International Students and Scholars

Welcome! The International Student and Scholars division (ISS) serves all international students and scholars participating in programs with Wake Forest University.

International students and scholars with questions concerning their visa status or other issues pertinent to their stay at Wake Forest University can come to the Center for Global Programs & Studies, email iss@nullwfu.edu, or call 336-758-5938 to request an appointment.

ISSS COVID-19 FAQs

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions regarding the COVID-19.

    Status Maintenance

  • What if I go home this semester and take online/remote courses and am outside of the United States for more than 5-months? Will I be able to come back to campus this fall on my current visa and I-20?

    The 5-month rule is generally considered to be in reference to an absence of more than five months that is unconnected to study. If you are continuing to make academic progress in your classes remotely and your visa status is kept Active you should be able to return to Wake Forest on your current visa and I-20. Be sure that you have a valid travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019. Travel signatures are valid for one year.

  • Will on-campus instruction of classes resume this spring 2020 semester?

    The public health community is now unified in their advice that we will not be able to resume in-person classes this spring. Therefore, Wake Forest courses will be delivered remotely for the remainder of the semester. 

    ISSS will continue to advocate for the needs of our international population to ensure that you are able to be successful in reaching your academic goals.

  • Will on-campus instruction of classes resume for summer 2020?

    Summer Session I on-campus classes have been cancelled, online classes will be available. Plans Summer Session II will be announced soon.

  • Will on-campus instruction of classes resume for summer 2020?

    Summer Session I on-campus classes have been cancelled, online classes will be available. Plans Summer Session II will be announced soon.

  • Will changing my classes to pass/fail be ok for my visa status?

    Many classes and departments will grade on a pass/fail scale for the Spring 2020 semester. International students remaining enrolled full-time, and to make normal progress towards completing their degree can transition to pass/fail enrollment and will stay compliant of your visa status. 

    There are important items to note:

    • Enrollment continuance needs to be reflected via transcripts;
    • If you fail a course, ISSS is not authorized to extend your I-20 for this reason. For example, if an international student needs more time to complete a program to meet their degree requirements, ISSS cannot authorize a program extension due to a failed course.

    For more information regarding pass/fail options:

    Undergraduate students please see https://college.wfu.edu/student-resources/student-faq-for-pass-fail/

    Graduate students please contact your academic advisor for your graduate program.

    Please email iss@wfu.edu if you do not plan to return for the fall 2020 semester so that we can accurately update your immigration status.

  • If I leave campus for the spring 2020 semester and then decide to not enroll (take a semester or gap year), what should I do?

    Undergraduates who will finish spring 2020 remotely but do not plan to return to campus for the fall 2020 semester should notify the Office Academic Advising of their plans and request a Continuous Enrollment Status (CES), Leave of Absence, or withdraw from the university as soon as possible. 

     

    Graduate students who will not graduate in May and who will finish spring 2020 remotely but do not plan to return to campus for the fall 2020 semester must work with their individual departments to request a leave of absence, or withdraw from the university.

     

    Please email iss@wfu.edu if you do not plan to return for the fall 2020 semester so that we can accurately update your immigration status.

    Travel

  • If I need to update my I-20 or DS-2019 travel signature while the university is not open to students, what should I do? How will I receive a new I-20 or DS-2019?

    The travel validation signature is required for re-entry to the U.S. The travel signature is not needed to depart the U.S. The I-20/DS-2019 signature is valid one year from the date signed. 

    You can request most processing actions through your ISSDeacs (issdeacs.wfu.edu) account including requesting an I-20 reprint. We recommend that you first start a request in your ISSDeacs account and email iss@wfu.edu if you are having any trouble.

    ISSS will provide instructions to you regarding the shipping of your new I-20 or DS-2019 document.

  • I traveled internationally during Spring Break and I will graduate this May, but I am not able to return to the U.S. right now. Can I apply for OPT?

    You cannot apply for OPT from outside of the United States. Your I-20 is set to complete on May 18, 2020. If your record completes before you are allowed to reenter the country, then you will not be able to apply for OPT.

  • I am graduating in May but do not want to leave the U.S. after graduation, what are my options?

    Please email iss@wfu.edu for advice on your individual circumstances. In general, all F-1 students who complete their degree programs are allowed a 60 day grace period to remain inside the U.S. This grace period is a “use it or lose it” situation. Meaning if you leave the U.S. at any point during the 60 day grace period you will not be allowed to reenter the U.S. in your F-1 status. Otherwise, you may remain inside the U.S. during the entire 60 day grace period. You can also apply for OPT during this time period if you did not apply before you graduated.

    J-1 visa students are allowed a 30 day grace period to remain inside the U.S. This grace period is a “use it or lose it” situation. Meaning if you leave the U.S. at any point during the 30 day grace period you will not be allowed to reenter the U.S. in your J-1 status. Otherwise, you may remain inside the U.S. during the entire 30 day grace period. 

    During your 30 or 60 day grace period you are not allowed to study or be employed (paid or unpaid) unless you have been approved for OPT. 

I am a…

  • Services Overview
    • Immigration Advising for F, J, and certain employment based nonimmigrant visas
    • Programming for academic, social, and professional adjustment to life in the United States

    Disclaimer: U.S. immigration laws are very complex. The information contained on this website is designed specifically for students and scholars at Wake Forest University. Immigration laws and regulations are constantly evolving; we will attempt to keep this site up-to date, but we cannot guarantee their completeness or accuracy. The information contained herein is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship nor can it be construed as legal advice.

  • Reynolda Campus Contact Information

    Serving: Reynolda Campus based students, scholars, and employees.

    Center for Global Programs & Studies
    1834 Wake Forest Road
    Reynolda Hall, Room 116
    Winston Salem, NC 27109
    Phone: +1-336-758-5938

    Hours: Monday – Friday | 8:30am- 5:00pm

  • Health Sciences Campus Contact Information

    Serving: Health Sciences Campus based J scholars and H-1 employees.

    4th Floor, Piedmont Plaza 1
    1920 W. First Street
    Winston Salem, NC 27104

    Contact: Ms. Pamela Redmond, Immigration Specialist
    Phone: +1-336-716-1194
    Email: predmond@wakehealth.edu

  • Bowman Gray Campus Contact Information

    Serving: Bowman Gray based F Graduate Students

    Medical Center Boulevard
    Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1001

    Contact: Ms. Beth Whitsett
    Phone: +1-336-716-4224
    Email: bwhitset@wakehealth.edu