SPRING SEMESTER 2022 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ) AND IMPORTANT ARRIVAL GUIDELINES
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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: