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International Students & Scholars

The Division of Global Engagement has provided guidelines for international students for Fall 2020 semester.

How is UL Lafayette addressing Student Exchange Visa Program changes announced in July?

As you may be aware, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has issued new regulations for the Fall 2020 semester as they pertain to F-1 student enrollment during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Division of Global Engagement has reviewed the initial regulations and will continue to review any further guidance issued by SEVP to ensure that all of our students are in compliance with the federal regulations and can continue enrollment in their degree programs.

Note that the guidance that we provide may change as SEVP releases updates. As SEVP releases information, please know that the Division of Global Engagement is communicating these changes with students, faculty, and staff as fast as we possibly can. We will continue to keep our students informed with any changes in federal regulations via email and by updating our COVID-19 Response and Updates page. Thank you for your patience as we provide guidance regarding this dynamic and rapidly changing pandemic. We are here for you.

Graduate Students should also read through the Graduate School’s COVID-19 Updates page to learn about deferrals of admission and graduate assistantships.

Visit the Division for Global Engagement's website for more information.

I'm a current international student and I'm unsure about my plans for Fall 2020. What should I do?

While you are making your plans for this fall, please continue communicating with the Division of Global Engagement via email at globalengagement@louisiana.edu or call 337-482-6819.

We're here to support you and help you realize your dream of studying in the United States.

How does UL Lafayette’s plan for instruction in Fall 2020 impact my ability to enroll as an F-1 student?

UL Lafayette has adopted a “hybrid model,” with a mixture of in-person and remote classes, for Fall 2020.

To maintain F-1 status in Fall 2020, as per the July 6 SEVP COVID-19 and Fall 2020 Broadcast Message, students in the United States cannot be enrolled in only online or remote courses.

Undergraduate and graduate students on F-1 visas are allowed to enroll in ONLY one online (OL) OR remote (RE) course per the required amount of credit hours (12 undergraduate, 9 graduate) while the rest of the courses will have to be on-campus (OC), hyFlex (HF), or hybrid (HY) courses: For a list of course delivery types, click here. 

This means that you should try to enroll in as many on-campus (OC), hyFlex (HF), or hybrid (HY) classes as possible. If you have problems doing this, please contact your academic advisor AND email oia@louisiana.edu so that we can assist you with maintaining your status.

Many of UL Lafayette’s graduate courses for the Fall 2020 semester are designated as on campus (OC), hyflex (HF), or hybrid (HY) — all courses that will support your enrollment as an F-1 student.

Are international students or faculty able to travel back to their home countries?

There are no restrictions on international students or international faculty at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette traveling back to their home countries. The Division of Global Engagement is still processing I-20/DS-2019 travel authorizations. For more information, visit the Travel Authorizations section on the Division of Global Engagement's COVID-19 page.

Federal restrictions may be instituted that deny or delay re-entry into the United States. Research travel restrictions before planning to travel.

For the most up-to-date travel restrictions and guidelines, please visit the CDC Information for Travel page.

What should I do about my J-1 or F-1 visa?

Many embassies are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, which means that they may not be processing visa applications.

If you are unable to obtain your visa in time for the program start date on your I-20 or DS-2019, contact the person who issued your immigration document to request a deferral of attendance:

I'm planning to return to the U.S. this fall. What do I need to do?

Before purchasing airfare to the United States, please visit the U.S. Department of Travel Advisory page to ensure that you will be able to enter the country.

F-1 and J-1 students and scholars who have received visas should contact oia@louisiana.edu 30 days before their program start date to determine if they will be able to enter the country and to learn if Fall classes will return to traditional face-to-face instruction.

Additionally, J-1 scholars will need to determine if their hosting faculty or research center at UL Lafayette is able to facilitate and support their program objectives. Please note that at the current time this information is not yet available due to the fluidity of the COVID-19 pandemic.

My I-20 is going to expire in August. What should I do?

If your I-20 will expire in August 2020, please submit a completed I-20 Extension Request Form to oia@louisiana.edu before August 31, 2020. This form will need to be signed by your academic advisor. At this time, we are accepting electronic signatures (including advisor’s signature) on the I-20 Extension Request Form.

Testing centers in my area are closed so I can't take the TOEFL, IELTS, or PETS. What should I do?

The University has approved the temporary use of the Duolingo English Test scores as an alternative to IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE scores.

What should I do about health insurance?

International students enrolled for the Fall 2020 semester are automatically enrolled in the international student insurance plan through Wellfleet starting on August 18, 2020.

Students who will remain in the U.S. during the summer, who will not be taking classes, can purchase insurance coverage for the Summer 2020 (May 29, 2020 through August 17, 2020) by June 29, 2020 by emailing oia@louisiana.edu. In your email, include your name and ULID in order to have the $340 insurance fee added to your statement of account.

All Coronavirus COVID-19 testing will be covered at no cost to students enrolled in the international student insurance plan through Wellfleet.