COVID19 FAQs for International Students

ISSS will continue to provide timely support to you throughout this period. Your health and safety-- as well as your immigration status-- continue to be our top priorities.

Below we address some frequently asked questions for international students. If you need additional clarification or have questions that are not answered below please do not hesitate to reach out to our office at [email protected]. Now more than ever it is crucial that you check your albany.edu email address daily.

General Office Procedure Questions

Q: What are the options for getting advisement from ISSS? (In-person, by phone, or by Zoom)

Q: What if I have a document request for ISSS, can I submit it electronically?

Q: What if I have a document I need to pick-up from ISSS?

Registration and Academic Considerations for F-1/J-1 Students

Q. How will courses be offered in Fall 2021?  What will the DHS registration requirements be for Fall 2021?

Q. What if I can’t return to the U.S. for in-person coursework in Fall 2021?

Employment Considerations for F-1/J-1 Students

Q. Can I continue working on-campus remotely?

Q. Are students still eligible to apply for CPT authorization? Can students work remotely while authorized for CPT?

Q: I’m graduating this term, can I still apply for post-completion OPT?

Q.  Does time spent enrolled full-time from outside the U.S. count towards my academic year completion requirement for practical training (CPT/OPT) eligibility?

Q. Due to the current job market, I’m worried about finding a job on post-completion OPT before I exceed the 90 days of unemployment allowed. Do you have any suggestions?

Q. I am on post-completion OPT/STEM OPT and my employment hours have decreased due to COVID-19. Is this okay? What do I need to report?

Q. I am working remotely on OPT/STEM OPT due to COVID-19. Is this okay? What do I need to report?

Q. What is off-campus work authorization due to economic hardship, and how do I apply?

Quarantine, COVID Testing, & COVID Vaccination Considerations for F-1/J-1 Students

Q. Are vaccinations required by the University and/or to enter the U.S.?

Q. Which COVID-19 vaccines will be accepted by the University? 

Q. How do I submit proof of vaccination for COVID-19?

Q. What are the requirements for fully vaccinated international students?

Q. What are the requirements for partially or unvaccinated international students?

Q. How can I get food and supplies while in quarantine?

Q: Where can I get a COVID-19 PCR and/or antigen test in New York State?

Q. Can I get a COVID-19 Vaccine in New York State?

Q. What are the rules for requesting a vaccination exemption?

Travel and Visa Considerations for F-1/J-1 Students

Q. Is it okay to travel outside the U.S.?

Q. What travel restrictions/risks should I consider if I’m planning to travel outside the United States? (including country specific travel restrictions).

Q. How do I request a travel signature for my I-20 or DS-2019?

Q. What about renewing my F-1 or J-1 visa? Will that be possible at this time?

Q. I recently completed my F-1/J-1 program and am now in my grace period (the grace period is 60 days for F-1 students, 30 days for J-1 students). What if I’m having trouble finding a flight to depart the U.S.?

Wellbeing and Financial Considerations for F-1/J-1 students

Q. I am facing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 emergency. What resources are available for international students?

Q. I am experiencing food insecurity.  Are there local food banks available?

Q. Where can I find information about the CARES Act, stimulus checks, an unemployment insurance, and how those relate to F-1/J-1 international students?

Q. I am feeling stress/anxiety. What resources are available? Where can I go for help?

Q. I have health concerns related to COVID-19. Is Health Services open?

Housing/Living Considerations for F-1/J-1 students


Q. How do I report where I am currently living?

 

General Office Procedure Questions

Q: What are the options for getting advisement from ISSS? (In-person, by phone, or by Zoom)


Advising by Appointment- In-Person or on Zoom
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Friday from 9am-12:30pm EST

  • Appointments must be scheduled in advance through Calendly
  • These spots are primarily available for students unable to attend walk-in advising in-person, but students do have the option to schedule an in-person meeting if they need to discuss a complicated issue which cannot be adequately addressed during walk-in advising hours (such as USCIS changes of status; complex work authorization issues; or other matters)

Walk-in Advising- In-Person or by Phone (518-591-8172)
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 12:30-4:00pm EST

  • No appointment needed, just drop in to SL G-40 or call 518-591-8172
  • If you call, please be prepared to leave a voicemail with your name and call back number in case the advisor is currently seeing someone else

Document Pick-Up

  • In-person pick-up of documents at the office (such as EAD cards) is available during normal business hours.

Arriving at the Office (including Document Pick-Up)

  • Please review the University's safety protocols, including masking and social distancing policies. Masks are required for all individuals.
  • When you arrive for your visit please electronically check-in to let the advisor know you're here. Options include scanning a QR code to check in from your mobile device or using the desktop computer up front to sign in.
  • This is the check-in procedure for appointments, walk-ins, and picking up of documents.  If picking up a document you must have your ID with you.

 

Q: What if I have a document request for ISSS, can I submit it electronically?
A. All document requests may be submitted electronically, either through an Eform or fillable PDF document which you can email to [email protected] You can access all forms on our website here: https://www.albany.edu/isss/forms.php.

Q: What if I have a document I need to get from ISSS?

In-person pick-up of documents at the office (such as EAD cards) is now available during normal business hours.

Other options for delivery of documents are:

  1. Electronic Delivery (I-20s only)- Due to COVID-19 emergency guidance, students may request receive an electronic, signed I-20 scanned through email.  The student is responsible for printing this I-20 out. If you do not have access to a printer please consider one of the two options below to have a paper I-20 mailed to you.
  2. Standard USPS- this option has no fee, but also no tracking number and takes on average 3-10 business days to arrive. Email [email protected] the address you want the document sent to. This option would not be appropriate if you need a paper copy quickly; if it is an EAD card; or for international mailing.
  3. Order an E-Ship Label- use this option if you want the paper document quicker; want it tracked; it is an EAD card; or if you need the document sent internationally. Here are the instructions for ordering an E-Ship Label: https://www.albany.edu/isss/91191.php. Email [email protected] to confirm once you have ordered the label.

 

Registration and Academic Considerations for F-1/J-1 Students

Q. How will courses be offered in Fall 2021?  What will the DHS registration requirements be for Fall 2021?

On March 1st, Provost Kim emailed students the plans for Fall 2021, which you can review here: https://www.albany.edu/covid-19/news/2021-ualbanys-plans-fall-2021.  In the message, Provost Kim shared that “when the fall semester’s course schedule is released, you will see that class delivery for the fall will be largely in-person." Students should therefore prepare to return to a mostly in-person course schedule for the Fall 2021 term.  Students can review the modality for each specific course on the schedule of classes for Fall 2021.

On April 26th, DHS announced a continuance of its March 2020 guidance.  Students who were actively enrolled and in an active F-1 or J-1 SEVIS status as of March 9, 2020 may enroll in a fully online course of study and maintain status during Fall 2021; this includes continuing students enrolled from outside the U.S. who are unable to return in-person in Fall 2021 (full-time registration is still required).  Students who do not meet this criteria are required, according to DHS guidance, to enroll in a minimum of one in-person or blended/hybrid course to maintain F-1 or J-1 status during Fall 2021. While DHS has extended flexibility with online course loads, course modality availability may differ depending on a student’s level of study and/or academic program.

NOTE: Are you unable to return to the U.S. for fall 2021 semester but want to enroll in courses?  See below, What if I can’t return to the U.S. for in-person coursework in Fall 2021?

 

Q. What if I can’t return to the U.S. for in-person coursework in Fall 2021?

We recognize that there are several factors which may limit a student’s ability to return to the U.S. for in-person coursework in Fall 2021.  First, please reach out to ISSS if you are encountering difficulties so that we can support you and point you to any resources available at that time.

It has been determined that the University at Albany will continue to provide academic continuity plans to overseas- based international students (new and continuing) unable to return to the U.S. for the fall 2021 semester. The University will therefore continue the process of working with undergraduate students through CIEGS and Academic Advisement Services while graduate students will need to work with Graduate Education/academic departments for scheduling assistance. As the University transitions back to in-person instruction, fully remote/online schedules will be limited to overseas students unable to return to the U.S. for the upcoming semester due to circumstances beyond their control, such as inability to obtain a visa, impeding timely travel for fall semester classes, or travel ban impositions. Because fully remote/online schedules will be limited, all other international students should expect that their course schedules will include in-person instruction in Albany this Fall. Graduate students may be able to make other arrangements if approved by their academic department.

Employment Considerations for F-1/J-1 Students

Q. Can I continue working on-campus remotely?
A. From an immigration perspective, SEVP has said the following about on-campus remote work: “If the current on-campus employment opportunity has transitioned to remote work or the employment can be done through remote means, students may continue to engage in on-campus employment remotely. Schools should be able to explain how the students are providing services associated with the employment while not at the location of the employer.” Students may work up to 20 hours per week on-campus during the semester and are eligible to work more than 20 hours during the annual breaks/vacations while classes are not in summer (winter break, summer break, spring break) as long as all other student employment policies are met. Students should discuss with their supervisor(s) whether or not they are allowing remote work for the student's position and under which conditions, as well as how to document how the on-campus employment is conducted remotely. Human Resources requires that students have a physical presence in the United States will engaging in most forms of student employment.

Q. Are students still eligible to apply for CPT authorization? Can students work remotely while authorized for CPT?
A. Yes, students who continue to meet all eligibility requirements for CPT are eligible to apply for CPT authorization as normal. Students are also allowed to engage in CPT remotely as long as the employer is able to provide training remotely and the academic department supports the remote academic internship. As before, students must be authorized for CPT prior to beginning any work.

Q: I’m graduating this term, can I still apply for post-completion OPT?
A: Yes, students who are studying in the United States and are otherwise eligible for OPT may still apply for post-completion OPT. Please be sure to carefully review the OPT requirements before applying (https://www.albany.edu/isss/87855.php). If you will be studying fully online from outside the U.S. during the term you are graduating your OPT eligibility will be jeopardized. Please contact [email protected] for more information.

Q. Does time spent enrolled full-time from outside the U.S. count towards the academic year completion requirement for practical training (CPT/OPT) eligibility?

A.  If you have questions about whether or not time spent enrolled full-time outside the U.S. may count toward the academic year completion eligibility requirement for CPT/OPT authorization please contact ISSS for case by case advisement. All other CPT/OPT eligibility requirements must continue to be met, including that you are in an active F-1 status at the time of the internship.  Please note that DHS/USCIS is the agency that approves the OPT application, not UAlbany ISSS.

Q. Due to the current job market, I’m worried about finding a job on post-completion OPT before I exceed the 90 days of unemployment allowed. Do you have any suggestions?
A: The current job market will be competitive. However, remember that for purposes of post-completion OPT the practical training may be paid, unpaid or volunteer as long as it directly relates to your major field of study. While under normal circumstances students must engage in at least 20 hours per week of practical training to be considered fully employed while on OPT, DHS has stated that “For the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, SEVP considers students who are working in their OPT opportunities fewer than 20 hours a week as engaged in OPT.” Please also continue to check your weekly newsletter for resources and events being offered through UAlbany (such as by ISSS or Career Services) as well as for off-campus resources which may help you with your employment search as well.

Q. I am on post-completion OPT/STEM OPT and my employment hours have decreased due to COVID-19. Is this okay? What do I need to report?
A. While under normal circumstances students must engage in at least 20 hours per week of practical training in order to be considered fully employed on OPT, DHS has stated that “For the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, SEVP considers students who are working in their OPT opportunities fewer than 20 hours a week as engaged in OPT.” You can report the change by submitting a Post-Completion OPT Employment Reporting EForm or STEM OPT Reporting Employment EForm, click here.

Q. I am working remotely on OPT/STEM OPT due to COVID-19. Is this okay? What do I need to report?
A. Yes, students are allowed to work remotely during COVID-19. DHS has stated that STEM OPT students do not need to update the Form I-983 in this event. Students on post-completion OPT and STEM OPT may send [email protected] an email notifying us that you’re working remotely due to COVID-19, and we will save that email with your file.

Q. What is off-campus work authorization due to economic hardship, and how do I apply?
A. Please remember that working off-campus without authorization is considered a serious violation of F-1 status which could result in loss of status and/or loss of eligibility for future benefits or applications. However, F-1 students who have been enrolled full-time for at least one academic year and are experiencing a severe, unforeseen and demonstrable financial need may be eligible to apply to USCIS for off-campus employment authorization due to severe economic hardship. Interested students should contact [email protected] for more information. Please be advised that this application process will not be a quick-term solution for most students, as USCIS processing times average between 3-7 months or longer. Students with more immediate financial needs should email [email protected] about other, non-employment based financial resources.

J-1 students experiencing economic hardship should also reach out to [email protected] for more information.

Quarantine, COVID Testing, & COVID Vaccination Considerations for F-1/J-1 Students

Q.  Are COVID-19 vaccinations required by the University and/or to enter the U.S.?

A. Effective Monday, August 23, 2021, all UAlbany students are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This mandate is in effect for any UAlbany student coming to any UAlbany campus or facility for any reason during the 2021-2022 Academic Year. For details, click here.

The White House has announced that "beginning in early November [2022], adult foreign nationals traveling to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with limited exceptions.  U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and lawful permanent residents (LPR) will be exempted from this vaccination requirement, although unvaccinated U.S. citizens, nationals, and LPRs will be subject to new pre-travel and post-travel testing requirements."  We will release more details once available.  Currently, Proof of a negative COVID test or recovery from COVID-19 is required for air passengers entering the U.S.; this is required even if you are already fully vaccinated.

For more information about UAlbany vaccination requirements pertaining to all students, international students, and on-campus living students, please visit https://www.albany.edu/covid-19/vaccinate-ualbany.

Q. Which COVID-19 vaccinates will be accepted by the University?

Please review the University accepted COVID-19 vaccines under the International Students section of the University’s website here: https://www.albany.edu/covid-19/vaccinate-ualbany

Q. How do I submit proof of vaccination for COVID-19?

Please visit the Vaccinate UAlbany website for detailed instructions and submit your proof of COVID-19 vaccination to the Student Health Portal.

Q. What are the requirements for fully vaccinated international students?

Please review who is considered fully vaccinated and the arrival requirements on the University’s website here: https://www.albany.edu/covid-19/vaccinate-ualbany. If you are arriving from an international location please review the section for “International Students — arriving from international locations.”

Q. What are the requirements for partially or unvaccinated international students?

Please review the arrival requirements on the University’s website here: https://www.albany.edu/covid-19/vaccinate-ualbany. If you are arriving from an international location please review the section for “International Students — arriving from international locations.”

Q. How can I get food and supplies while in quarantine?

Students living on-campus who are quarantining on campus should follow the meal delivery instructions provided by the Office of Residential Life.

Students living off-campus may utilize food delivery services, many of which are contact-free. The local Walmart  will deliver food and many local grocery stores provide delivery through Instacart.  You can also order delivery from a local restaurant, many of which we have listed here.  Many services will accept payment online or by phone.  It is also a good idea to have some cash available if needed.

Q: Where can I get a COVID-19 PCR and/or antigen test in New York State?

A: All students, including those currently living in the Albany area, can visit the New York State Department of Health’s website to find a nearby test site.  The zip code for the University at Albany campus is “12222” if you’d like to search nearby campus.

Please call the testing site or your health care provider before you go for testing to ask about whether it is a free testing location or requires insurance or other charges.

If you go to a test site run by New York State, there is never any charge for your test.

If you go to a test site operated by local governments, private companies including pharmacies and medical practices or not-for-profit organizations, you are advised to check with the testing site and your insurer in advance of being tested to confirm you will not be responsible for any fees associated with your test.  Students are responsible for arranging for testing and paying associated costs, if applicable.   Tests may not be covered by insurance if a physician does not order them.

Q. Can I get a COVID-19 Vaccine in New York State?

A.  Currently, residents of New York State ages 12 and older are eligible for a vaccine in New York State.  This means that if you live in New York State and are age 12 or over you are eligible.  There is no cost for the vaccine, though you may be asked to provide your insurance information/card.  Please review information on how and where to get a vaccine on New York State's website here: https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/ 

Q. What are the rules for requesting a vaccination exemption?

Please review the information for requesting a medical or religious exemption to the COVID-19 vaccination requirement on the University's Vaccinate UAlbany webpage.

You do not need to request an exemption if you plan to begin or complete your vaccination series immediately upon arrival to Albany.

Travel and Visa Considerations for F-1/J-1 Students

Q. Is it okay to travel outside the U.S. ?

Our office  does not recommend international travel at this time, if avoidable.  This is because the situation can change rapidly and with little notice, including travel restrictions, travel bans, and lack of flight availability. Students should consider these risks before choosing to travel.  We have also seen that the situation can change at a moment’s notice, so there is unfortunately always an elevated risk while travelling when the pandemic is ongoing.

If you choose to travel, please remember that you must have an I-20/DS-2019 with a valid travel signature when re-entering the U.S. (travel signatures for enrolled students are valid for 1 year; travel signatures for students on OPT are valid for 6 months), a valid passport (with at least 6 months validity remaining), and a valid F-1/J-1 visa when re-entering. You can find the request Eform for a travel signature on our website here.

Q. What travel restrictions/risks should I consider if I’m planning to travel outside the United States?
A: International travel at this time poses special challenges. We therefore encourage any student who wants to remain in the United States while studying to avoid any travel outside of the U.S. at this time, if at all avoidable.

Below is a list of travel restrictions/risks you should consider before traveling

  1. Presidential Proclamations restricting travel to the U.S. from China; Iran; Brazil; South Africa; India; the Schengen Area; the UK; and Ireland are in effect.  U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents are exempt from these restrictions.  F-1 and J-1 students traveling from these regions should review the below:

The U.S. Department of State has granted a national interest exception (NIE) waiver to F-1 and J-1 students travelling from China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, India, the Schengen Area, United Kingdom and Ireland.  This waiver, under certain conditions, exempts F-1 and J-1 students from the Presidential Proclamations that restricted certain individuals from traveling directly to the U.S.

When entering the U.S. students must have a valid I-20/DS-2019 (continuing students must have a travel signature from within the past 1 year from the date of re-entry; students on OPT must have a travel signature from within the past 6 months from the date of re-entry); a valid F-1/J-1 visa; a valid passport (with 6 months validity remaining); and proof of a negative COVID test or COVID recovery.  Please review country specific information for how the NIE waiver is applied below.

ISSS will continue to update students as the situation develops.  More information can be found on NAFSA’s website here: https://www.nafsa.org/regulatory-information/covid-19-restrictions-us-visas-and-entry#nieniv

Students traveling from the Schengen Area, UK & Ireland:

New and continuing F-1 students (including those on OPT) may automatically qualify for a NIE waiver to enter the U.S. if they have a valid F-1 visa.  J-1 students applying for a visa from these areas will be evaluated for a NIE waiver as part of the visa interview; J-1 students who already have a valid J-1 visa must contact their embassy/consulate for the J-1 NIE waiver.   If you have questions or concerns about your eligibility for a NIE when traveling from these countries please contact your local embassy/consulate.

Students traveling from China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa or India:

  • New F-1 and J-1 students entering the U.S. on an initial I-20 or DS-2019  may qualify for a NIE waiver to enter the U.S.  F-1 students may qualify with a valid F-1 visa granted by the U.S. Department of State.  J-1 students applying for a visa from these areas will be evaluated for a NIE waiver as part of the visa interview; J-1 students who already have a valid J-1 visa must contact their embassy/consulate for the J-1 NIE waiver.  Please contact your embassy or consulate if you have questions.  The earliest initial students may enter the U.S. is 30 days prior to their program start date.  Students must obtain a valid visa before entering the U.S. (see documentation requirements for entry above).

  • Continuing F-1 students (including those on OPT) may automatically qualify for a NIE waiver to enter the U.S. if they have a valid F-1 visa; please contact your embassy or consulate if you have specific questions. Continuing J-1 students applying for a visa from these countries will be evaluated for a NIE waiver as part of the visa interview; J-1 students who already have a valid J-1 visa must contact their embassy/consulate for the J-1 NIE waiver. 

  1. There are restrictions on land entry from Canada and Mexico.  These restrictions are expected to be lifted in November 2022 for travelers who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
  2. Flights and airline travel worldwide are severely limited at this time.
  3. Human Resources requires students to be physically present in the United States to hold an assistantship or other student employment positions, so if you are unable to return to the U.S. unexpectedly it could jeopardize your student employment.
  4.  The White House has announced that "beginning in early November [2022], adult foreign nationals traveling to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with limited exceptions.  U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and lawful permanent residents (LPR) will be exempted from this vaccination requirement, although unvaccinated U.S. citizens, nationals, and LPRs will be subject to new pre-travel and post-travel testing requirements." We will announce more details once available. Currently, the the U.S. Center for Disease Control requires any person entering the U.S. to have a negative viral COVID test within 3 days of boarding their flight.  You can read more here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html .  Please check with your airline for more information. 

Q. How do I request a travel signature for my I-20 or DS-2019?
A. We understand that choosing whether to stay in the U.S. or depart the U.S. is a difficult decision. If you choose to depart the U.S., please do the following:

  1. Read the above answer to "What if I’m planning to travel outside the United States? What travel restrictions/risks should I consider?"
  2. Check the travel signature on page 2 of your I-20 (F-1) or page 1 of your DS-2019 (J-1). Travel signatures are valid for 1 year for F-1 enrolled students, 6 months for J-1 exchange visitors and F-1 students on OPT.  If you need a new travel signature, please:
    • Complete the Request for Updated or Travel Signature I20/DS2019 Eform.
    • Indicate in your Eform how you want to receive your documents. The options are:
      1. Electronic Delivery (I-20s only)- Due to COVID-19 emergency guidance, students may request that an electronic scan of the I-20 be emailed to them. The student is responsible for printing this I-20 out. If you do not have access to a printer, please consider one of the two options below to have a paper I-20 mailed to you
      2. Standard USPS- no fee, no tracking, and takes 3-10 business days to arrive. Email the advisor the address you want the document sent to. This option would not be appropriate if you need the document quickly; if it is an EAD card; or for international mailing
      3. Order an E-Ship Label- use this option if you want the document quicker; want it tracked; it is an EAD card; or if you need the document sent internationally. Here are the instructions for ordering an E-Ship Label: https://www.albany.edu/isss/91191.php. Email [email protected] to confirm once you have ordered the label.

Q. What about renewing my F-1 or J-1 visa? Will that be possible at this time?
A. First, remember that in order to remain in the United States a F-1 or J-1 student needs a valid passport and a valid I-20 or DS-2019. It is okay if the F-1 or J-1 visa expires while you’re within the United States; a valid F-1 or J-1 visa is only needed to enter the U.S. as a F-1 or J-1 student. We do not recommend international travel at this time, particularly if your visa is expired or will be expiring. Many embassies and consulates  still have very limited availability for visa renewals. Therefore, trying to renew a visa at this time is very difficult, and students should avoid travel if possible.

Q. I recently completed my F-1/J-1 program and am now in my grace period (the grace period is 60 days for F-1 students, 30 days for J-1 students). What if I’m having trouble finding a flight to depart the U.S.?
A. Finding a flight to depart the U.S. may be very difficult at this time. SEVP/ICE has acknowledged this difficulty for many students who have recently completed their F-1 or J-1 program. In general, students have the following options to extend or change status during the grace period:

  1. If you are a F-1 student who recently graduated from a degree seeking program, apply for OPT through USCIS to pursue employment in the United States (this extends F-1 status).
  2.  If you’re accepted to a new degree program that will start within 5 months of your program end date, you can apply for a SEVIS transfer (if another school) or change of level I-20 (if at UAlbany) prior to the end of the grace period.
  3. If the above options don’t work, you could look into applying for a change of status with USCIS to change your status to visitor status. If going with this option it’d likely be beneficial to work with an immigration attorney. ISSS can provide references upon request. (Please note: F-1 students who were admitted D/S are not eligible to use the USCIS I-539 for an extension of F-1 status, but may use it to file for a change of status to a different category).
  4. While DHS has not officially extended any grace periods, if you do stay beyond the grace period, you should carefully document why you were unable to leave and any attempts you made to leave (ex: records of flight cancellations beyond your control, etc…).

 

Wellbeing and Financial Considerations for F-1/J-1 students

 

Q. I am facing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 emergency. What resources are available for international students?
A. We understand that many of our students are facing financial difficulties and employment challenges during this time. We have compiled resources below for students with questions or seeking assistance on this topic, please click here for the list. If you have questions or don't see the form of help you're looking for, contact [email protected]

Q. I am experiencing food insecurity.  Are there local food banks available?

Yes.  There is the Purple Pantry on-campus, and there are also community organizations off-campus.  If you are experiencing food insecurity please also reach out to ISSS for help finding resources.

Q. Where can I find information about the CARES Act, stimulus checks, an unemployment insurance, and how those relate to F-1/J-1 international students?
A. Many international students have been inquiring about COVID-19 federal CARES Act benefits like stimulus checks, unemployment insurance under (PUA), and the related public charge rule. Students are encouraged to research and consult a diversity of tax, immigration and employment law firms, state and federal departments of labor, and national immigration organizations. We have compiled information on these topics, available here. This document is for information purposes only and does not take the place of professional, competent legal and tax advice on these matters.

Q. I am feeling stress/anxiety. What resources are available? Where can I go for help?
A. It is normal to experience stress and have an emotional reaction to the evolving global health situation, and resources are available to help you. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is still open. Learn more about their daily operations on the CAPS website. CAPS has also put together a helpful Psychological Tips for Managing Concerns Related to Coronavirus, here.

Q. I have health concerns related to COVID-19. Is Health Services open?
A. Student Health Services is open virtually, and ready to answer questions and schedule telemedicine appointments.

Call 518-442-5454 for assistance or visit the Student Health Services website.

 

Housing/Living Considerations for F-1/J-1 students

Q. How do I report where I am currently living?
A. F-1 and J-1 students are still required to keep their SEVIS USA and SEVIS Foreign addresses up to date in MyUAlbany. Remember that these addresses should reflect where you physically reside, even if temporarily (like staying with a friend or relative during the COVID-19 emergency) and must be updated within 10 days of moving.

If you’re in the United States, please make sure that your SEVIS USA address reflects where you are currently physically residing in the United States. If you’re currently outside the U.S., make sure that your SEVIS Foreign Address is correct and that your SEVIS USA address reflects your most recent physical residence within the United States. Instructions on how to update your addresses are available here.

 

Disclaimer:
The information contained in this web site/form is provided as a service to international students, faculty and staff at the University at Albany. It does not constitute legal advice. We try to provide useful information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this web site or any associated site or form. Neither the University at Albany nor ISSS is responsible for any errors or omissions contained in this website, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. Nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel; students may wish to consult an immigration attorney on the specifics of their case as needed.