International Students FAQ

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Student and Exchange Visitor Program Announcement

On July 6, 2020, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced that it would no longer provide exemptions for international students taking online classes due to the pandemic during the fall 2020 semester. ICE also issued a Broadcast Message with slightly more detail, and indicated the rule will be published in the Federal Register as a Temporary Final Rule. 

No. The release by SEVP states “Nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States. The U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States. Active students currently in the United States enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status. If not, they may face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings.”

If you were able to obtain your visa before the United States suspended routine non-immigrant (including student) visa interviews at consulates, then you will be able to join us for the fall semester, provided that you are able to arrange travel. For students who have active visas and are able to make travel arrangements, we will be having classes and teaching flight on campus this fall.

The announcement from SEVP defines “hybrid model” as a mixture of online and in person classes. According to the new guidance, “Students attending schools adopting a hybrid model—that is, a mixture of online and in person classes—will be allowed to take more than one class or three credit hours online.” So, you will proceed with your classes as planned.

The SEVP Broadcast Message states “If a school changes its operational stance mid-semester, and as a result a nonimmigrant student switches to only online classes, or a nonimmigrant student changes their course selections, and as a result, ends up taking an entirely online course load, schools are reminded that nonimmigrant students within the United States are not permitted to take a full course of study through online classes. If nonimmigrant students find themselves in this situation, they must leave the country or take alternative steps to maintain their nonimmigrant status such as transfer to a school with in-person instruction.”

The guidance in this area continues to evolve, and so Embry-Riddle will provide you with every opportunity to remain in status and in the United States during the fall 2020 semester.

No, under the current guidance, the new rule indicates that students must have in-person classes or a combination of in-person classes and online classes and all of these classes must make normal progress in your degree program. So, unless you switch into at least one in-person class, you will need to leave the country. Please either register for an in-person course or contact your academic advisor to assist you in choosing a course for registration.

Because Embry-Riddle is offering in-person courses in the fall, rather than being fully remote, your SEVIS record would be terminated if you remain in online classes and are outside of the United States. While Embry-Riddle will be required to terminate students’ I-20s in this situation, we will terminate using ‘authorized early withdrawal’ which means that the termination is made for procedural reasons and not due to any violations.
You will take your courses as planned and remain in the country. This guidance does not affect you in this case.

If you have an F-1 visa, your visa would not be cancelled if you are studying from your home country even if your SEVIS record is terminated. The SEVIS termination would not affect your F-1 visa. You will, however, need a new initial I-20 before returning to the United States to continue your in-person education.

Yes, guidance from the Department of Homeland Security indicates we are required to issue you a new I-20 to verify that you are abiding by the ICE guidance. The I-20 must verify the following:  Your program of study is not entirely online; you are not taking only online courses; and that you are taking the minimum number of online courses to make normal progress in the degree program. 

Students who are currently participating in OPT will not receive a new I-20.

No, your new I-20 will be automatically emailed to you by August 4.
All students will receive their new I-20 by August 4, 2020.
Spouses and minor children derives status from a principal non-immigrant applicant; once the principal visa holder is denied a visa or forced to leave the United States, this applies to their spouse and minor children. 
In Daytona Beach, reach out to the International Student & Scholar Services at At Prescott, reach out to CIPS at
You are required to take at least one hybrid/in-person class in order to maintain your status. You are still required to maintain full-time status by enrolling in at least 12 credits as an undergraduate student or at least 6 credits as a graduate students. 

As long as your dissertation hours are being completed on-campus, yes, dissertation hours meet the requirements for full time, in-person learning.

Fall 2020 Enrollment

The following Fall 2020 enrollment Frequently Asked Questions are for newly admitted international students and continuing international students. 

The Student Exchange and Visitor Program SEVP has put out temporary guidance that makes moving the classes online allowable under the current Covid-19 crisis. The temporary procedural adaptions that permit international students to engage in remote learning are still in place through the summer session.

Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 must self-quarantine and notify Health Services on the Daytona Beach Campus (386-226-7917), or the Wellness Center on the Prescott Campus (928-777-6653). Everyone who is tested must self-quarantine as they await their test results before returning to work or classes. Our healthcare partners are currently delivering test results within 24 hours. Anyone with a positive Covid-19 test result will be notified by Embry-Riddle health professionals as well as the health department in their county. Individuals who test positive must then follow instructions provided by health officials and receive written medical clearance from the county health department before returning to work or classes. That medical clearance must be submitted to Embry-Riddle Health Services (Daytona Beach) or the Wellness Center (Prescott). Embry-Riddle will provide an appropriate self-isolation location for students with housing contracts. Off-campus students and employees must remain at home, and should be separated from roommates, family members and shared bathrooms while they are self-isolated.

Yes, if the professor continues to serve as your supervisor and your lab or work location remains open. If your supervisor is no longer able to supervise and/or the lab or work location closes please contact Amanda Garcia at within 24 hours for immediate assistance. 

New students with an F-1 visa can enter the country 30 days before their orientation. Continuing students can re-enter as normal. Each group should, therefore, plan to arrive early to allow for time to self-quarantine for 14 days in their residence hall room or personal apartment/home before classes begin. To shorten this self-quarantine period, international students can also have a Covid-19 diagnostic test at Embry-Riddle, and then self-quarantine as they await their test results.

Newly admitted students who may need assistance in understanding the process for obtaining a visa should reach out to our team of international student advising experts. These Designated School Officials (DSOs) are available as a resource to you. In Daytona Beach, the ISSS team can be reached at, and you can also find step-by-step support for the visa process by following the I-20 process webpage. In Prescott, the immigration team can be reached at, and you can find I-20 information on the following webpage
Our residential campuses are excited to have you join us for fall semester classes at our Daytona Beach and Prescott campuses. Please know that we are acutely focused on the health and safety of our campus communities as we navigate through the Covid-19 pandemic. If you are able to obtain your visa (or already have your visa) and are able to travel to the United States, we are ready to welcome you. 
Yes, the Daytona Beach ERLI program has the ability to run a select number of courses online. Students should contact their admissions counselor about the opportunity to take online ERLI courses. ERLI will be hosting face-to-face courses during the fall term, as well.
Yes, once a school returns to face-to-face classes, if a student cannot or chooses not to return to the United States to study, Designated School Officials (DSOs) are required to terminate the student’s record. You should email either ISSS at the Daytona Campus or CIPS at the Prescott Campus for assistance. Refer to the Terminate Student article in the SEVIS Help Hub on Study in the States for additional information. 
The mandatory orientation for new F-1 students will take place on August 17, 2020, in Daytona Beach and Prescott. Please plan to arrive either 14 days in advance to self-quarantine OR in time to opt-out of the quarantine period by taking a Covid-19 test and self-isolating until you receive your results. Please note that initial students may enter up to 30 days from the start date on your I-20.

If you are currently in the United States, we resumed our face-to-face classes during the Summer B session (which started on June 30) and will continue in the fall semester. Our planning of summer and fall classes will be guided by information that we receive from our local, state and federal public health authorities. 

When you register for courses, you may register for a traditional Daytona Beach (DB) or Prescott (PC) course, or a course with the designator HYB (hybrid/flipped class). These courses meet the SEVP definition of full-time status. Undergraduate students who are interested in taking an online course while in the United States will be required to carry a 12-credit course load, three of which can be online courses, while graduate students must carry a 6-credit course load, three of which can be online courses to meet the full time requirement as an F-1 student.

If you have a valid visa but are not in the United States currently, you will return as you would from any other summer break. You must also have a valid I-20 with a travel signature and a passport that expires at least 6 months from the day of your travel. You must be on campus by the first day of courses. You will also want to keep an eye out for an email from your Designated School Official (DSO), in the event that they must have you check-in to inform them you are back in the United States. 

Transfer students who are already attending a university or high school in the United States, and who intend to transfer to our Prescott Campus, can find the I-20 process here. Transfer students to the Daytona Beach Campus can find assistance here.

As a temporary measure, during the COVID-19 pandemic, SEVP has authorized DSOs to issue an electronic version of Form I-20 to students, in lieu of a mailed Form I-20. As long as this temporary measure is in place, consular officers at U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide, and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) at U.S. ports of entry, will be accepting a printout of an electronic version of the Form I-20. If the temporary measure is reversed, then we will be required to go back to the process of shipping I-20s directly to a student’s home address.

If you are a new or transferring student and are unable to return to the university in the fall semester, or if you will be unable to obtain your visa, the university has created a plan for providing online class options for you. This comprehensive online enrollment plan can be discussed on an as-needed, case-by-case basis with your admissions counselor. If this is your circumstance, please reach out to the International Admissions department on your campus to determine next steps. 

For those of you who plan to join our Daytona Beach Campus, the International Admissions team can be reached at For those planning to join our Prescott Campus, the International Admissions team can be reached at

If you are a continuing student, but you are not able to return to the U.S. to resume full-time attendance for the fall, please contact the ISSS office in Daytona Beach or the CIPS office in Prescott for more information on the status of your I-20 — even if you plan on taking online courses while you are back home.

No. Whether or not you are taking online courses, you will remain affiliated with your residential campus and will return, as normal, to on-campus classes in spring 2021. 
The admissions team will provide your name and information to your academic advisor. Advising at the residential campuses has transitioned into a full virtual mode as of spring 2020, and advising will continue to be provided through enhanced technology-based communication via Skype, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, phone and traditional email for the remainder of the pandemic.  The advising team will work with you to determine online and/or hybrid courses that meet your academic goals. 
Daytona Beach international graduate students who are unable to begin in the fall are advised to communicate directly with their Graduate Program Coordinator and, where applicable, their thesis or dissertation chairs. The Graduate Program Coordinators determined that direct advising from the program coordinator is the best solution. Prescott’s continuing International Students should also reach out to their Graduate Program Coordinators, while new International graduate students should contact for assistance. 

Once you inform your international admissions counselor that you need to take online courses, the admissions counselor will inform the Designated School Official (DSO) on your campus who will assist you with preparing for your new spring arrival date. 

If you already hold an I-20 that is dated for fall, you will be sent a new I-20 with the correct arrival and start date for the spring 2021 semester. Please keep in mind that there will be some students who will need to update immigration documents before arriving in the United States. Your DSO will work to inform you of any updated documents they may need (e.g. financial affidavits, passports).

Before arriving on campus in spring 2021, you will receive online check-in instructions, including the process of paying I-901 SEVIS fees, completing a DS-160 form online for visa application and interview, as well resources you can utilize prior to physically arriving to campus.

An online orientation has been developed to assist you in learning all about your new campus. The online orientation will include:

  • A new student virtual welcome
  • Student Services topics, such as Title IX, Housing & Residence Life, Health & Wellness, Student Engagement, Campus Safety, etc.
  • An overview of support and services available to you from the campus
  • An overview of the support you will receive from International Programs (Daytona Beach) or the Center for International Programs and Studies (Prescott)
  • Discussions of how you can utilize resources virtually
  • Academic overviews by college
  • Peer-to-peer engagement and virtual engagement opportunities

A number of campus departments have come together to provide our new and continuing international students with a number of digital engagement events and activities. The campus departments, including Student Engagement & Student Union Operations, International Programs (Daytona Beach), CIPS (Prescott), the Office of Undergraduate Research, Career Services and others will convert their face-to-face opportunities into hybrid offerings so that you can be engaged with your campus no matter where you are in the world. We will also offer exclusive, online-only events for international online students, such as an online SGA forum to hear your ideas regarding improving your experience, online support from International Student and Scholar services, career services support, and many more.

In addition, in Daytona Beach, an online version of our peer-to-peer mentorship program, run through the International Student Programming Council, has been designed, giving each new international student who signs up a peer mentor their first semester. 

In Prescott, international ambassador students will reach out to you this summer to share their experiences of the campus and the community. Watch your email for online gatherings of new Prescott Eagles.

Yes, our admissions team is more than willing to discuss Singapore courses as an option for new international students. Continuing international students should speak with the ISSS (Daytona Beach) or CIPS office (Prescott), as this option may affect I-20 status.
Only students who are eligible to complete the FAFSA form or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid are eligible to apply for the CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grant.

Important Contact Information

  • Division of International Programs, Daytona Beach – (386) 323-8133
  • Center for International Programs & Services, Prescott – (928) 777-3429
  • Embry-Riddle Health Services Department, Daytona Beach – (386) 226-7917
  • Embry-Riddle Wellness Center, Prescott – (928) 777-6653
  • Florida Department of Health – (386) 316-5030
  • Arizona Department of Health Services – (602) 542-1025
  • Embry-Riddle Campus Safety, Daytona Beach – (386) 226-6480
  • Embry-Riddle Campus Safety, Prescott – (928) 777-3333
  • Embry-Riddle Worldwide, Dean of Students – 800-522-6787
  • Media Queries – Ginger Pinholster (386) 226-4811
  • Special Travel Permissions –