This webpage is for important alerts related to immigration matters. Please visit it on a regular basis to avoid missing important announcements.
The International Student and Scholar Service office will be closed for walk-in students beginning 3/27/2020
While our office is closed, your international student counselor is available via email and through virtual appointments between the hours of 8-5, M-F. Your counselor will work with you after you set up your virtual appointment online. The best way to connect during your virtual appointment will be through SKYPE for Business either on your phone or on your computer. You will log into this software using your TTU email address and password. The app can be downloaded online for both Android and Apple phones, and for your computer.
Travel signatures on your I-20 or DS2019 will have to be provided via the postal service but your international student counselor can work with you in case of an emergency. In all but emergency cases your counselor will mail your signed I-20 for re-entry to your US address. When it is not possible to receive your signed I-20 before you depart the US, your counselor will send you a new I-20 with a travel signature to your home country address (via eShipGlobal). In all cases, please consult with your international student counselor before departing the US. If it is possible, please do what you need to do, working with your counselor, to get your document signed for re-entry before departing
The OIA is currently open for emergency visits by international students:
The Office of International Affairs is currently maintaining its regular business hours but for emergency visits only. We discourage you from coming in unless you have an emergency. Your international student counselors will be working from home but will still be available via emails and phone calls during regular business hours. You can also make a virtual appointment with your counselor. They can also mail documents to your home so that you don't need to come to pick them up at the International Cultural Center
Do not hesitate to reach out to your counselor for immigration advice during this time. They are on duty, virtually, to assist you.
Please carefully review the information below as they pertain to your legal status in the U.S. in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Online Courses and Maintaining Status:
As you all already know, online classes do not typically fulfill the full course of study requirements to maintain your immigration status. However, the Department of Homeland Security has provided a certain amount of latitude in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic (see the COVID-19 guidance from DHS's department of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement). In light of TTU resuming classes online after March 30th, all international students will be considered lawfully present if they are taking a full course load online. However, we would like to remind students that these measures are temporary. Once the University resumes face-to-face classes, the standard rules for maintaining status and a full course load will also resume.
During this indefinite time of resuming courses online, the Department of Homeland Security expects international students to maintain their physical presence in Lubbock. If you leave Lubbock, you will be required to update your international counselor about new address in the US. This will require an update to your SEVIS record as a change of address. If you decide to depart the U.S. before the Summer Intercession, you will be able to maintain your current immigration status and re-enter the U.S. in the fall with your current I-20. In that case you will need a re-entry travel signature. Please be aware that other factors, such as travel bans to the US, may still be in effect in the fall. This would make it impossible for you to re-enter for the fall semester to resume your studies at TTU. Students that plan to leave and re-enter for the fall are taking this risk.
Travel Ban Reminder:
Please check with the U.S. Department of State if you plan on departing the U.S. anytime during the COVID-19 pandemic. Travel bans into the U.S. may be in effect for certain countries. This situation is fluid and travel bans may change throughout this situation. Traveling to a country that is restricted or may become restricted could result in you being unable to reenter the U.S.
Student Employment Questions:
Please consult with your supervisors for answers regarding your on-campus employment and various assistantships. Our office will only be able to answer employment questions as they relate to your immigration status.
News Alert: International students are being scammed!
Unfortunately, unsuspecting international students are increasingly being targeted in scams. Please check out the ISSS web page that provides information about these incidents and how to avoid becoming a victim of these crimes.
See also the following web sites for updated immigration and travel information: