Q: How can I request support for updating my SEVIS record or requesting an immigration benefit like OPT or CPT?
A: Please utilize the iStart portal at istart.gatech.edu to submit any requests and visit our website for advising options.
Q: How can I learn more about institutional announcements regarding COVID-19?
A: You can stay up-to-date with all of the latest institutional announcements on COVID-19 shared here: http://health.gatech.edu/coronavirus.
Q: How will I receive copies of my I-20 or DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility during this time?
A: OIE advisers are continuing to process all benefit requests and updates at this time. Once your request is processed you will receive instructions on options availalble to deliver your I-20 to you.
Q: How can I receive a travel signature?
A: Student and scholar visa holders can submit a request for a travel signature via iStart. You will have the option to request your new I-20 form electronically, via U.S. postal service (at OIE expense), or Express mailing (at your expense).
Q: How can I meet with an OIE adviser during this time?
A: OIE is providing virtual advising services to support international students and scholars including virtual drop-in advising on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday via Bluejeans.
Q: Will travel restrictions still be in place if I depart the U.S. for a temporary period and attempt to return later?
A: The COVID-19 pandemic is a fluid situation. It is not possible for us to predict what travel restrictions may be in place over the course of the next several months. If you are interested in international travel during this time, please be aware of the following:
- Some U.S. embassies and consulates are providing emergency services only. Travel restrictions for non-US persons entering the U.S. are in place for several countries and more countries may be added in the future.
- Travel disruptions and U.S. entry restrictions are expected to continue and could affect your ability to maintain your student or exchange visitor visa status if you are unable to return to the U.S. and enroll in a full course of study or pursue program objectives. We encourage you to carefully consider avoiding non-essential international travel during this worldwide health crisis.
Graduate Research Assistants in China who are unable to return to the U.S. are encouraged to contact GT Shenzhen to learn more about options available at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Due to a shelter in place order and/or concerns about COVID-19, I am temporarily staying at a different address, though I am still maintaining my current address. Do I need to update OIE with this address?
A: Federal regulations require F-1 students to update their residential address within 10 days of a change. If you are temporarily relocating to a new residential address for a short period we recommend you update your SEVIS record with your temporary residential address to ensure compliance with federal requirements. You can update your address by completing the Personal Information Update in the iStart portal.
Q: Am I eligible for the economic stimulus package as an F-1 or J-1 visa holder?
A: You can find additional guidance on tax residency status and eligibility from the IRS. Georgia Tech utilizes Glacier software to determine tax residency status and encourages you to use the software to verify your residency status. Please note that OIE is unable to provide tax guidance or support with tax residency information. Individuals who need additional support should speak with a qualified tax attorney.