International Student Scholar Services




Q:  What are the enrollment requirements for continuing students during the Spring 2022 semester?

A:   On April 26, 2021 the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced that F visa students and schools certified by SEVP should continue to abide by guidance issued in March 2020 for the upcoming 2021-22 academic year.  This guidance allows continuing students to enroll in additional online classes as needed due to the Covid-19 pandemic in the event campus-based classes are not available. 

     You may maintain your F-1 status as long as you have a minimum of 12 credit hours ( 9 credits for graduate students). Students in their last semester or on thesis may be below the minimum.   Please note that Columbia College Chicago's Spring 2022 schedule consists of about 80% campus-based or hybrid classes and about 20% of the courses are totally online.  Therefore, continuing students outside the U.S. may not be able to study full-time overseas due to a stronger campus-based schedule.  

Q:  What are the enrollment requirements for new students and students who did not attend classes last year during the Fall 2021 semester?  

A:  If you are a new student or a student who took an academic break and have an "initial" I-20, you must enroll in at least one campus-based course.  However, we recommend you enroll in at least two campus-based classes in the event a class later is cancelled or moved online.  You may not study entirely online in the Spring 2022 unless you remain outside the U.S. for the duration of the semester.   

Q:  I am a returning student who took one or more semesters off due to COVID-19.  Do I need a new I-20 and visa to return to the U.S.?

A:   In most cases, you will need a new I-20 and will need to pay a new SEVIS fee.  However, as long as your student visa is valid, you may use the same visa with the new I-20. Please contact for additional instructions. 

Q:  When does the Spring 2022 international student insurance policy start?   

A:   The Spring 2022 plan becomes effective on January 24, 2022.  

Q:  I am a continuing student but will study online in my home country during the spring semester.  Am I still able to continue working “virtually” on-campus if my current job is available?

A:   If you already were authorized for campus employment and your hiring department still wishes to have you work, you may work from your home country.  Direct deposit in a U.S. bank is required as payroll cannot deposit funds in a foreign bank account or send checks overseas.

Q:  I am a continuing student who will require a new I-20 for the spring.  Does this effect CPT or OPT?  

A:    The issuance of a new I-20 sets your F-1 status back to the beginning.  To be eligible for CPT (internship) or OPT after you graduate, you must complete an academic year in F-1 status, therefore you won’t be eligible for either CPT or OPT until the end of the fall 2022 semester. 

Q:  I will graduate in the current semester, but I am unable to return to campus and will complete my last semester online.    Am I still eligible to apply for OPT and return to the U.S. to work for one year if my OPT is approved?  

A:   You may still be eligible to apply for OPT if your SEVIS record is still active.  Please contact if you are completing your final degree requirements online outside the U.S. but are still interested in applying for OPT.  

 Q:  Will Columbia College Chicago require proof of vaccination to attend school?   Will it accept vaccinations from other countries?   

A:  On April 19, 2021 Columbia College Chicago announced that it would require all students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to attend classes on-campus.  Columbia College accepts all FDA and WHO approved vaccines.  For more specific details please contact for a copy of the school's COVID-19 vaccination requirements and deadlines for the Spring 2022 semester.   

Q:   If my country is still not able to provide a Covid-19 vaccination, may I come to the U.S. unvaccinated?

A:    For a list of countries that can travel to the U.S. without being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 please see:  

Exempt Countries