You must have a valid I-20 in order to apply for a visa appointment, and appointments cannot be scheduled more than 120 days prior to the start date on your I-20 (i.e Fall '21 starts 9/18/21 so the earliest your visa appointment can be is May 21, 2021).


Travel Restrictions for foreign nationals who have been in China, Iran, or Brazil in the previous 14 days will not be admitted to the U.S. Only essential travel will be permitted between the U.S. and Canada.

F-1 students traveling from the Schengen countries or from the UK or Ireland will now be automatically considered for a national interest exception to travel to the US. F-1 students who still need to apply for their visa should check with their nearest consulate for the proper application procedures.

Additionally, per CDC Guidance, all individuals will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID test before being permitted to enter the US.  

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.