International Programs and Services

International Students FAQ for COVID-19

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. 

Update: July 27, 2020 

On Friday, July 24, 2020, ICE issued Clarifying Questions and Answers for international students. Reflecting our best reading of this guidance against the July 15 FAQ and regulations, we understand the following:

For Continuing F1 Visa holding Students (Those enrolled at Michigan Tech as of March 9, 2020)

  • 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, because of the temporary exemptions in place under the July 15 ICE FAQ. 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 2020 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 2020, please fill out the COVID-19 Special Consideration Request Form and Michigan Tech will work with you individually to adjust your schedule 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 students in their last semester, who are in their home country, who are considering OPT, we are still awaiting guidance from SEVP on whether or not students are able to apply for OPT from outside the country. We encourage you to continue to apply for OPT and will update you as we know more. 
  • IPS staff do not need to re-issue I-20's for continuing students. ICE rescinded this requirement. 

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 2020, 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.

For Continuing and New International Students

  • According to the July 24, 2020 guidance, If we must switch to an all online format in the middle of the Fall 2020 term students pursuing studies in the United States for the fall 2020 school term will be able to continue studying from within the United States if a university moves online.
  • 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.

Visa questions

  • The Department of State announced a phased resumption of routine visa services on July 14, 2020. The resumption of visa services will occur on a post-by-post basis so long as it is safe for Department of State personnel to return to work. Students should check with the specific consulate site to its operations by going to
  • The proclamations from the White House restricting certain travelers from entering the United States due to COVID-19 remain intact. Notably, the Department of State announced on July 16, 2020 that F-1 international students would be exempt from the proclamations banning certain travelers from the Schengen Area, UK, and Ireland.

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

Updates from the Graduate School

Updates for Students

Updates from International Programs and Services Message

Read 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