International Student and Scholar Updates

Updated: 8/20/20


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.

Fall 2020 Tuition and Fees

Tuition and mandatory fees have been set regardless of the method of instruction and will not be refunded in the event that instruction continues to be offered remotely for any part of the 2020-21 academic year. Mandatory university charges for tuition and many charges for student services continue to help cover ongoing operations such as the delivery of instruction and the cost of student services such as registration, financial aid, and remote academic advising. While we acknowledge that our campus, like other UC campuses, has changed aspects of our operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the costs that campus-based fees are intended to cover continue as we maintain operations and prepare for the recovery to full operations.

Financial Assistance

International Students who have encountered unexpected financial difficulties resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible to access additional financial aid. Students should consult the Emergency Aid website before contacting Slug Support at to find out more about what assistance might be available. 


New Fall 2020 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. We understand that your ability to arrive on time for a fall start may be impacted. Please be sure to monitor this site and the Admissions update site for new information.

New international students will begin their studies remotely, but will have their I-20s deferred until Winter and will not be admitted to the U.S. until 30 days prior to the date on their I-20.

Continuing Students

The SEVP Guidance,  dated 7/6/2020, has been rescinded. Schools will follow March 9, 2020 guidance and March 13th guidance allowing for continuing students who are presently in the U.S. to continue their studies, even if they will pursue a remote course of study.

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

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.

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.

While most consulates remain closed to routine visa services due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the State Department has posted notice and FAQs on their website on the phased resumption on routine visa services. This notice states, “the resumption of routine visa services will occur on a post-by-post basis” but does not provide a specific date for when individual consulates will resume visa services.  

Please continue to search the Department of State’s Visa Appointment Wait Time page to see if your local consulate is now offering visa appointments.


Per the recent Presidential Proclamations, 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.

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.


Given the uncertainty of the ongoing public health crisis and the decision about the manner of instruction for fall quarter, Campus Housing is not currently accepting housing applications for new students. It is possible campus will not be able to honor guaranteed housing for continuing students. More information will be shared as it becomes available. Please check Housing’s COVID-19 update site.

Social Security Numbers

Due to COVID-19 and public safety concerns, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has suspended all face-to-face service to the public in their field offices nationwide until further notice. All SSN applications are on hold until the field offices re-open. Please continue to consult the SSA for the most up to date information on when they will re-open. 

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 U.S. 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.