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FAQ for International Students

For Fall 2020, do I need to be in the United States to be enrolled in classes? Or can I be outside the United States?

You can be outside the United States. As we work to solidify reopening plans, our offices will stay in regular communication with and provide updated direction to our international students based on the latest travel guidance and the circumstances in the various countries involved. 

I am planning on returning to the United States. What do I need to do?

Before returning to the US, visit the US Department of State - Bureau of Consular Affairs website for information about visas and travel restrictions. Depending on the country from which you are traveling, you may be subject to quarantine or travel restrictions.

Also, check your MCPHS email and the MCPHS website regularly for University updates regarding requirements for individuals visiting campus, etc.

Am I permitted to travel within the United States?

Yes, you are permitted to travel in the US. Before traveling, follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines before doing so. Also check with the Transportation Security Agency (TSA), airlines and train companies for further requirements.

As an international student, can I receive treatment at a hospital or from other healthcare providers during the COVID-19 emergency?

Yes, as an international student you can receive treatment at a hospital or from other healthcare provider. If you need treatment, call ahead to any healthcare location before going there to get the most recent information about their intake processes.

If you are a continuing student on the Boston campus, you can contact Optum Health Services for telehealth appointments.

If you are seeking healthcare, remember to verify that you have valid health insurance to defray your healthcare costs. If you are a continuing student at MCPHS who is enrolled in the student health insurance program and have questions about Blue Cross Blue Shield Student Health Insurance Benefits (coverage), contact University Health Plans at 800.437.6448 or visit them online at

If I left the United States before filing any tax forms, do I still need to complete that process?

If you were present in the US during the 2019 year, you need to review the information provided by the Sprintax (the tax preparation software provided by the Colleges of the Fenway GEO Center to international students) regarding the Internal Revenue Service’s deadlines and filing requirements.

What is multi-factor authentication? Why is this important to me?

In order to access MCPHS technology off-campus, you will have to set up Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). MFA is an extra layer of security that requires you not only to enter your password when logging into MCPHS websites but also to receive a phone call or text to verify that it is really you logging in. NOTE: If you set up this process with your mobile phone number in the US, you will not be able to access your MCPHS accounts when you are outside of the US. To avoid this problem, download the Authenticator app on your mobile device and follow these set-up instructions.

What if Office 365, Blackboard or another application that I need for class is blocked in my country?

MCPHS has virtual desktop software that allows you to connect to MCPHS from outside of the US. You should download and install VMWare Horizon. Instructions can be found here. After installing the VMWare Horizon Client, test it out in the US to make sure it works.



I am an F-1 student. How can I get an I-20 travel signature?

Until further notice, you can request a Travel Signature by filling out our online Request for I-20 Reprint. In the I-20 Reprint Reason Questionnaire, select “TRAVEL” as the reprint reason. Immigration and International Support Services will email your new form I-20 to you. Due to the COVID-19 emergency, copies of I-20s and originals can be used with valid travel signatures. Email our office at if you have any questions.

Can I come to the office to pick up my immigration documents or to ask questions about my F-1 status?

No, currently Immigration and International Support Services staff members continue to work remotely. We are available for scheduled appointments via Microsoft Teams, which you can download here or in the App Store. MS Teams can be used on desktop or mobile device. To sign in, simply use your MCPHS login credentials. To schedule a Microsoft Teams appointment with us, email our office.

As an F-1 student, do I need to leave the United States?

No, you do not need to leave the US if you are maintaining your F-1 status. If you have questions regarding your immigration status, please contact

As an F-1 student, can I take only online courses for Fall 2020?

Due to the continuing public health emergency, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) currently is making exceptions about online enrollment restrictions for F-1 students. However, that exception is subject to change. Immigration and International Support Services will notify F-1 students regarding the requirements for online enrollment as soon as any announcements are made by the University or SEVP. IMPORTANT: if you choose not to be enrolled in classes at MCPHS in the Fall 2020 semester, you must take a leave of absence or withdraw, and you cannot remain in the US. Contact if you have any questions.

As an F-1 student, is there any information that I need to provide to Immigration and International Support Services?

Yes, you need to notify our office if you are in the US, and update your current local address, and if you leave the US you are required to notify us. In addition to this, you will receive an email from our office providing detailed instructions on how to provide this new information to us. Contact Immigration and International Support Services if you have any additional questions at

Information Hotline



Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.