The international student advisors provide support to foreign students who are studying at NHCC on an F-1 student visa (or F-1 students, for short). If you are a current F-1 student at NHCC and could benefit from any of advising services listed below, please contact the international student advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The pandemic has impacted international students in many ways, and we are fully committed to supporting those who are already here and continuing our outreach to potential international students. We are diligently working to assess how we can continue to provide the best support for our students with options that will allow them to progress towards their educational goals. Our international students bring important vibrancy and perspective to our campus that adds to the diversity of thought and experience critical to fostering the type of learning environment our students need and deserve.
How will classes be taught?
- For Spring 2022, courses will be offered on-campus and online. Details about these course types will be reflected in eServices' course schedule.
- International students, except for new students starting in fall 2020 who are new visa holders, may take online courses if those are the only options available. It is strongly encouraged that international students take as many on-campus classes as possible, since this will eventually be a requirement again. Students approved for an F-1 visa after March 2020 must take at least one on-campus or hybrid class.
- Please consult your international student advisor for assistance planning your summer or fall course schedule. Registration for both semesters begins mid-March.
Course lists by format:
Aren’t there limits on how many online credits or classes an F-1 student can take?
Under normal circumstances, F-1 students can take up to 3 credits online each fall and spring semesters.
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), which oversees F-1 students, recognized that Spring 2020 was an unprecedented time and has made an exception to allow any student who was in F-1 status prior to March 2020 to take more than 3 credits of online coursework, if there are no other options available. This is still in effect for the Spring 2022 semester.
All F-1 students should register for on-campus classes as much as possible. Anyone who received their F-1 visa after March 2020 is required to have at least one on-campus class each fall and spring semesters.
Ask your international advisor to help you select a course schedule that best meets your degree requirement needs for Spring 2022. Lists of on-campus, hybrid, Hyflex, mostly online, and online courses are in the “Courses” section above.
All students are expected to maintain a full course load of 12+ credits, regardless of the course delivery
Can I remain in the U.S. during this time?
For Spring 2022, you can remain in the US in status if you are taking a full course load of 12+ credits and following other regulations for your student visa.
If your visa has expired, you are still permitted to remain in the U.S. as long as you are maintaining your F-1 status. You are not required to leave the country.
If your passport has expired, you will need to contact your country's embassy for assistance renewing it. Passports must be valid at least six months into the future at all times while in the U.S.
Can I travel home during this time?
SEVP is permitting students to return home while maintaining their F-1 status. You may only return home and stay in active status if you are maintaining your full course load of 12+ credits. Students who return home and do not maintain 12 credits during this time will be considered out of status and terminated accordingly. This would impact your ability to return for a future semester.
If you intend to travel home, please contact email@example.com to receive an updated I-20 with travel endorsement on the second page. NHCC needs to note why you are travelling outside of the U.S. I-20s will be electronically delivered, unless you make other arrangements to receive it.
If you are departing the U.S., you must check your visa to make sure it is still valid. If it has expired or will expire when you are outside the U.S., you will need to renew it before returning for future semesters. You must check with your embassy for their renewal guidelines and timelines. There is no guarantee your visa will be renewed to return to the U.S. For questions about your visa, please send a picture of it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you will be returning home for Spring 2022, but will still be in active status (taking 12+ credits) you do not need to have the mandatory health insurance plan while outside the US. Please contact your international student advisor for help receiving a refund of the remaining 2021-2022 insurance amount. You will need to purchase the 2022-2023 insurance plan upon reentry to the U.S. for your academic studies. Check with your international advisor for questions.
Students are also expected to check and follow any CDC guidelines for vaccinations and/or COVID testing before returning to the U.S.
SEVP still expects students to maintain a full course load of 12+ credits during this time. Withdrawing from classes will generally not be permitted. If you feel you have a circumstance that requires you to go below 12 credits, please contact your international student advisor to see what options may exist.
NHCC does not require international students to enroll in summer session courses.
Can I go below 12 credits or withdraw from classes?
Is NHCC still open?
- All Student Service departments are open for remote services and in-person services, although staff availability varies. Please contact the office you plan to visit for staff availability before you arrive on campus.
- Campus hours for Spring 2022, effective January 10th, are: Monday-Thursday from 7:30am-10:00pm; Friday from 8:00am-5:00pm; Saturday from 8:00am-4:00pm (only for partnership classes or computer lab use in CBT).
- Student services general hours for Spring 2022 are: Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 8:00am-4:30pm; Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8:00am-6:30pm.
Advising Center and meetings?
- The Advising Center is open 8:00am-4:30pm on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays; 8:00am-6:30pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Advisor availability varies and appointments are still mainly remote (phone or Zoom). Some in-person appointments are available.
- Please call us at 763-424-0703 to set up an appointment, or use Navigate to schedule a meeting.
Admissions & Outreach Office and Information Center?
- The Admissions & Outreach office staff have remote or limited in-person availability. You may call Admissions at 763-424-0724 or the Information Center at 763-424-0702 during business hours: 8:00am-4:30pm on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays; 8:00am-6:30pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
2021-2022 Insurance Form
What COVID-19 related items does my insurance cover?
- If an international student is exposed to COVID-19, they need to call UHCSR (United HealthCare Student Resources), visit uhcsr.com/MyAccount, or use their UHCSR mobile app to find a network provider.
- You do not need a referral to be tested and treated for COVID-19. Medically-appropriate COVID-19 testing is covered and copays, coinsurance, and deductibles will be waived for testing provided at approved locations in accordance with CDC (Centers for Disease Control) guidelines. Students can also learn more about purchasing at-home tests by visiting uhcsr.com/faqs.
- COVID-19 vaccines are also covered, regardless of location and dosage required.
- UHCSR is also offering an emotional support helpline for students. You can access this helpline by calling their toll-free number, 866-342-6892. This line will be operated by trained mental health specialists 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
How does this affect my insurance policy in general?
- Students must maintain insurance coverage while in the U.S. The 2021-2022 policy expires in August. More information about future insurance will be given during the summer session (new plan information is typically available in late-July or early-August).
- If you departed the U.S., you have the right to request a partial refund of your insurance fee. Please contact your International Student Advisor for a refund request form. Insurance refunds are processed based on the date UHCSR receives your refund form, not when you left the U.S.
- If your International Student Advisors determine you may withdraw from some or all of your courses, you are allowed to remain covered by the F-1 insurance policy. You will need to work with your advisor to determine if you have a situation that allows you to withdraw, as SEVP is not permitting reduced course loads based on COVID-19 changes at this time.
If an international student suspects they have been exposed to COVID-19, they are to call UHCSR or visit uhcsr.com/MyAccount or use their UHCSR mobile app to find a network provider. You do not need a referral to be tested and treated for COVID-19 anywhere. COVID-19 testing is covered and copays, coinsurance, and deductibles will be waived for testing provided at approved locations in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Please email email@example.com to update staff regarding your situation. Staff will follow up with you and advise you of your next steps.
Can I travel home during this time?
- SEVP is permitting students to return home while maintaining their F-1 status. You may only return home and keep your if you are maintaining your full course load of 12+ credits. Students who return home and do not maintain 12 credits during this time will be considered out of status and have their SEVIS record terminated.
Do you recommend I travel home during this time?
- Many countries are enacting travel restrictions or bans on anyone entering their borders. You will need to check travel restrictions with your home country to determine your plan. It is your decision, but be aware you may have issues traveling back to the United States if this situation stays the same or gets worse before fall semester starts. The CDC website lists current restrictions for some countries.
How do I return to the U.S. if I choose to return home for the remainder of the semester?
- If you intend to travel home, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for an updated I-20. NHCC needs to note why you are travelling outside of the U.S. in the middle of the semester as that is generally not permitted. Please check travel restrictions with your home country to determine if returning home is a good plan for you.
- If you are departing the U.S., you must check your visa to make sure it is still valid. If it has expired or will expire when you are outside the U.S., you will need to renew it before returning for the fall semester. You must check with your embassy for their renewal guidelines and timelines. There is no guarantee your visa will be renewed to return to the U.S. For questions about your visa, please send a picture of it to email@example.com.
I am graduating soon. Do you recommend I still apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT)?
- As of now, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has not made changes that affect the post-completion OPT application process.
- Timelines for OPT application processing still range from 3-4 months. If you are graduating in May and have not applied for OPT yet, schedule an appointment with an International Student Advisor to start on your paperwork. If you have already applied for OPT, continue to check your Case Status using the receipt number issued by USCIS for updates.
- You must remain in the U.S. while your OPT application is processed or USCIS will consider your request abandoned.
- If you do not want to apply for OPT, please schedule an appointment with an International Student Advisor to discuss other options to maintain your status.
How am I affected if I am already working on OPT?
- There are minimal changes that apply for students who are currently on post-completion OPT. If your employer chooses to have you work from home instead of physically reporting to your workspace, that is OK as long as you continue to work at least 20 hours per week and your job is related to your field of study.
- As of now, there have not been extensions to OPT unemployment time or options to work longer than your currently approved OPT period.
Are there special circumstances that allow me to obtain off-campus work authorization?
- As of now, no special guidance has been issued to allow for more opportunities to work off-campus.
- If you believe you have a circumstance that meets the criteria for economic hardship (see the 'F-1 students Off-Campus' tab), please schedule an appointment with your International Student Advisor to discuss your options.
International Advising Services include:
- Special orientation activities for new students
- Weekly time to advise students
- Occasional workshops at all-campus events
Areas of international student advising expertise include:
- How to maintain F-1 Status
- How to apply for Optional Practical Training
- How to apply for Off-Campus Employment Authorization based on Economic Hardship
- How to satisfy the Minn State International Insurance requirement
- How to secure on-campus work or institutional scholarships
- How to transfer the SEVIS record from NHCC to another school
- How to apply for a Social Security Number
- What documents are needed to re-enter the United States after traveling abroad