International Education Center

ICE Guidelines

Clarifications for F-1 Visa Students

Clarification on Travel into the United States

On Friday, July 24, 2020, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued clarifying guidelines on travel into the United States that impact continuing and new international students. 

Continuing F-1 Visa Students Currently Outside the United States

If you are a continuing student in valid F-1 status as of March 9, 2020, you can re-enter the U.S. even if you are attending an online only school for the fall 2020 semester.   

Before traveling into the U.S., you will need the following:

  • A Travel Signature for your I-20. Email to request a travel signature.
  • A Letter of Support
  • Copy of New Regulations

The International Education Center will email you a new signed I-20, the letter of support, and a copy of the new regulations. Be sure to have all three documents with you along with a valid passport and F-1 visa when you re-enter the U.S.    

New Fall 2020 Students

In accordance with guidance, new F-1 students will not be able to enter the United States to enroll in a U.S. school for the fall 2020 semester to pursue a full course of study that is 100 percent online.

If you are a new students accepted for the Fall 2020 semester, please contact your Admission Coach through I-APP and ask for your I-20 to be deferred to the Winter 2021 term.  

You can still enroll in 12 credits and begin your studies from the comfort of your own home.  When SMC returns to on-ground instruction, we will issue you an I-20 and you can enter the U.S. to continue your education in person.    


We are here to help and support you.  

If you have any questions concerning your current travel restrictions or your F-1 Status, contact the International Education Center using the links below.