2020-2021 Academic Year FAQ

Below are frequently asked questions about the impact of COVID-19, how it affects your immigration status, and other information pertinent to F-1 Students & J-1 Exchange Visitors. This page will continue to be updated as new information becomes available.

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Spring 2021

New Students & Students Starting New Programs in Spring

Spring Classes

Start Date for Spring 2021 changed to February 1, 2021

SUNY announced that the start date for the Spring 2021 semester will change to February 1, 2021.

If you are an F-1 student starting in Buffalo for Spring you most likely received your Initial I-20 with a program start date of 01/25/2021.  Although the Spring 2021 semester start date has changed at UB, the program start date on your I-20 will remain the same (01/25/2021) and you will not be issued a new I-20.

You will still be able to enter the U.S. up to 30 days prior to the program start date listed on your I-20.

Modes of Instruction for International Students


Current UB F-1 students continuing in current program, if they were engaged in full-time study on March 9, 2020

New F-1 students who intend to enter the US for Spring 2021
Current UB F-1 students starting new program at UB, if they were engaged in full-time study on March 9, 2020 F-1 students who began their program online outside the U.S. in Fall 2020 and who will enter the U.S. to continue studies in Spring 2021. 
F-1 students engaged in full-time study on March 9, 2020 who are transferring from another SEVP-certified U.S. school to UB for Spring 2021 F-1 students who entered the U.S. to begin a new program in summer 2020 or Fall 2020 and were not enrolled in F-1 status on March 9, 2020. 
New international students who intend to remain outside the U.S. for Spring 2021 Former UB students currently on OPT returning to begin a new degree program (if they were not enrolled on March 9)
  F-1 students currently on OPT transferring from another SEVP-certified U.S. college or university to UB (if they were not enrolled on March 9)
  Current UB students changing status to F-1 for Spring 2021
  UB F-1 students who are re-entering the U.S. after a leave of absence or status violation with an “initial” I-20
J-1 Students

We are still waiting for guidance on J-1 student enrollment requirements for Spring.

Maintaining F-1 Student Status During Spring

Maintaining J-1 Student Status During Fall

Academic Support & Wellness

On-Campus Employment

Travel & Travel Restrictions

CDC Recommendations for International Air Travel

Planning to travel interntionally by air? Be sure to understand CDC recommendations and testing requirements effective 1/26/21 on travel and plan ahead!

Visas & Support Letter for Travel

Social Distancing & Quarantine

Campus Operations

OPT Applications & Updates

SSA & IRS Issues