Dear International Student,

ISS staff are here to help you. Please review the following information carefully. Later this week we will email a link to a page on the ISS site that will include the following information and more. The information below is for guidance during these exceptional circumstances related to COVID-19.

Your F-1 Status

  • You do not need to worry about your immigration status. The U.S. government is allowing F-1 students to stay in valid status while completing all of their classes online, including labs and ensembles; speak to your professors for details about online classes.
  • You must stay enrolled in at least 12 credits even though all of your classes will be online. The same rules for part-time still apply while classes are online; you can read them on the ISS website.
  • You do not have to stay in Boston or the U.S. to complete your classes online. Your F-1 status allows you to leave and come back to the U.S. as needed while enrolled in online classes. You are still subject to port-of-entry entrance and quarantine/isolation restrictions related to COVID-19. Click here to read up-to-date government travel information.

I-20 Information

Students Applying for OPT

  • You must apply for OPT from within the U.S. You can leave the U.S. after mailing your application to the government.
  • ISS will have one advisor dedicated to review and assist with OPT applications on Tuesday, March 17 from 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m in the Center for Student Advising and Success. Read about the OPT processand come to drop-in advising with your complete OPT request packet.
  • You may also email your application documents to When your application is ready, advisors will mail it to you and pay for the shipping fees.

Drop-Ins and Appointments

  • ISS will have extended drop-in hours Monday through Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. through March 20.
  • Additionally, on Friday, March 13th we will have one advisor dedicated to issue I-20 travel signatures between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
  • You may schedule an appointment with your assigned advisor through March 18 and choose to meet in-person or via phone/Google Hangout. ISS staff will continue to hold phone/web advising appointments with students throughout the semester.

ISS staff understand this news is overwhelming, especially for international students. We are here to help and support you as much as possible. Please read the March 11 Berklee-wide email announcement for information about alternative housing options during this time.


Nick Poché
Director of International Student Services

International Student Services
Center for Student Advising and Success
921 Boylston St, 3rd floor



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