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New Initial F-1 Students and Study at MCPHS

In March 2020, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) issued guidance regarding immigration regulations and Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) management during a pandemic. That guidance still applies for fall 2021. The MCPHS Office of Immigration and International Support Services has prepared the following list of frequently asked questions on that guidance for students in new or initial status.

Can I apply for the F-1 visa and study as an F-1 student with a mix of in-person and online courses at MCPHS?

For the F-1 visa appointment, the decision on whether an individual is eligible to apply for an F or M visa is made by the U.S. Department of State (not SEVP). However, per the March 2020 guidance, nonimmigrant students seeking to enroll in a program of study that includes in-person and online components that exceed the limitations at 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G) (which contains a limitation on the number of online credit hours an F-1 student may take and have counted toward the student’s full course of study requirement) can continue to maintain F-1 or M-1 nonimmigrant status if pursuing such programs during the 2021–2022 academic year.

As a new initial F-1 student, can I take online-only classes and apply for an F-1 visa?

No. Currently, nonimmigrant students in new or initial status will not be able to enter the United States, or obtain a visa, to enroll in a U.S. school for the fall to pursue a full course of study that is 100 percent online.

If my I-20 has already been issued, but I don’t come to the United States for the fall 2021 terms, what will happen?

If you no longer plan to come to MCPHS for fall 2021 please contact the Admission Office as soon as possible.

How do I get my new I-20 for fall 2021, if I am an MCPHS F-1 transfer student who started my fall 2020 studies online outside of the United States?

If you are returning to the United States for the fall 2021 semester, before traveling to the United States you must contact Immigration and International Support Services at to request that your SEVIS I-20 be reactivated. Again, this must be done before your return travel to the United States, as you will need to have your updated I-20 record for fall 2021.

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