***important international student updates***
7/17/2020 - SEVP Reverses On-Campus Requirement
ICE/SEVP issued a broadcast message modifying the exemptions that international students were given regarding online study during the Spring 2020 term due to the pandemic. On July 14, 2020, SEVP reversed this directive after many universities and States joined in the lawsuit against the government. This new guidance would have required international students to attend at least one class on campus even during this pandemic. Current students may continue to study remotely and maintain their status. We will continue to monitor the news and share updates as new developments become available.
7/8/2020 - SEVP Requires On-Campus Courses
We are aware that the recent announcement from SEVP regarding online courses has created immense concern and anxiety for our international students. We want to reassure you that we are committed to supporting you in this unprecedented situation and are working closely with campus administration on exploring various solutions to ensure you have the available options to take courses to maintain your student status in the U.S. We are here to support you and will communicate additional guidance as soon as we have any new developments. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have any concerns or questions. Stay safe and well!
Where Can I Learn More about COVID-19?
You may visit the SJCC Current Students webpage for the latest updates and community resources available: SJCC Covid-19 Webpage.
What Should I Do If I Am Sick and Suspect It is COVID-19?
If you are feeling sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, please call the Urgent Care facility to inform them of your symptoms before you attempt to visit the facility. They will inform you of the next steps. To locate an urgent care facility, please visit your Member Portal at www.4studenthealth.com and/or view the following Video Link.
If you feel you are having an extreme life-threatening emergency, please call 911.
Can I Get Tested and Does My International Student Health Insurance Plan Cover the Treatment?
If you are currently subscribed to the college’s international health insurance plan and are a candidate for COVID-19 testing, it will be covered at 100% if you are at an in-network facility. If an in-network facility is not viable/accessible (too far away or cannot administer the test), coverage will be at 100% for testing at out-of-network hospitals/facilities. All copays and deductibles will be waived. The virus is treated as any other sickness or illness covered under the plan.
I Am Feeling Stigmatized or Discriminated Against Due to COVID-19. Who Can I Share This With?
San Jose City College is committed to providing a safe, inclusive environment that values diversity and respect. If you feel you have experienced stigmatization, discrimination, or any bias, please contact the International Student Program so we can assist you. You may also visit the following link to report any incidents associated with the college. Report here.
Campus & Contact Information
Can I Visit the International Student Program Office During the Campus Closure?
San Jose City College is operating remotely as the physical campus is closed until furter notice. During the on-site campus closure, the International Student Program as well as other academic and support services will be closed to in-person visits. Students should only come to campus when there is a specific open time stated for activities such as the pick up materials.
How Can I Communicate with the International Program When the On-Site Office is Closed?
During the closure, the program team will still be working remotely and will be available to respond to your concerns and requests from Monday through Thursday from 9 am - 4 pm.
1. For any requests, please complete the request form at the following link: https://form.jotform.com/InternationalStudentProgram/sjcc-isp-request-form. We will respond to your request within 1 business day.
2. For immigration concerns/questions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. For academic concerns/questions, please email: email@example.com.
You may also call our temporary Google Voice phone number at (408) 759-4499. Please state your name and you will be connected to a staff member.
Academics & Online/Alternative Instruction
How Do I Schedule An Appointment with A Counselor for My Academic Plan?
Please click on this Doodle Link: https://doodle.com/poll/da9zyudz7acfch7gEnter your name, student i.d. under Participants & click on the best time for you.
You may also contact your counselor, Cac directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or call us at (408) 759-4499 to schedule an appointment.
How Long Will Online/Alternative Instruction Last?
The San Jose Evergreen Community College District has announced the Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 semesters will continue through online instruction only. No changes have been announced for the Fall 2020 semester. We will notify you as soon as possible when we receive any further information.
How Do I Complete the Courses Online or in Alternative Modality?
Your instructors should have already communicated instructions on how to complete your course requirements. If you have not heard from your instructors, please email them immediately. You may find their information on the directory here: Faculty and Staff Directory.
If you cannot locate their name, please try the standard email format which is email@example.com (for example firstname.lastname@example.org). Please give them at least a day to follow up. If you do not hear from them after two days, please let us know.
Please make use of the resources such online tutoring services and contact the International Student Program if you need any assistance.
I Am Having a Difficult Time Adjusting to My Online Courses. What Should I Do?
We understand that the move from in-person courses to online instruction can be extremely challenging. Our top priority is to ensure that you have the tools to be successful in your courses. If you are experiencing academic difficulty, please first reach out to your professors for assistance. Please also utilize the extensive resources available as listed in the question below. If you need further assistance, please contact the International Student Program to discuss some possible options to help you succeed.
What Type of Resources are Available to Help Me Succeed In My Courses?
Online Tutoring: https://www.sjcc.edu/Library/Pages/onlinetutor.aspx
Library - Students have access to virtual library resources, including:
Article databases: https://sjcc.libguides.com/az.php
Ebooks & streaming media: https://sjcc.libguides.com/az.php?s=180805Get help finding an ebook here: RedShelf RespondsContact the Library Help desk for assistance accessing any of these materials at
Student Lingo - Students have access to many free useful study & life skills support workshops 24/7 to help them achieve success. www.studentlingo.com/sjcc
Laptop Loaners - Currently, all loaner laptops and Chromebooks are checked-out from SJCC. More will be lent out as we acquire them. In the meantime, please fill out the Laptop Request Form.
Internet Service - As California Community Colleges move classes and services online, access to reliable internet service is critical. Below is a list of several companies providing free or low-cost internet access during the current emergency.
Comcast - Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, Comcast is offering two months of free Internet service to new and existing customers through the Internet Essentials program (Links to an external site). Additionally, Xfinity WiFi hotspots (Links to an external site.) are now available free of charge.
AT&T - AT&T is providing free access to its WiFI hotspots (Links to an external site.)
Charter - Charter is offering Free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access (Links to an external site.) broadband and Wifi access for 60 days to households with college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription and at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Additionally, all WiFi hotspots are now free of charge.
T-Mobile - T-Mobile is providing unlimited data to all current customers who have plans with data for the next 60 days. It will also provide additional data to mobile hotspot users.
Verizon - Verizon is waiving late fees and suspending service termination for customers negatively impacted by the global crisis. Verizon Notice (Links to an external site.)
California Connects - California Community Colleges students are eligible for a Mobile hotspot service (Links to an external site.) powered by Sprint, which offers nationwide 4G LTE connectivity and allows users to connect up to 10 WiFi enabled devices for up to 10 hours on a single charge for only $19.99 a month.
Additionally, as part of the Keep Americans Connected Pledge (Links to an external site.) AT&T, Comcast, Charter, Cox, Google Fiber, Spring, Verizon, and T-Mobile will not disconnect any customers for the next 60 days regardless of payment status.
F-1 Visa Status & Travel
Will Taking Online/Alternative Modality Courses Affect My F-1 Visa Status?
No, SEVP allows for F-1 students to temporarily count online or alternative modality courses towards their full course of study. Students will remain in active F-1 visa status as long as they continue their courses online or in alternative format. However, if students withdraw from their course(s) resulting in a course load below 12 units, it may jeopardize their F-1 visa status. Please contact the International Student Program if you would like to discuss your circumstances.
Is There A Travel Restriction Preventing Me From Going Home?
It is an uncertain time for international travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We currently do not know how long travel restrictions will last or if and when additional countries will be added to the restrictions already in place. The current countries we do know on restriction for all non-U.S. citizens are those traveling to and from People’s Republic of China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau), Islamic Republic of Iran, Schengen Area, United Kingdom, excluding overseas territories outside of Europe, and the Republic of Ireland as of the March 14th Presidential Proclamation.
If you decide to travel, please be prepared, understand the risks, and be advised that you might not be able to return to the U.S. for an unidentified period of time. Your trip could be disrupted, or you may be quarantined upon your return. Stay informed about travel updates by checking with your country's embassy, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. State Department website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas.html.
I Want To Continue My Studies But Can I Study In My Home Country During the COVID-19 Campus Closure?
SEVP has confirmed that F-1 students are eligible to temporarily engage in distance-learning in or out of the US., so you may wish to return to your home country to continue your SJCC studies while courses are online due to COVID-19. However, please take into consideration your visa validity and travel risks including restrictions before you decide to return home. Please reach out to our program if you are considering this option. We will review inquiries case-by-case and arrange to sign your Form I-20 for travel outside the U.S. if you are eligible.
What If I Want to Return To My Home Country and Not Resume My Studies Online? What Should I Do?
Students must maintain a full-course load to remain in active F-1 status. If you plan to return home and are unable to continue your studies online there, please contact us via email or phone so we can advise you of the next steps. We will work with you on terminating your I-20 record and discuss options such as Leave of Absence (LOA) if you wish to return to the U.S. in the future.
If you plan to return to the U.S. within 5 months to resume your studies, we will request to reactivate your current I-20. Please make sure that your F-1 visa is still valid and you have not entered the U.S. under another visa category during this leave of absence. If you remain outside of the U.S. for more than 5 months, you must obtain a new I-20 (new SEVIS number) and apply for a new F-1 visa to re-enter the U.S.
Can I Leave San Jose To Stay With Family/Friends In Another City, County, State in the U.S.?
San Jose is under a “Shelter in Place” order through the end of May, 2020, meaning that residents should only leave their residence if it is “essential.” For more information on what is deemed “essential,” please see the FAQs from The County of Santa Clara for more information. FAQ link here
Can I Still Apply For OPT/CPT?
Yes, there have been no updates from SEVP regarding any changes in the processing of OPT or CPT applications. If you would like to apply for OPT, please send your inquiry to email@example.com to schedule a Zoom meeting to review your eligibility and I-765 application. We will continue to send updates regarding CPT and OPT, so please continue to check your email for notifications and updates.
I Am Currently On OPT/CPT, But My Hours Have Been Cut Or I Have Been Laid Off. What Can I Do?
At this moment, we have not heard any updates from USCIS/SEVP on changing regulations regarding required hours of work or reporting for OPT/CPT. If you are on OPT, you are currently allowed 90 days of unemployment. USCIS/SEVP have also approved for OPT students to work from home if allowed by their employer.
If you are on CPT and your employer has reduced your hours or completed your internship early due to COVID-19 and you have not worked the required hours to earn your unit load for the work experience class, please let the International Student Program and your instructor know so we can work with you to find a solution.
We can help you reach your goals! We welcome your questions and concerns. Please feel free to contact us for additional support.