Visit our return to campus plan for information on safety protocols and health guidelines, including daily symptom reporting and asymptomatic testing.

Information for International Students

Information for International Students

International students are an integral part of the Babson community.

Their contributions and presence on our campus and in our classrooms, both online and in-person, provide diverse perspectives that enrich our community.

On July 14th, the decision by a Boston court rescinded the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/ICE July 6th fall semester guidance & July 7th FAQ. Guidance from March along with clarifications announced July 24th now stand as current allowances going into the fall semester. The Glavin Office’s International Student and Scholar Services team continues to provide updates to our continuing and incoming international students and will keep this page current.

This page provides an overview of information specific to travel and immigration. For information regarding other aspects of the Babson student experience this fall, from academics to campus life, please visit the graduate or undergraduate sections of the Return to Campus site.

Last updated: August 19, 2020

Dear Students:

As we plan for the fall semester, academic continuity for all students is a top priority.Last week, we spoke out in opposition to guidance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that would have adversely impacted international students. Today, DHS withdrew that guidance.

Babson signed on to the President’s Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration amicus brief in an effort to prevent the government from enforcing the DHS rules. We were proud to join hundreds of colleges and universities across the country in advocating for international students. The DHS directive would have prohibited international students from returning to or remaining in the United States if their college or university moved to online-only instruction. Today’s decision by a Boston court rescinds the fall semester guidance. While the decision references that the previous March policies will remain, the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) team is awaiting additional information and will continue to communicate with our international students.

Babson is a proudly global community, enriched by a multitude of cultures and perspectives. Our international students face unique complexities in light of COVID-19. We will continue to closely monitor changing immigration and visa regulations, and provide support and guidance to our international students.

My best, Steve

Dear Babson Community:

Babson’s global community is among our greatest strengths. Our international students enrich the Babson experience for our entire community, and bring diverse perspectives and backgrounds that enhance Babson’s value proposition and help us build entrepreneurial leaders with a global mindset.

On Monday, July 6, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security released a new rule that creates barriers and prompts confusion for international students.

The most highly-publicized component of the guidance prohibits students from returning to or remaining in the United States this fall if their college or university moves to online-only instruction. We believe that the hybrid delivery model we have developed for Fall 2020, which includes face-to-face instruction for students able to join us on campus, will mitigate the impact of the new rule on our international students. However, the decision creates significant adverse impacts on international students unable to return to campus this fall.

We place tremendous value on our position as a global institution and we will continue our steadfast support for international students. We are mindful of the harmful impact this decision has on our students and we are advising and guiding those impacted by the new rule. Beyond our community, this is a threat to global education as a whole. We will advocate for the reversal of this decision on behalf of our students and as member of the higher education community.

Earlier today, we shared a statement on social media reiterating our opposition to the guidance and emphasizing our support for international students. I encourage you to reach out to the Glavin Office if you have questions.

Babson strives to create a welcoming, global, diverse and inclusive environment where scholars of all backgrounds and nationalities grow and learn together. We will continue that work.

My best,
Steve

 

Information For

Incoming F-1 students are eligible for an F-1 visa and can enter the U.S. due to Babson’s hybrid model for the fall. However, we understand that some incoming international undergraduate students may not be able to obtain a student visa and enter the U.S. by August 24th for the start of classes due to the current challenges with U.S. student visa appointment availability and U.S. travel bans. Beginning your program online from outside the U.S. (i.e. First Year Pathways program) or deferring to the Spring semester were possible alternatives to coming to the U.S. for the fall semester.

We are cautiously optimistic about the U.S. Department of State’s recent announcement that U.S. Embassies and Consulates began resuming routine visa services on July 15th (depending on local conditions). Since this will vary country to country we recommend that international students pay close attention to their local U.S. Embassy or Consulate re-opening procedures and their process to request earlier visa appointments. Babson has created a visa reporting tool (found at www.babson.edu/isssnew) for students to keep us updated of their visa appointment information. The International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) team will continue to reach out to incoming students (via Wisr and email) if any guidance changes for the fall semester or to provide pre-arrival information.

All new undergraduate students in F-1 status who enter the U.S. must pursue a full course of study (at least 12 credits) through a mix of online and hybrid courses (where at least one course is a hybrid course).

Late arrivals to the U.S. can be accomodated until September 15th to meet immigraiton reporting deadlines. If you are unable to arrive to the U.S. by September 15 you will need to remain outside the U.S. for the duration of the fall semester to pursue your courses online, and your immigration status will begin with the spring semester.

For any student who deferred to the Spring semester, or is remaining outside the U.S. for the fall semester to pursue courses 100% online, a new Form I-20 will be issued in September to reflect your U.S. arrival and immigration record start date for the spring semester. Even if intended for a fall semester start, the SEVIS fee payment and/or student visa obtained for your Babson program can be used for a spring 2021 semester start if unable to arrive to the U.S. by September 15th. ISSS will be contacting students after September 15th to follow up on issuing the new Form I-20 and next steps.

Incoming F-1 students are eligible for an F-1 visa and can enter the U.S. due to Babson’s hybrid model for the fall. However, we understand that some incoming international graduate students may not be able to secure a student visa and enter the U.S. for the start of classes due to the current challenges with U.S. student visa appointment availability and U.S. travel bans.

We are cautiously optimistic about the U.S. Department of State’s recent announcement that U.S. Embassies and Consulates will begin resuming routine visa services depending on local conditions as of July 15th. Since this will vary country to country we recommend that international students should pay close attention to their local U.S. Embassy or Consulate re-opening procedures and their process to request earlier visa appointments. Babson has created a visa reporting tool (found at www.babson.edu/isssnew) for students to keep us updated of their visa appointment information. The International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) team will continue to reach out to incoming students if any guidance changes for the fall semester or to provide pre-arrival information.

All new graduate students in F-1 status who enter the U.S. must pursue a full course of study through a mix of online and hybrid courses (where at least one course is a hybrid course).

Below details our best advice for students with considerations based on your program. This was last updated August 3, 2020.

One Year & Two Year MBA

At this point, students (F-1/J-1 visa) should try to arrive to the U.S. and report to Babson by the start of classes on Monday, August 31, 2020. If you are unable to arrive to the U.S. by August 31, you may begin classes online from abroad. Late arrivals to the U.S. can be accommodated until Monday, September 21 to meet immigration reporting deadlines. Students arriving and reporting to Babson by this date will be considered to maintain immigration status for the fall semester and count toward eligibility for off-campus work authorization. A full course load for immigration requirements is at least 12 credits.

In the fall semester, Session B of the MBA begins on October 24. If you are unable to arrive in the U.S. by September 21, you should contact isss@babson.edu to obtain a new I-20 with a start date of October 24. After that, the next possible entry date would be the start of the spring semester which begins on January 19, 2021.

Arriving to the U.S. for an October 24 (Session B) or January 19 (Spring 2021) start will still permit eligibility for OPT upon graduation. However, since off-campus employment authorization eligibility requires two full semesters of presence in the U.S. on a student visa, this delayed start to your immigration status will impact if/when you are eligible to obtain CPT work authorization. Students who paid the SEVIS fee or were able to obtain their student visa, but not enter the U.S. by September 21st will be able to use them with the new Form I-20 for the Session B or spring semester arrival dates. Your SEVIS ID will not change. (Note: students who transferred their immigration record from another U.S. school or pursuing another program at Babson may be impacted more if unable to arrive by September 21st). ISSS will be contacting students after September 21st to follow up about issuing the new Form I-20 and next steps. You may contact isss@babson.edu with any specific questions about delayed U.S. entry and impact on work authorization.

MSBA / MSF / CAM

At this point, students (F-1/J-1 visa) should try to arrive to the U.S. and report to Babson by the start of classes on Monday, August 31, 2020. If you are unable to arrive to the U.S. by August 31, you may begin classes online from abroad. Late arrivals to the U.S. can be accommodated until Monday, September 21 to meet immigration reporting deadlines. Students arriving and reporting to Babson by this date will be considered to maintain immigration status for the fall semester and count toward eligibility for off-campus work authorization. A full course load for immigration requirements is at least 9 credits.

If you are unable to arrive in the U.S. by September 21, a new Form I-20 with a start date of January 19, 2021, the start of spring semester will be issued. Students who paid the SEVIS fee or were able to obtain their student visa, but not enter the U.S. by September 21st will be able to use them with the new Form I-20 for the spring semester arrival. Your SEVIS ID will not change (Note: students who transferred their immigration record from another U.S. school or pursuing another program at Babson may be impacted if unable to arrive by September 21st). ISSS will be contacting students after September 21st to follow up about issuing the new Form I-20 and next steps.

Please note that off-campus employment authorization eligibility requires two full semesters of presence in the U.S. on a student visa, therefore, this delayed start to your immigration status may impact your eligibility to obtain CPT/OPT work authorization. The MSBA and MSF programs are available in three-semester full-time formats, and we are happy to work with incoming students who may have concerns about the CPT/OPT impact of a late arrival on pursuing a three-semester program version. You may contact isss@babson.edu with any specific questions about delayed U.S. entry and impact on work authorization.

MSEL

At this point, students (F-1/J-1 visa) beginning in the Fall semester should try to arrive to the U.S. and report to Babson by the start of classes on Monday, August 31, 2020. If you are unable to arrive to the U.S. by August 31, you may begin classes online from abroad. Late arrivals to the U.S. can be accommodated until Monday, September 21 to meet immigration reporting deadlines. Students arriving and reporting to Babson by this date will be considered to maintain immigration status for the fall semester and count toward the one academic year eligibility for the off-campus work authorization, Optional Practical Training (OPT). However, MSEL students who begin the program online and remain outside the U.S. for the entire fall semester will not be eligible for OPT as F-1 status will only begin for the spring semester and students will not meet the one academic year requirement.

A full course load for immigration requirements is at least 12 credits.

Students who are unable to arrive in the U.S. by September 21, will be issued a new I-20 with a start date of January 19, 2021, the start of spring semester. Students who paid the SEVIS fee or were able to obtain their student visa, but not enter the U.S. by September 21st will be able to use them with the new Form I-20 for the spring semester arrival. Your SEVIS ID will not change (Note: students who transferred their immigration record from another U.S. school or pursuing another program at Babson may be impacted if unable to arrive by September 21st). ISSS will be contacting students after September 21st to follow up about issuing the new Form I-20 and next steps.

Blended Learning MBA Miami

New international students (F-1 visa) should try to arrive to the U.S. and report to Babson Miami to attend F2F classes at the Miami campus for the start of classes. If you are unable to arrive to the U.S. by August 23rd, you may begin the program from abroad. Late arrivals to the U.S. can be accommodated until September 16 to meet immigration reporting deadlines.

A full course load for immigration requirements is at least 12 credits.

If you are unable to arrive in the U.S. by September 16, you will need to remain outside the U.S. for the duration of the fall semester, and your immigration status will begin with the spring semester. A new I-20 will be issued reflecting the first F2F class for the spring semester. Students who paid the SEVIS fee or were able to obtain their student visa, but not enter the U.S. by September 16th will be able to use them with the new Form I-20 for the spring semester arrival. Your SEVIS ID will not change. ISSS will be contacting students after September 16th to follow up about issuing the new Form I-20 and next steps.

Please note that off-campus employment authorization eligibility requires two full semesters of presence in the U.S. on a student visa, therefore, this delayed start to your immigration status until Spring 2021 will delay your eligibility to obtain OPT work authorization.

 

Maintaining Immigration Status

Per the updated guidance from July 24, F-1 continuing international students (i.e. students with active immigration records either present in the U.S. or participating in a Babson Education Abroad experience as of March 9, 2020) are able to pursue their full course of study for the fall semester (100% online or mix of hybrid/online) from in or outside the U.S. and maintain their immigration status.

If Babson were to change to 100% online during the semester, international students would be able to continue to maintain their status whether they remained in the U.S. or departed the U.S. Babson will help and support our students through this transition if it were to happen.

A standard review of full time status requirements will be conducted at the start of the semester to ensure that continuing international students are enrolled in a full course of study. An exception of this requirement is for December graduates.

International students do not have to report to ISSS where they will be for the fall semester other than through the standard address reporting at the start of each semester (using our Immigration Address Reporting Form). Providing updated U.S. address information or reporting that you are outside the U.S. will be required.

Form I-20s/Travel to the U.S.

Our previously communicated “fall decision” survey and mass reissuance of Form I-20s is no longer needed. Continuing international students who do not have a valid travel signature (less than 12 months old) can request a new Form I-20 from ISSS. A new electronic Form I-20 will be issued and emailed to students’ Babson emails as permitted during the COVID-19 emergency. The Form I-20 and travel signature will be valid for the same duration as an ink signature (12 months). Any issued electronic Form I-20 should be printed any electronically issued Form I-20 to show as needed. The Department of State (DOS) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are in support of these electronically issued/signed documents for the duration of the COVID19 emergency.

For additional information about what documentation students need to return to the U.S. or to request a new travel signature, visit the ISSS website.

Work Authorization

Continuing students who maintain their immigration status will continue to be eligible for off-campus employment authorization (CPT or OPT), whether in or outside the U.S. For students seeking to apply for CPT or OPT, updates for fall processing will be posted soon to our webpages and to this document. Note that OPT can only be applied from within the U.S.

Frequently Asked Questions

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There is a limited amount of flexibility for incoming international students to arrive late to the U.S. due to required immigration reporting. Please see allowances above for incoming graduate students based on the program.  For Undergraduate students, a number of Babson offices will need to be consulted and decisions about late arrivals will be made on a case-by-case basis. Students should pay close attention to their local U.S. Embassy/Consulate re-opening procedures and process to request earlier visa appointments.

Continuing international students should now have the flexibility to remain outside the U.S. and maintain their immigration status. ISSS is waiting for additional confirmation based on the recent July 14th announcement. Immigration reporting is still required within the first 30 days of the semester.

Normal F-1 student immigration regulations permit one online or blended class per semester within the full course of study requirements to maintain status. Updated COVID-19 temporary allowances from the U.S. government for the fall semester indicate that continuing students may “count online classes toward a full course of study in excess of the limits stated in 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G) and 8 CFR 214.2(m)(9)(v)” and be located in or outside the U.S. Incoming (new) students with initial immigration records who arrive to the U.S. must be enrolled in at least one hybrid class. While we recommend that all students enroll in at least one hybrid course, the most recent guidance allows fully online instruction for new transfer or change of level/program students who have been continuously in the U.S. since March 9, 2020 through the start of their new program in the Fall 2020 semester.

Students that cannot/do not return to the U.S. are permitted to continue their academics 100% online from outside the U.S. Students can choose to enroll in 100% online or hybrid course offerings, though understand that your classmates in hybrid courses may be in-person on campus while you participate virtually via Webflex technology. International students who remain outside the U.S. for the fall semester maintain their immigraiton status if enrolled in a full course of study. Therefore, students’ immigration (SEVIS) records will not be terminated and eligibility for U.S. work authorization (CPT/OPT) is maintained.

As guidance and restrictions due to the Coronavirus are constantly changing, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to re-enter the U.S. due to any restrictions by the U.S. government for health concerns, flight options or the ability to renew a student visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate. However, if your immigration documents are in order for re-entry to the U.S., and you are still within your program of study you should be able to re-enter using your student visa as you normally would after any vacation or school break (even if it has been more than 5 months.) Never enter the U.S. as a tourist during your program of study. Our previously communicated “fall decision” survey and mass reissuance of Form I-20s is no longer needed so any continuing student who needs a new travel signature should request one through the ISSS website.

 

No, international students cannot study on a tourist visa and entering as such would be a violation of immigration status. Continuing and incoming international students must secure either an F-1 visa or J-1 visa in order to study in the U.S. and use it for each entry to the U.S. for the duration of your program (even during summer vacations).

The process to apply for CPT for internships has been adjusted to accommodate remote processing. Updated information related to fall internships will be communicated to students over the next few weeks. View complete information along with updates due to COVID-19 on our website: F-1: Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Graduating students needing to apply for OPT should review information found at F-1: Optional Practical Training (OPT). Online OPT workshops will be announced by the start of the semester. For J-1 students you must also be in the U.S. in order to apply for J-1 Academic Training (AT).

Congratulations! We are very much excited to welcome you into the Babson community! Please follow guidance found at The Student Visa Process as an incoming international student. The International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) team is in contact with graduate and undergraduate students after their first deposit is received. ISSS will work as quickly as possible to provide your Form I-20/Form DS-2019 to you. Visa issuance and global mobility are still a concern. Please review your local visa wait times and U.S. student visa procedures at your local U.S. consulate or embassy. Once you have your Babson Form I-20 you should be able to schedule the first available student visa appointment but may need to request an earlier appointment date later. Students can provide information related to their visa appointment and anticipated arrival date here

Yes, all residential and off campus students should quarantine for 14 days prior to arriving at Babson. Before arriving on campus, you’ll be asked to sign an attestation confirming you’ve quarantined for 14 days. You must also complete the Massachusetts travel form prior to arrival.

Residential students who do not quarantine before arrival, or are unable/unwilling to sign the attestation confirming quarantine, will move their belongings into their residence hall then immediately enter a designated quarantine space on campus.

These students will remain in quarantine until they receive two negative test results (up to seven days). Students should pack a bag for seven days, including personal linens, for quarantine.

Off campus students who do not quarantine before returning to Babson’s campus, or are unable/unwilling to sign the attestation confirming quarantine, can only be on campus for Covid-19 testing and must remain quarantined at home until they produce two negative tests.

For additional information and an arrival checklist, please visit the Health Guidelines section »

In order to keep your SEVIS immigration record active students are required to enroll in a minimum number of credits based on their program of study. Undergraduate, MBA and MSEL students need to be enrolled in at least 12 credits. MSF, MSBA and CAM students must be enrolled in at least 9 credits. There are limited exceptions to this requirement; however students in their final semester (December graduates) can pursue less than a full course load.

Any continuing student who needs a new travel signature should request one through the ISSS website. Due to COVID-19 temporary allowances, we are able to issue electronic Form I‐20s which should be printed and used for re-entry to the U.S. These new Form I-20s will remain valid for the duration of a student’s program or for the validity of the travel signature (12 months).

If Babson had to change to 100% online during the semester, international students would be able to continue to maintain their status whether they remained in the U.S. or departed the U.S. Babson will help and support our international students through this transition if it were to happen.

Ideally, students will arrive by the start of classes, if not earlier to comply with any state of Massachusetts quarantine procedures. For incoming students, a number of Babson offices will need to be consulted with and decisions about late arrivals will be made on a case‐by‐ case basis. The Office of Academic Services may be the best office to answer your questions about arriving late, but international students should make sure to review the deadlines for arriving late due to required immigration reporting, which are outlined above in the “New, Incoming Graduate Student” or “New, Incoming Undergraduate Student” sections.

International students have the flexibility to maintain their immigraiton status even if outside the U.S. However, students must be in the U.S. in F-1 status to apply for OPT so returning to the U.S. will be needed. It is anticipated that there will be longer than normal processing, so students are encouraged to apply early in the Fall semester. More information about how to apply for OPT during the fall semester will be announced soon on the ISSS website.

Yes, continuing students will be able to maintain their immigraiton status even if outside the U.S. as long as they are enrolled in a full course of study.

As long as students remain enrolled in a full course of study and do not take a Leave of Absence from the College, nothing is needed to return to the U.S. for the spring semester other than making sure your immigration documents are in order. For those taking a Leave of Absence, following the academic procedures to return for the spring semester, along with requesting a new Form I-20 from ISSS will be needed. Students should request the new Form I-20 in mid-September.

We understand you likely have concerns about many areas as they relate to your immigration status. Please know that we are here to continue to work with you remotely. While a lot of updated information can be found throughout the Return to Campus section, the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) section and the ISSS Information document listing ongoing updates to ISSS services and procedures, advising can be done via email or through virtual appointments.