International Student Services

Division of Student Life

ISS COVID-19 Information 

Updates to this page will be made on an ongoing basis.  Please see the date stamps for updated content. 

How will the 2020-2021 academic year be impacted by COVID-19?

  • Reed’s academic program will rely on a mix of in-person and online education in the 2020–21 academic year. The academic calendar has been modified to reduce exposure to COVID-19 due to travel and peak flu season. International students unable to travel to Portland will have options to begin or continue their programs through virtual attendance. See the next section regarding the impact on international student SEVIS records. 
  • Please watch the message from Reed College President, Audrey Bilger, for more information about Spring 2021 plans.
  • The most up-to-date announcements will be shared on the COVID-19 Prevention and Response Plan website. It is recommended that students review the site on a weekly basis going forward.
  • Additional COVID-19 and Admissions FAQs from the Office of Admissions.
  • Reed College's COVID-19 Prevention & Response Plan outlines operational plans for spring and summer 2021. The college plans to update this COVID-19 Prevention & Response Plan for fall 2021 by June 15, 2021.

section updated 28 April 2021

How does the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) guidance impact international student SEVIS records and reporting?

  • On April 26, 2021, SEVP confirmed that the pandemic guidance originally issued in March 2020 will extend through the 2021-2021 academic year
  • Initial Status I-20s: Reed students arriving to the US for the first time in F-1 status, or students returning to campus after an leave of absence of more than 5 months
    • Students intending to travel to Portland for Fall 2021: Reed will seeek to ensure that international students can secure at least one in-person course registration to meet SEVP guidelines. Students must enroll in at least one in-person course in order to be eligible to enter the US in F-1 status for the Fall 2021 semester. If you have not already, please contact the ISS Program Director for an updated electronic I-20 to indicate that you will attend a at least one in-person course. 
    • Students unable to travel to Portland for Fall 2021: Please contact as soon as possible if you know you will not attend courses in-person. Reed will aim to support your enrollment in online courses for the fall semester. The ISS Program Director will postpone your I-20 program start dates to reflect arrival for the Spring 2022 term. A new electronic I-20 will be issued to you. Your F-1 status will begin once you arrive in the United States.
  • Continuing Attendance I-20s: Returning Reed students who were in Active F-1 status as of March 9, 2020 and have maintained continuous full-time enrollment since Spring 2020.
    • Students intending to return to Portland for Fall 2021: Students that have maintained an active SEVIS record since March 2020 may return to the US, even if participating in entirely online coursework for the Fall 2021 semester. If you are outside the US and plan to return for the Fall 2021 semester, please check the second page of your I-20 to ensure that you have a travel signature dated within the last calendar year. If you need an updated I-20 or travel signature, please contact as soon as possible. 
    • Students unable to return to Portland for Fall 2021: Students that have maintained an active SEVIS record since March 2020 may continue their F-1 status while outside the US by participating in online courses for the Fall 2021 semester. Students must maintain a full-time courseload (3 units unless otherwise authorized for a reduced courseload), and should continue to make normal program change or address change reporting to ISS.   
  • See the Reed Magazine post "ICE Directive Threatens International Students" to read how President Audrey Bilger and the campus are supporting international students. 

section updated 28 April 2021

Web resources with information about flight and travel restrictions:

Regarding entry to the United States:

Regarding global travel restrictions:

section updated 28 April 2021

What should international students expect for Fall 2021 International Student Orientation?

  • International Student Orientation (ISO) will tentatively take place from August 18-21 and is required for all F-1 and J-1 visa holders. International students not physically in Portland will have the opportunity to participate online in relevant sessions. 
  • New international students and international students arriving to campus for the first time should plan to arrive on campus August 18 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. The details of arrival procedure requirements are finalized in consultation with the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Group and will be updated by mid-June.
  • International Student Orientation is required for any F-1 or J-1 student new to Reed College. Students in other visa statuses, or with dual US citizenship/residency are welcome to join us, but not required.
  • General New Student Orientation website.

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How will I receive my I-20 or DS-2019 (immigration documents)?

  • Students outside the US should contact the ISS Program Director prior to planned travel. Students planning travel to the US with initial I-20s will need updated remarks indicating that a portion of their coursework will be in-person. Continuing Reed students will need a travel signature signed within the past year.
  • Under current guidance, SEVP is allowing I-20s to be issued electronically to students. 
  • If you need to correct submitted information, please contact as soon as possible. 

section updated 20 November 2020

What should I know in regards to visa applications and renewals?

  • As of March 20, 2020 the US Department of State suspended all routine visa services. Services and appointment availability are resuming on a country by country basis. Please contact the US Embassy/Consulate nearest to you to learn about reopening plans. Advance appointment booking or requests for expedited visa appointments may be available at some consulates. F-1 Students and J-1 Exchange Visitors within X days of their program start dates qualify for expedited appointments (each embassy/consulate sets the number of days (X) for expedited appointments; in most countries it's 60 days prior to the program start date).
  • Listing of US Embassy/Consulate information by country.
  • Students with a valid F-1 or J-1 visas already in their passport (even if another school is named) may use that visa to enter the US with their updated Reed I-20 or DS-2019.
  • Canadian passport holders will not need to apply for a US visa. Canadian students may enter the US with their passport and an updated I-20.
  • Per the SEVP COVID-19 Guidance guidance, all new Reed international students will need an updated initial I-20 with remarks regarding in-person study in order to enter the US. Please ensure that the I-20 you carry for travel has these remarks on page 1. 
  • Review our overview of How to Get a Student Visa.

section updated 6 January 2021

What will I need to travel to Reed College?

  • In order to enter the United States, you will need to present your Reed I-20, initial students will need remarks on page 1 (for F-1 students) or DS-2019 (for J-1 Exchange students), an F-1 or J-1 visa with dates valid for your entry, and a valid passport. Visit our information page to learn more about travel documents.
  • Please review the local government guidance in Oregon and any other US State prior to travel. Certain travel, recreation, and businesses are restricted.

section updated 20 November 2020

My family has been financially impacted by COVID-19, are additional funds available?

  • If your family has been impacted financially, please visit our page of COVID-19 Financial Support for Students (scroll down the resource page) to learn more about the resources available to you.

section updated 7 July 2020

How can I stay connected to Reed and International Student Services?

  • Ongoing information about student mentor programs, virtual social events, and Gwen Sandford, ISS Program Director will be shared via the ISS Weekly emails, watch your Reed email for more. 
  • The End of Semester & Summer Break Guide for Students is a comprehensive guide to campus resources and services available to students for the remainder of the spring 2021 semester, from April 12 to May 18, and over the summer academic break. 
  • We encourage you to explore Admissions’ Virtual Visit Page and connect with staff, faculty, and students!
  • Do you have questions not answered above? Request a phone/video chat with an international student advisor.
  • You are also invited to join the virtual Commencement ceremonies and celebrate our graduating Reedies.

section updated 28 April 2021

What if I need to postpone my start date or take a Leave of Absence from Reed College?

  • Students unable to arrive on-campus due to delayed visa issuance or travel restrictions will be allowed to attend classes virtually for the 2020-2021 academic year. Please see the section above “How does the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) guidance impact international student SEVIS records and reporting" for more information regarding impact to your SEVIS record.
  • Admitted students may start online and continue in-person for second semester should visa appointments re-open and travel restictions ease. Contact the admission office at with any questions.
  • For current students considering a leave of absence, please first read the ISS information on Academic Changes, then visit Student Life’s Leave of Absence page to learn more about the process. 

 section updated 29 July 2020