International Students FAQ for COVID-19

Welcome to campus for the Fall 2021 Semester, we are so happy you are here!

International Programs and Services is deeply concerned about the current coronavirus outbreak and sincerely hopes that you, your families, and your friends have not been directly impacted. The health, safety, and well-being of our international students, staff & faculty, and broader Michigan Tech community are our priority. The best way to receive updated information is to check this website as we will post updates here as soon as more information is available. 

Updated August 15, 2021

MTU Flex: Plan to Return to Campus

While Michigan Tech is at Health and Safety Level Two, face coverings must be worn indoors. This applies to all students, employees, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.

In Level Two, students and employees are not required to monitor their symptoms daily prior to coming to campus. But, individuals should be mindful of their own symptoms. A useful monitoring tool is available from the CDC. 

Michigan Tech strongly recommends that all employees and students receive the COVID-19 vaccine and continue with handwashing and hand-sanitizing practices, especially in light of the virulence of the COVID-19 delta variant.

During all Health and Safety Levels, no one with COVID-19 symptoms is allowed on campus. 


Update May 18, 2021

CDC Guidance for Returning to the US from international travel 

For those who are fully vaccinated with an FDA approved vaccination

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel.
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
  • Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements after travel.

For those who are NOT fully vaccinated 


  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
    • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
  • Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements.

Update: May 3, 2021

USCIS extends COVID rules for 2021-2022 academic year

USCIS announced last week that they will extend the current guidance in place for the 2021-2022 academic year. This guidance enables schools and students to engage in distance learning in excess of regulatory limits due to the continuing public health concerns created by COVID-19.  There are no changes to the original guidance, which will remain in effect during the 2021-22 academic year. Michigan Tech will be mostly in-person in the Fall semester, and has no plans on delivering a completely on-line course method. All Michigan Tech students should be just fine. Kellie has communicated this news with the Graduate School and the Provost. We are advising that you return to campus if you are able, with MTU planning for in-person courses, there may not be very many remote options in the fall and this may cause some trouble. More information can be found here

Travel Bans and COVID restrictions

The State Department announced last week that student-visa holders from China, Brazil, Iran, and South Africa would be exempt from COVID-related bans on travelers from those countries to the U.S!!

Also, with COVID cases soaring in India, the White House announced it would follow the lead of other countries and bar travelers from India. Students are excluded from the entry restrictions, you will be able to return with an active I-20/DS-2019.

Vaccines available

If it is possible to reconsider your travels, particularly to India, please consider doing so. If you need to travel, consider getting the vaccine before you go. You are able to get the vaccine here in Houghton. For more information go here 

Returning to the US from international travel

You will have to isolate for 14 days upon return to the US. We will update you if this information changes. 


On April 26, 2021, ICE issued Clarifying Questions and Answers for international students. 

For Continuing F1 Visa holding Students

  • Continuing international students can take classes in various modes: in-person, hybrid, or fully remote from the United States. Our understanding is because Michigan Tech is offering a hybrid or mixed delivery option for instruction there will be no effect on your SEVIS record as long as you remain enrolled full time or drop below full-time enrollment with proper documentation.

  • Continuing international students may take a fully online course load from the United States, however Michigan Tech plans to be in-person in the Fall 2021 semester and options may not be available. We encourage all international students who are in the United States to return to Houghton, MI if possible so you may take advantage of all student support and academic services available on campus.  

  • Continuing international students who had an active SEVIS record on March 9, 2020, can take a fully online course load in fall 2021 from outside the United States. Your SEVIS record will remain active as long as you maintain full-time enrollment. If you are having trouble registering for all online courses for fall 2021, please contact IPS and we will assist you if possible.  

  • Continuing international student may engage in CPT from their home country, provided they are: enrolled in a program of study in which CPT is integral to the program of study; their DSO authorized CPT in advance of the CPT start date; and either the employer has an office outside the United States or the employer can assess student engagement and attainment of learning objectives electronically.

For New International Students with Initial I-20's

  • New international students outside of the United States may take classes 100% online while they remain outside of the United States.

  • An I-20 and active SEVIS record are not required to enroll in online courses from outside the United States. New international students will not be activated in SEVIS in fall 2021, but they will be activated after arrival in the United States and enrollment in in-person classes. 

  • International students with an INITIAL SEVIS I-20 may not enter the United States to take fully online classes.

  • As we understand it; international students with I-20s marked “initial attendance” taking at least one in-person class (this could be 100% in person or courses that are a mixed delivery with a meaningful component in person) may still be able to study in the United States.

  • If you arrive in Houghton, MI from an international location you must self-isolate for 14 days before returning from campus. Please email for more information.

As we receive more information from SEVP and the Department of State we will share this information once we receive it. 


Update: December 7, 2020

Spring 2021 FAQs

Fall 2020 Information 

Updates from the Graduate School

Updates for Students

Updates from International Programs and Services MessageRead President Koubek's full message to faculty, staff, and students.

For information from Michigan Tech regarding COVID-19, please refer to the COVID-19 website.

Last updated: May 13, 2020

IPS staff are available to help and can be reached Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by email or by phone 906-487-2160