Please visit the Wake Forest coronavirus web page at coronavirus.wfu.edu. This web page provides links to information from government agencies as well.
- Home International Students and Scholars
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 email@example.com, or call 336-758-5938 to request an appointment.
ISSS COVID-19 FAQs
Please see our Frequently Asked Questions regarding the COVID-19.
Where can I get the latest information regarding the Coronavirus?
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?
There is no indication that courses will resume on campus at this time. Please also review the email sent by President Hatch on 3/13/2020 in which he states, “Wake Forest students concerned about returning to campus in the event the situation changes and in-person classes are resumed can be assured that the University is prepared to be flexible.”
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.
If I leave campus for the spring 2020 semester will I receive a partial refund for my housing and meal plan costs?
The University will provide information to all students related to possible adjustments of spring 2020 semester charges through email and website updates.
I am an international employee in J-1, E-3, or H-1B status and I want to leave the U.S., what should I do?
Please communicate with your supervisor to determine what steps you need to take to end or adjust your employment. Send firstname.lastname@example.org an email to confirm your plans and receive direct advice regarding your visa status.
Can I come back to campus if I traveled within the United States over Spring Break?
Per the University’s coronavirus.wfu.edu website, students with appropriate circumstances can stay in on-campus housing by registering their plans via the Office of Residence Life & Housing at go.wfu.edu/housingportal by Friday, March 13, 2020.
For individuals returning from a level 3 country or a cruise, the recommendation is a two-week self isolation off campus. Once you have met the two-week self isolation period you may return to campus and check-in with the Office of Residence Life & Housing.
Can I come back to campus if I traveled outside the United States over Spring Break?
The University cannot provide housing to persons that have traveled to a CDC Level 3 country. There is an active travel ban in place for non-U.S. citizens traveling from a CDC level 3 county.
- I am an international employee in J-1, E-3, or H-1B status. What do I do if the university closes to ensure that I can maintain my visa 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 email@example.com if you do not plan to return for the fall 2020 semester so that we can accurately update your immigration status.
If I am remaining in the U.S. this summer can I obtain employment?
Please review the ISSS web page to review all employment authorization options available to you and to confirm that your employment meets regulatory guidelines https://global.wfu.edu/iss/employment/. In general, any off-campus employment (employment not paid by WFU) must be authorized in advance by ISSS.
I have applied for OPT but I want to go home for the rest of the semester.
If you want to obtain OPT, we recommend that you do not travel outside of the U.S. until after you receive your EAD card and/or the travel restrictions for reentry have been lifted.
If you no longer want to obtain OPT, you can withdraw your application from USCIS by calling their customer service number. You will not receive a refund of your application fee.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss this issue in detail. 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.
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).
If I need to update my I-20 or DS-2019 while the university is not open to students, what should I do? How will I receive a new I-20 or DS-2019?
If you need a new I-20 or DS-2019 you can request most processing actions through your ISSDeacs (issdeacs.wfu.edu) account. We recommend that you first start a request in your ISSDeacs account and email email@example.com if you are having any trouble.
ISSS will provide instructions to you regarding the shipping of your new I-20 or DS-2019 document.
What should I do if I begin to feel sick?
Per the Student Health Center “please call the Student Health Service (336-758-5218) or your primary health care provider. Seek medical attention if you experience fever, cough or difficulty breathing. It is recommended that those who think they may have been exposed call ahead before going to the Student Health Service, their primary care physician, or an emergency room.”
Will ISSS be open during the remainder of the spring 2020 semester and summer?
Yes. ISSS will operate on-campus unless the University closes. We will then respond to all email communications and use different web tools to provide the same customer service that the population is accustomed to from our office.
I am a…
- 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
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
Bowman Gray Campus Contact Information
Serving: Bowman Gray based F Graduate Students
Medical Center Boulevard
Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1001
Contact: Ms. Beth Whitsett