March 13, 2020
Dear international community,
These are unprecedented times for Reed and for the U.S. and the world. We are thinking of you and your families as you navigate COVID-19 and the impact on your lives and academic work here at Reed. We want to acknowledge how incredibly difficult this is for each of you, especially being so far away from home and your loved ones. We empathize with your very real feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, and fear and want you to know that we see you. Please take care of yourselves and each other.
With Reed’s announcement that classes will be online after spring break through April 10, many of you are wondering what that means for you as international students and your visa status. Fortunately, SEVP has granted colleges and universities procedural flexibility and you will be able to maintain your status while engaging in your coursework remotely, whether in the U.S. or abroad, until April 10. If in person classes resume, you will be expected to return to class in order to maintain your status. As this situation evolves, we will be in touch closer to April 10 as we know more about the remainder of the semester.
There are a couple of considerations for your F-1 status as outlined below:
Requirements to update ISS of any change to your physical address within 10 days:
- A reminder that you are required to report any changes in your address to ISS within 10 days of the address change.
- If you decide to move off-campus or stay elsewhere in the U.S/Portland with friends or family, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to provide ISS with your new address. This includes any changes of address over the summer.
- Per the college’s email, “all students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to avoid personal travel over spring break. Students should instead consider remaining on campus. Those who are planning trips should closely monitor travel advisories issued by the CDC and the State Department.”
- As international students, you face additional challenges with international travel and we align with the college’s recommendation that you avoid international travel at this time unless absolutely essential. You should consider current travel restrictions, and the possibility of future travel restrictions and monitor travel updates through the CDC (Center for Disease Control).
- If you must travel, Tyler Casey and myself may be available intermittently to provide travel signatures if needed. We will advertise hours we will be available as this is determined, and you can contact us to request an appointment.
- If you are leaving the country, it may not be possible for you to get a travel signature before your departure. If you cannot get one before you leave, we can mail one to you internationally before your planned return to the U.S.
- If you need to apply for OPT, it is important that we move forward with your application and don’t delay the process. Please email me to set up a time and we will figure out a way to get your application submitted. Please note that you must be physically in the U.S. in order to submit your OPT application.
- At this time, we have canceled all ISS programming through April 10. This includes the ISS Support Group, Discover PDX and Spring Break trips, tax workshops, and Fondue Fridays. We will be in touch about the schedule of events following April 10.
If you have questions or other needs related to your F-1 or J-1 status, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me and I will do my best to help. I am available by email and phone for specific questions pertaining to your student status. Again, thinking of you, and wishing you health and peace during this difficult time.
International Student Services