Last Updated: 8/26/20


You can read the latest updates on the CSU COVID-19 Recovery website. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a good resource for better understanding the current concern and spread of the virus. See below for updates related to the Office of International Programs.

Laurel Hall will have limited in-person advising appointments

Starting on August 24, International Students & Scholars Services (ISSS) and Education Abroad will have in-person, scheduled advising appointments at Laurel Hall as well as remote appointments. You can learn more about hours and scheduling appointments for ISSS and Education Abroad on their respective webpages.

August 8 Update

ISSS is happy that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) rescinded its July 6 guidance, which it sought to forbid online-only instruction for F-1 students. CSU was involved in fighting this rule along with other universities and academic associations throughout the United States. Because we are now governed by the March ICE guidance (see below), this means that there is no limitation on online courses during the Fall 2020 Semester.

Prior to the pandemic, students were limited to one course (three credits), which could be counted toward their requirement of full-time enrollment. CSU is offering a hybrid academic model that mixes face-to-face (classroom) instruction and online coursework. Students in the U.S. may take any combination of courses, including all online courses, if that allows you to make normal academic progress, accounts for health concerns, or was given as advice by your academic adviser or major professor.

ISSS continues to believe that some face-to-face instruction will help you to stay connected with your faculty but we also want to be as flexible as possible for each of you. Students who are studying from their home country or other country outside of the U.S. will take all online courses. Students outside of the U.S. may keep their SEVIS (F-1) record active by taking a full course load. To remind you, that is 12 credits per semester for undergraduates or nine credits per semester for graduate students. Keeping your SEVIS record active allows you to maintain or build your eligibility for certain F-1 benefits such as employment authorization.

F-1 students were recently sent a letter to carry with them if they need to apply for a visa, get on an airplane, or be admitted to the United States at a port of entry (airport or border immigration posts). This letter may not be necessary, but please print it out and carry it with you if you are traveling internationally. Because of all of the changes in travel rules, ICE guidance for F-1 students, and the involvement of other government departments personnel, we are hearing about a little confusion among the various agencies. The letter addresses the issue of CSU offering a hybrid mix of courses and has the exact language that explains this academic model. Again, we doubt that you will need to present the letter but we have prepared it for you just in case.

August 5 Update

Travel Bans and Quarantine

In addition to quarantine requirements, the U.S. currently has travel bans in place for China, Brazil, Iran, and many European countries.

European Countries: F-1 students are exempted from the travel ban requirement. J-1 students must request a National Interest Exception from their nearest embassy or consulate. We recommend printing this announcement from the State Department website and carrying it with you when you travel.

China, Brazil, Iran: A 14-day stay in a non-banned country would be required prior to entering the US if you are traveling from or have even passed through China, Brazil, or Iran. Please keep this in mind as your plan your travel into the U.S. As the situation is constantly evolving, we advise you to visit the CDC website to see the most up-to-date information on traveling into the U.S. from abroad.

July 29 Update

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and the Department of Homeland Security published a new broadcast message and FAQ page regarding the Fall 2020 semester on July 24, 2020. SEVP reverted back to the March 9 guidance and provided additional information, clarifying how to handle new and initial international students versus continuing international students.

Because Colorado State University will operate a hybrid model of part online and part face-to-face or classroom courses, new and continuing students may travel to the United States to take classes on campus. Continuing students who wish to remain outside of the United States and study may do so. These students must continue to take a full course load, which is a minimum of nine credits for graduate students or twelve credits for undergraduate students. By taking a full course load, students may keep their immigration (SEVIS) status active. This is beneficial to maintain eligibility for employment (OPT) benefits. If you have individual questions, please email

Additional updates will be made available at Please keep checking the ICE site for new details.

July 14 Update

The policy by Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) from July 6, 2020, regarding international students on F and M visas and their ability to take online classes has been rescinded and will not be implemented. Instead, the policy from March 9, 2020, will be observed, which allows international students to remain in the United States while taking classes.

This means that the immigration records for international students who continue to participate in their coursework and maintain a full-time course load through the Fall 2020 semester will not be negatively impacted. However, we do advise that international students in the United States to enroll in a mix of online and face-to-face courses. Please view our March 14 update below for complete information.

You can also view the town hall recording below.

July 7 Update

[This policy is no longer implemented, but kept here for historical purposes.]

On July 6, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) issued guidance regarding international students on F and M visas and their ability to take online classes this fall.

The major impact of this new guidance affects students who attend a school that has decided to go fully online in the fall. This is not the CSU model for Fall 2020.

Colorado State University has opted to offer a mix of online and face-to-face courses in the fall, which SEVP considers a hybrid model. In order to maintain their student visa status, CSU international students taking classes in Fort Collins this fall:

  • May take more than three credit hours of online courses;
  • Must enroll in the required number of credits to be considered full-time (9 for graduate students and 12 for undergraduate students)
  • Must enroll in at least one credit of an in-person or hybrid course during the Fall 2020 semester (i.e., may not enroll in only online courses).

CSU is seeking clarification on several points in the ICE guidance. We will provide additional updates once we know more.

As a result of the new guidance, all international students will need a new I-20 (immigration document). The Office of International Students and Scholars will be in touch with students regarding their new documents. Additional information can be found here.

July 2 Updated FAQs

Our International Students’ FAQs page is updated with recent information.

June 24 Update

On June 22, 2020, President Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation suspending the entry of foreign nationals into the United States in H-1B, H-2B, or L status, as well as the J-1 Exchange Visitor program categories of intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, and the summer work travel program.

This suspension is effective immediately and is expected to remain in effect until December 31, 2020.

The proclamation was made in response to global COVID-19 cases.

The proclamation does not affect:

  • Any other visa types, including F-1 students
  • J-1 Exchange Visitors in any category offered at CSU, including Non-Degree Student, Degree-Seeking Student, Research Scholar/Professor, Short-Term Scholar, Specialist, or Student Intern
  • Individuals who are already in the United States, including those with a pending or future Change of Status application to H-1B, H-2B, or L status
  • Individuals who have a valid non-immigrant visa
  • Individuals who have an official travel document other than a visa (such as a transportation letter, boarding foil, or advance parole document)
  • Any lawful permanent resident of the United States
  • Any spouse or child of a U.S. citizen
  • Individuals who will provide temporary labor or services essential to the U.S. food supply chain
  • Individuals whose entry is in the national interest according to Department of State of Department of Homeland Security

April 8 Update

Review FAQs and resources for international students and scholars. This was updated on April 21 to include further information about the federal stimulus package.

March 22 Update

View the update on travel, programs, and services for international students and scholars.

March 15 Update

Important Message from the President of Colorado State University

Dear CSU International Students and Families,

Thank you for coming to CSU to be part of our academic community. We know you could have chosen another university and we are deeply grateful to you for choosing CSU. I have had the opportunity to meet many of you and you enrich our campus every day. However, due to the global crisis presented by the spread of the coronavirus, we know many of you and your families understandably want you to return home. If you believe it is necessary to return home, we will stand by you and do everything possible to give you the opportunity to complete your academic year and this semester. Above all else, you will always be a member of the CSU family and we will miss you. Please keep in touch over the miles, and the weeks, months and years.

Because of quickly evolving travel restrictions that may make it difficult for you to travel, we are advising those of you who want to return home to make immediate arrangements to return home.

We understand that you are worried about the impacts to your academic studies, if the university resumes face-to-face courses before the end of the semester. If you return home, we are committed to making accommodations to help you finish your semester while you remain in your home country. You would not be required you to return in person to Colorado State University.


March 14 Update

View the update on travel, programs, and services for international students and scholars.

March 9 Update

View an update on travel restrictions for international students and scholars.

The Office of International Programs is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation as it evolves abroad. This includes watching Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of State travel warnings. We are making decisions regarding study abroad programs and faculty travel based on those warnings and additional health information, and we are communicating frequently with students who are abroad.

August 26 Update

At this time, CSU Education Abroad (EA) is allowing students to apply for programs that begin in 2021. However, due to the significant and lasting effects of COVID-19 on our global community, it is important that potential education abroad students assess their risk tolerance with planning travel in these uncertain times; make backup plans in case their studies cannot move forward as planned; and if approved, set realistic goals about what the experience will look like. Click here to read more.

July 6 Update

CSU has suspended all of its semester-length programs abroad scheduled for the Fall 2020 term, including undergraduate study abroad programs, faculty-led programs, and internships. Graduate level research and field work are being considered on a case-by-case basis if it is considered essential travel as determined through university process.

CSU will be evaluating and making announcements regarding future international experiences as the global COVID-19 situation changes and departure dates approach. CSU does not make these decisions lightly and looks at multiple factors (listed below under “General Guidelines for Return and/or Cancellation of Programs”).

April 22 Update

CSU has suspended all of its programs abroad scheduled for the Summer 2020 term, including undergraduate study abroad programs, faculty-led programs, and internships. Graduate level research and field work are being considered on a case-by-case basis if it is considered essential travel as determined through university process.

CSU will be evaluating and making announcements regarding future international experiences as the global COVID-19 situation changes and departure dates approach. CSU does not make these decisions lightly and looks at multiple factors (listed below under “General Guidelines for Return and/or Cancellation of Programs”).

April 13 Update

CSU has suspended nearly all of its Summer 2020 programs abroad scheduled through mid-June. This includes undergraduate study abroad programs, faculty-led programs, and internships. Graduate level research and field work are being considered on a case-by-case basis. Future international experiences will be evaluated as departure dates approach and more information develops. Canceling programs is not a decision CSU takes lightly, but an important one in the wake of the global COVID-19 outbreak and the mobility limitations around the world.

March 21 Update

CSU has asked all students abroad to return to the U.S. as soon as possible and not to continue with personal travel. The State Department issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel to avoid all international travel.

March 13 Update

As a result of the recent changes in global assessments, CSU is recommending or requiring that all students studying abroad return to the United States.

Students who are studying abroad and are being asked (required) to return home

Schengen Area” in mainland Europe

CSU has asked our students studying in the mainland Europe (the Schengen Area) to return home because of increased travel restrictions and CDC alert level 3 “Avoid Nonessential Travel”. Following President Trump’s address to the nation on March 11, the Centers for Disease Control began updating all travel alert levels worldwide. As of March 12, nearly all countries in Europe were elevated to a CDC Travel Alert of level 3: Avoid Non-Essential Travel. This is a CSU marker to ask students to leave a country.

In addition, earlier this semester CSU asked students in some regions or in the countries of Japan, Italy, and China to return to the U.S. (see below timestamped updates for additional information).

Students who we recommend return home

All other countries, except for the required countries in the Schengen Area, China, and South Korea

As a result of changes in global risk assessments, CSU also recommends that CSU students not studying in Europe’s Schengen Area, China, or South Korea return to the U.S. to avoid potential travel restrictions and exposure to the virus.

If these countries reach the thresholds under the General Guidelines for asking students to return, then more countries may move from the “recommended” to the “required” to return status.

March 10 Update

On March 10, Colorado State University asked our students studying at Kansai Gaidai University in Japan to return home as soon as possible. This is because our partner agency providing the academic experience in Japan is moving to all online classes in a few weeks and students are being asked to leave by March 27.

The university will be in direct contact with the returning students as they return home to ensure that they are following the university’s travel guidance regarding returning from a country with a CDC level 2 travel warning, and providing them with information about following self-isolation guidance.

We continue to closely monitor Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travel guidance regarding other students currently studying in Japan at other universities and through other programs.

In addition, we are continuing to be in close contact with our academic providers across the globe to continue to support and advise our students, including watching decisions from our partner international universities as they make decisions regarding classes and academic programs in their countries.

February 29 Update

On Feb. 29, we asked all students studying abroad in Italy to return home. CSU made our decision to ask students in Italy to return home, based on the CDC level 3 “Avoid Nonessential Travel” notice for Italy and the U.S. Department of State level 3 with a “Reconsider Travel” warning because of the continuing spread of the COVID-19. We also are aware that with every day it will be more difficult for our students in Italy to change flights, risk of exposure becomes greater, and further restrictions may be imposed to slow the spread of the virus.

We continue to watch warnings associated with other countries, and will act according to travel notices at these levels to determine if we will ask students to return home.

We are following all protocols and guidelines for travelers returning to the United States from international travel.

General Guidelines for Return And/Or Cancellation of Programs

CSU International Travel Oversight Committee looks at multiple factors to decide if CSU should ask students to return from any country for health and safety concerns as with an outbreak of COVID-19. Here is a list of considerations:

  • Our partner institutions or organizations abroad cancel programs, cancels all classes, or postpones classes indefinitely.
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issues its highest warning, a level 3, which is “Avoid Nonessential Travel” for a region or country.
  • The U.S. Department of State issues its highest warning, a level 4, which is “Do Not Travel” to a region or country.
  • A regional quarantine, imminent threat of a quarantine, or other travel restrictions (airports closing, flights canceled, border restriction etc.) may restrict travelers to return home or leave the affected country.
  • Our insurance carriers limit coverage to a destination, which will greatly restrict CSU’s ability to support students in an emergency.
  • A majority of U.S. peer institutions are canceling programs and requiring students to leave the region/country.
  • Other unanticipated factors limit CSU’s ability to support students’ well-being or act in everyone’s best interests.

August 7 Update

The advisors for Education Abroad and International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) will be available for limited, pre-scheduled in-person appointments at Laurel Hall for the Fall 2020 semester in addition to remote advising appointments. During the week of August 17-21, ISSS will offer in-person, scheduled appointments. Starting the week of August 24, both Education Abroad and ISSS will offer remote and in-person, scheduled advising appointments. More information will be posted about scheduling appointments next week on the ISSS website and the Education Abroad website.

March Update

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, Laurel Hall will not be open to the public, starting on 3/19/20.

For questions about education abroad, please contact or call 970-491-6342. For questions about international student and scholar services, please contact or call 970-491-5917. In your voicemail message, please leave your name and CSU ID number. The voicemail will be checked on a regular basis.

Note about Asian Culture & Surgical Masks

In Asian culture, using a face mask or a surgical mask is common. Masks are used to both prevent pollution and infection getting to the mask wearer as well as to stop the spread of illness from the mask wearer to others. You may see Chinese students or scholars with facemasks, but that does not mean they have COVID-19. They may be trying to protect themselves from the common cold or flu.

Message of Support from Office of International Programs

For some of our Chinese friends and families who may be far from home and worried about your loved ones’ health and safety, we are here for you. We support you as fellow Rams!

July 2020 Town Halls

International Students & Scholar Services (ISSS)

On July 14, 2020, ISSS presented information on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on international students and gave updates on how we will innovate for this fall.

Education Abroad

On July 21, 2020, Education Abroad presented information about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students in education abroad programs, at Todos Santos Center, and on Semester at Sea.