International Student

I’m a current international student outside of the U.S. Do I have to return to keep my F-1 visa? What if I cannot return? Can I take online courses?

Updated June 16, 2021

Students who left the U.S. and plan to maintain their F-1 student visa status in the fall should plan to be in residence in Atlanta.

F-1 students unable to return to the U.S. within 30 days of the start of the term need to submit an iStart Intent to Depart e-form to notify OIE of their fall plans to remain outside the U.S. OIE will then review current guidance from SEVP to determine if the student’s SEVIS record can remain Active or will need to be terminated for Authorized Early Withdrawal.

  • The student may still elect to enroll in online or remote courses as no visa or Active SEVIS record is required for the purpose of online enrollment while outside the U.S. The opportunity for remote course options will depend on the availability of courses from a particular academic program and restrictions on Office of Foreign Assets Control-sanctioned countries. Students who plan to engage in online learning physically from any of the following countries need to first gain approval from the Office of General Counsel ( Cuba, Crimea Region of Ukraine, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.
  • If the student is not maintaining an Active SEVIS record, the student will not be automatically enrolled in health insurance coverage or assessed the international student fee for the semester. Nor will the student be required to enroll in a minimum number of credits to maintain their visa status.
  • If not approved by SEVP for the SEVIS record reactivation, the student will receive a new SEVIS record, a new I-20 form, and will be required to re-pay the I-901 fee. If the student still holds a valid F-1 visa, the student will not need to apply for a new visa. If the student’s F-1 visa is expired, they will need to apply for a new F-1 visa with the new SEVIS record before attempting to re-enter the U.S.
  • Additionally, in the scenario where a SEVIS record cannot be reactivated, the F-1 student visa holder’s academic time toward the one-year practical training clock will begin again upon re-entry to the U.S. The student will become eligible for practical training after 30 weeks of full-time instruction inside the U.S.


What process should a student follow to request an academic accommodation?

Updated June 30, 2022

Students who have a recognized disability or qualified medical condition as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may request any needed accommodations by registering with the Office of Disability Services (ODS). Registering with ODS is a three-step process that includes

  1. completing an online application,
  2. uploading documentation related to the accommodation request, and
  3. scheduling an appointment for an intake meeting (either in person or via phone or video conference) with a disability services coordinator.


Will students be required to wear a face mask or face covering?

Updated June 30, 2022

The University System of Georgia encourages people to wear masks based on their preference and assessment of personal risk.


What will happen if someone gets sick or shows symptoms? Will you notify their classmates/instructors/colleagues?

Updated June 30, 2022

For fall semester, Georgia Tech will no longer perform contact tracing. Contact tracing will be performed by the Georgia Department of Public Health according to their protocols.

Individuals who test positive for or are diagnosed with Covid-19 should attempt to notify those with whom they have had close contact in the time period starting 2 days before they developed symptoms or 2 days before their positive test if they have no symptoms. Close contact is defined as those with whom you were less than 6 feet away for 15 or more minutes cumulatively in a 24-hour period.

Positive diagnosis of Covid-19 requires you to isolate from others for a period of time.

  • Students should notify their instructors and study group members that they will be out ill so accommodations can be made.
  • Faculty should notify their students and colleagues that they will be out and make arrangements for their absence.
  • Staff should notify their supervisors that they will be out sick or need to work remotely.

I have tested positive for Covid-19. What do I do?

Updated June 30, 2022

If you test positive for Covid-19, begin to have symptoms of Covid-19, or are not up to date with your Covid-19 vaccinations and are exposed to someone with Covid-19, you must take immediate action for your own health and for the safety of others.

To help limit the transmission of the Covid-19 virus, visit for guidance on isolation and quarantine protocols including duration and masking recommendations.


I’ve developed Covid-19 symptoms. Where can I get tested?

Updated June 30, 2022

On-campus testing for symptomatic students is available at Stamps Health Services. At-home test kits are available for symptomatic students as well on the Covid-19 Testing webpage. Faculty and staff should refer to the Department of Public Health website to find a testing location.


I’ve been exposed to Covid-19 but have no symptoms. What should I do?

Updated June 30, 2022

If you have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19, please follow these steps: Isolation and Quarantine.


How often can I be tested for Covid-19 on campus?

Updated June 30, 2022

Georgia Tech’s asymptomatic surveillance testing site at Price Gilbert Library will continue to offer testing until June 30. After that date, asymptomatic surveillance testing will no longer be offered. Stamps Health Services will continue to offer symptomatic testing to students with Covid-19



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