ISS Schedule Changes & COVID-19 Updates

We understand that this is a stressful and uncertain time for you and your family. The COVID-19 situation is quickly evolving in our local, national, and global communities. We know the difficult position this has put you in, especially to be away from your support networks at home. The information below is to help you make informed decisions about your academic and immigration status.

Course Instruction

The university has ensured you will continue to be able to access courses through alternate means for the remainder of spring semester. Students may access their courses in Madison or at their permanent home but are advised to have a strong internet connection. More information will be shared by your academic unit and professors. Students who have received approval to remain in University Housing residence halls may continue to stay there. Additional information will be coming.

If you choose to return home, be sure to check global travel advisories prior to finalizing your plans. We encourage you to make the decision that is best for your health, safety, and well-being.

Student Visa Status

Your F-1/J-1 student visa status can remain active if you continue your full-time enrollment through the end of the semester. This includes online course instruction for this semester.

If you choose to withdraw from the semester or cannot complete your full-time enrollment and are not eligible for an ISS Reduced Course Load (RCL), your F-1/J-1 student visa status cannot remain active.

·       If you are continuing enrollment:

If you maintain your full-time enrollment through the end of spring 2020 and you intend to enroll full-time for fall 2020, you can return to the U.S. with your most recently issued I-20/DS-2019. You should check the end dates on your documents and apply for document renewals as soon as possible. Please check travel advisories for Wisconsin before you finalize your plans.

·       If you are completing your academic program this semester:

We are sorry that your final semester with us turned out this way. We still want to celebrate your accomplishments and reflect on your Wisconsin Experience. We will be creating opportunities to continue to engage with you virtually. We’ve included several pieces of departure information on our website, including considerations for exchange and visiting students as well as degree-seeking students.

ISS Forms and Services

ISS will be available online to accommodate your advising needs. Beginning Tuesday, March 17, we will be offering limited in-person office hours Tuesday through Thursday, noon to 3 p.m. These office hours are for travel signatures and document pick-up only.

·       ISS forms and requests can be submitted through your Terra Dotta portal. This includes electronic verifications from your academic advisor.

·       Travel signatures can only be granted in person by a Designated School Official (DSO) at ISS. You do not need a valid travel signature to depart the U.S. A valid travel signature is currently a requirement to re-enter the U.S. on your F-1/J-1 student visa document.

·       ISS advising will continue by phone and WebEx. You can schedule your ISS advising appointment through your Terra Dotta portal. Please thoroughly review the ISS website before you email or make an appointment with an advisor.

·       Document pick-up and mailing will only be available during limited in-person office hours Tuesday through Thursday, noon to 3 p.m. Most mail services are suspended around the world. We do not know when normal mail delivery services will resume.

Again, we offer our deepest support to you during this time and are committed to making the most of your Wisconsin Experience virtually for the remainder of the semester. Please do not hesitate to contact any of the following resources for additional support as we all navigate the difficulties that lie ahead. Continue to check the University and ISS COVID-19 web pages and your email regularly for important updates.

·       International Student Services

·       Dean of Students Office

·       University Health Services

In support,

International Student Services