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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.

Since the start of the U.S. Coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, the U.S. government has provided a variety of temporary allowances for international students in order to provide academic continuity and the preservation of students’ immigration status as much as possible. The Glavin Office’s International Student and Scholar Services team continues to provide updates to our continuing and incoming international students through different modalities as needed and will keep this page current as information is known. 

The information below provides content specific to U.S. travel and immigration regulations. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) may help direct students to additional resources. For information regarding aspects of the Babson student experience, from academics to campus life, please visit the Student Experience page.  Information around the COVID-19 vaccination requirement can be found on the Vaccination page.

Last updated Tuesday, July 27, 2021

U. S. Travel Restriction Updates for F-1 and J-1 Students physically present in the Schengen Area, UK, Ireland, China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa or India (updated May 27, 2021):

  • F-1 Students traveling to the U.S. from these countries may qualify for a National Interest Exemption (NIE). While the U.S. Department of State (DOS) updates are welcomed, the language around the eligibility of continuing and OPT students to qualify for a NIE has been ambiguous and confusing. The proclamation states that students traveling from Brazil, China, India, Iran, or South Africa are only eligible for academic programs beginning August 1, 2021 or later:
    • "Students with valid F-1 or M-1 visas traveling to begin or continue an academic program do not need to contact an embassy or consulate to seek an individual NIE to travel.  They may enter the United States no earlier than 30 days before the start of their academic studies.  NIE eligibility for students who have been present in Brazil, China, India, Iran, or South Africa applies only to programs that begin on or after August 1, 2021." 
    • Until information is clarified by the U.S. DOS for continuing and OPT students, those traveling from Brazil, China, India, Iran, or South Africa should consult with their local U.S. embassy and/or airline to ensure they will be able to travel to the U.S.
    • The ISSS team continues to liaise with colleagues and organizations who are working to get clarification from the U.S. Department of State. 
  • J-1 Students present in the Schengen Area, UK, Ireland, China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, or India must seek a National Interest Exemption (NIE) at their local U.S. embassy or consulate before traveling to the U.S.
  • Travel Restrictions from India started as of May 4 (last updated May 12, 2021)
    • Certain nonimmigrant travelers who have been physically present in India in the preceding 14 days are not able to travel to the U.S. at this time. F-1 students qualify for a National Interest Exemption (NIE) only if their academic program, begins August 1, 2021, or later. Students with valid F-1 visas "intending to begin or continue an academic program, including OPT, beginning August 1, 2021, or later do not need to contact an embassy or consulate to seek an individual National Interest Exception (NIE) to travel. They may enter the United States no earlier than 30 days before the start of their academic studies."

Required COVID-19 Negative Test for Travel to U.S.:

  • Effective January 26, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) require all air passengers entering the United States (including U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents) to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three calendar days of departure or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days​. Airlines must confirm the negative test result or proof of recovery for all passengers two years of age and over prior to boarding. ​Airlines must deny boarding of passengers who do not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery.
  • Please see CDC’s FAQ for answers to questions about the new requirement for proof of negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19 for all air passengers arriving in the United States.

Fall 2021 Immigration Regulation Guidance

On Monday, April 26th, the U.S. government (ICE/SEVP) provided updated guidance for the 2021-2022 Academic Year regarding allowances due to COVID-19. As Babson plans for a mostly in-person semester this fall, these allowances will be taken into consideration to ensure our international students have every opportunity to progress academically. Additional information for how it impacts various international student populations can be found in the sections below, which will be kept updated ahead of the fall semester.

Information For

Incoming F-1 students should proceed with requesting their Form I-20 upon making their deposit as soon as possible so they can apply for an F-1 visa (if needed) and prepare to enter the U.S. by August 26, 2021 (move-in day and start of orientation).  The New International Student webpage (www.babson.edu/isssnew) provides information about the Form I-20 request process, preparing for your visa interview, and various aspects of living in the U.S.

Most U.S. Embassies and Consulates have resumed routine visa services and/or appointment scheduling for non-immigrant student visa appointments. We recommend that international students pay close attention to their local U.S. Embassy or Consulate appointment schedule procedures and their process to request an earlier visa appointment (i.e. emergency appointment). Students may need to request a visa appointment through the standard appointment process and later submit a request for an emergency appointment once closer to the program start date listed on the Form I-20. Many embassy locations dictate that students must be within 60 days of their program start date before being eligible to request an emergency appointment. Remember to have your Form I-20 printed and signed so it can be presented at a U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Port of Entry.

Students should use Babson's simple Visa Reporting Tool to report and provide ongoing updates about individual visa processing and U.S. arrival dates. Log in with Babson credentials. 

If an undergraduate student is expecting arrival delays to Babson due to COVID-19 related issues, such as visa delays or flight availability, they should contact their Student Success Advisor to discuss their options for arrival after August 26, 2021. The latest date that a student can arrive is September 6, 2021, in order to maintain academic status and success. Students should also inform ISSS at isss@babson.edu and ensure this information is updated on the Visa Reporting Tool. 

The International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) team will continue to provide updates for incoming students ahead of the fall semester in addition to general pre-arrival information.

Incoming international students should proceed with requesting their Form I-20 upon making their first deposit so they can apply for an F-1 visa  (if needed) and be ready to enter the U.S. by their program start date. The New International Student webpage (www.babson.edu/isssnew) provides information about the Form I-20 request process, preparing for your visa interview, and various aspects of living in the U.S.

Most U.S. Embassies and Consulates have resumed routine visa services and/or appointment scheduling for non-immigrant student visa appointments. We recommend that international students pay close attention to their local U.S. Embassy or Consulate appointment schedule procedures and their process to request an earlier visa appointment (i.e. emergency appointment). Students may need to request a visa appointment through the standard process and later submit a request for an emergency appointment once closer to the program start date listed on the Form I-20. Many locations dictate that students must be within 60 days of their program start date before being eligible to request an emergency appointment. Remember to have your Form I-20 printed and signed so it can be presented at a U.S. Embassy or the U.S. Port of Entry.

All incoming students should provide ongoing updates about individual student visa processing and the expected U.S. arrival date using our simple Visa Reporting Tool. Log in with your Babson credentials. The International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) team will continue to reach out to incoming students if any information changes or to provide pre-arrival information.

Below details outline information for students based on the program: 

Two Year MBA (Fall 2021)

Pre-approval through a petition process will be required for any late arrivals past August 30, 2021 (information will be communicated by Graduate Admissions by the end of July). Any international student able to arrive to the U.S. by September 26, 2021 (the latest possible date for immigration reporting deadlines) will be considered to maintain immigration status for the fall semester and count toward eligibility for off-campus work authorization. Since off-campus employment authorization eligibility requires two full-time semesters in the U.S. on a student visa, students who are unable to arrive to the U.S. by this late arrival date will need to remain outside the U.S. for the fall semester. A delayed arrival until the spring 2022 semester will delay eligibility for CPT work authorization until the Spring 2023 semester.  Eligibility for post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) would not be impacted. Further guidance impacting Two Year MBA international students will be communicated if information changes.

MSBA / MSF (Fall 2021)

Pre-approval through a petition process will be required for any late arrivals past August 30, 2021 (information will be communicated by Graduate Admissions by the end of July). Any international student able to arrive to the U.S. by September 26, 2021 (the latest possible date for immigration reporting deadlines) will be considered to maintain immigration status for the fall semester and count toward eligibility for off-campus work authorization. Since off-campus employment authorization eligibility requires two full-time semesters in the U.S. on a student visa, students who are unable to arrive to the U.S. by this late arrival date will need to remain outside the U.S. for the fall semester.  Since off-campus employment authorization eligibility requires two full semesters of presence in the U.S. on a student visa, a delayed arrival until the spring 2022 semester will delay eligibility for CPT work authorization [three-semester track students]. Two-semester track students would no longer be eligible for post-completion OPT work authorization unless changing to the three-semester track and modifying their academic plan accordingly. Further guidance impacting MSBA or MSF international students will be communicated if information changes.

MSEL (Fall 2021)

Pre-approval through a petition process will be required for any late arrivals past August 30, 2021 (information will be communicated by Graduate Admissions by the end of July). Any international student able to arrive to the U.S. by September 26, 2021 (the latest possible date for immigration reporting deadlines) will be considered to maintain immigration status for the fall semester and count toward eligibility for off-campus work authorization. Students unable to arrive to the U.S. by September 26, 2021 will have to remain outside the U.S. for the fall semester and will no longer be eligible for off-campus work authorization (Optional Practical Training). Further guidance impacting MSEL international students will be communicated if information changes.

Blended Learning MBA Miami (Fall 2021)

International students should arrive to the U.S. and report to Babson Miami to attend Face-to-Face (F2F) classes for the first F2F session on September 1, 2021. Pre-approval through a petition process will be required for any student unable to attend the first F2F session in person (information will be communicated by Graduate Admissions). Any international student able to arrive to the U.S. by F2F#2 - October 7, 2021 (the latest possible date for immigration reporting deadlines) will be considered to maintain immigration status for the fall semester and count toward eligibility for off-campus work authorization, Optional Practical Training (OPT). Further guidance impacting Blended MBA Miami international students will be communicated if information changes.

CAM (Fall 2021)

Pre-approval through a petition process will be required for any late arrivals past the start of classes, September 5, 2021 (information will be communicated by Graduate Admissions). Any international student able to arrive to the U.S. by September 26, 2021 (the latest possible date for immigration reporting deadlines) will be considered to maintain immigration status for the fall semester. Two semester CAM students would then still be eligible for off-campus work authorization, Optional Practical Training (OPT). Further guidance for international students will be communicated to students ahead of the fall semester if information changes.

Maintaining Immigration Status

As Babson plans a full return to campus for Fall 2021, students should return to the U.S. by the start of classes per the academic calendar. As announced by the U.S. government on April 26, 2021 nonimmigrant students who have been actively enrolled at a U.S. school in F-1 status since March 9, 2020 (the start of COVID guidance), are temporarily permitted to exceed normal online course limitations due to COVID-19. Additionally, these students can maintain immigration status if needed from outside the U.S. if pursuing a full course load. 

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 to this requirement is for Fall 2021 graduates who are completing their final credits.

International students must report information through the standard address reporting at the start of each semester (using our Immigration Address Reporting Form found on the HUB) in addition to other location or address updates.

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

Continuing international students who will not have a valid travel signature (less than 12 months old) on their most recent Form I-20 upon re-entry to the U.S. should 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 due to COVID-19 allowances. 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 to show as needed. The U.S. Department of State (DOS) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are in support of these electronically issued/signed documents for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.

For information about what documentation continuing students need to return to the U.S. in F-1 status or to request a new travel signature, visit the ISSS travel page.

Work Authorization

Continuing students who maintain their immigration status will continue to be eligible for off-campus employment authorization - CPT or OPT.  Graduating students who want to apply for OPT can only apply from within the U.S.

Summer & Fall 2021 Frequently Asked Questions

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On May 27, 2021, Babson announced to the community that students are required to have a COVID-19 vaccine ahead of the Fall semester. Full details including which vaccines are accepted, submission deadlines, and medical/religious exemption instructions can be found on the Vaccination page of the Return to Campus site. 

Students who cannot access a vaccine in their home community should notify Health Services through this survey to facilitate vaccination upon arrival to campus.

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 valid 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. Any continuing student who needs a new travel signature (less than one year old) should request one through the ISSS website. Electronically issued Form I-20s (permitted due to COVID-19) should be printed, signed and presented at the U.S. Port of Entry.

Travel signatures are valid for 12 months. 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 validity of the travel signature (12 months).

There may be a limited amount of flexibility for incoming international students to arrive late to the U.S. due to required immigration reporting and course format. A number of Babson offices may need to be consulted about the ability for a student to arrive after the start of classes, and decisions may be made on a case-by-case basis. Please see the information outlined above for new, incoming students based on the education level/program. Students returning from a leave of absence or who are coming to the U.S. for their first semester must follow similar guidance as new students. 

Continuing students also have a limited amount of flexibility to arrive later than the start of classes. Students should discuss options with their academic advisor as well as ISSS if they find themselves unable to arrive by the start of classes.

 

All students applying for student visas should pay close attention to their local U.S. Embassy/Consulate appointment procedures and process to request emergency visa appointments. 

Normal F-1 student immigration regulations permit one online or blended class per semester within the full course of study requirements to maintain status. Per 2021-2022 Academic Year guidance announced by the U.S. government on April 26, 2021, increased online course enrollment is permitted due to COVID-19. New/incoming international students cannot be 100% online. 

The primary course format for most Fall 2021 courses will be in person. The U.S. government provided continued guidance for the 2021-2022 academic year on April 26, 2021 that provides flexibility for some continuing students to be outside the U.S. and maintain active/valid immigration status if enrolled full time. U.S. travel restriction information may continue to change. ISSS will continue to provide more comprehensive information ahead of the fall 2021 semester and can advise students on their options based on their individual situations.

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 as applicable 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 vacation or short family trips).

The process to apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for internships in the U.S. has been adjusted to accommodate remote processing. View complete information along with updates due to COVID-19 on our website: www.babson.edu/issscpt

Graduating students needing to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) must be in the U.S. to apply. Students should review information and timing considerations at www.babson.edu/isssopt. Completion of our online OPT workshop in Canvas and issuance of a new Form I-20 with OPT recommendation must happen in a student's final semester in order to submit an application to USCIS for processing. 

For J-1 students you must also be in the U.S. in order to apply to Academic Training (AT). Learn about AT here.

Congratulations! We are very much excited to welcome you into the Babson community! Please follow the guidance found on The Student Visa Process page as an incoming international student. The International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) team is in contact with all graduate and undergraduate degree-seeking students after their first deposit is received. ISSS will work as quickly as possible to provide your Form I-20 to you. 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 using our Visa Reporting Tool (log in with Babson credentials). 

While information and Massachusetts state guidelines could change over the next few months, currently most domestic and international visitors to Massachusetts need to self-quarantine unless they meet testing or vaccination exemptions. Babson communicated arrival protocols on July 27, 2021.

For additional information please visit the Student Experience and Health & Safety sections of Babson's Return to Campus site. Massachusetts guidelines for travelers can be found on the mass.gov COVID-19 page.

In order to keep your SEVIS immigration record in good/valid standing, students are required to enroll in a minimum number of credits based on their program of study. There are limited exceptions to this requirement; however, students in their final semester can pursue less than a full course load.

  • Undergraduate, Exchange, 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. 

Additional information will be provided to students based on current immigration guidance. Babson will always help and support our international students through this transition if it were to happen.

As Babson anticipates a “full return” for the fall semester, students should arrive by the start of classes, if not earlier to comply with any state of Massachusetts quarantine procedures and Babson testing 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.

New international students should make sure to review the information outlined above in the “New, Incoming Graduate Student” or “New, Incoming Undergraduate Student” sections.

Continuing students also have a limited amount of flexibility to arrive later than the start of classes. Students should discuss options with their academic advisor as well as ISSS if they find themselves unable to arrive by the start of classes.

International students must be in the U.S. in F-1 status to apply for OPT so students have an active F-1 immigration record, returning to the U.S. would be needed. More information about how to apply for OPT can be found at www.babson.edu/isssopt.

U.S. government temporary allowances due to COVID have permitted international students to maintain their immigration status even if outside the U.S. as long as they are enrolled in a full course of study and began their program prior to the Fall 2020 semester. General eligibility for CPT or OPT is to be in F-1 status for at least two consecutive semesters. Not all programs allow CPT. For additional information visit www.babson.edu/isssCPT or www.babson.edu/isssOPT. If students have any questions about their individual U.S. work authorization eligibility, they should speak with an international student advisor prior to committing to an internship.

As long as students remained enrolled in a full course of study and did not take a Leave of Absence from the College, nothing is needed to return to the U.S. for the fall 2021 semester other than making sure their immigration documents are in order for travel to the U.S

For those who took a Leave of Absence during the 2020-2021 academic year, you should have received information from ISSS about what is needed to obtain a new Form I-20 and return to the U.S.

We understand you likely have questions about many areas as they relate to your immigration status. Please know that the ISSS team continues to work with students remotely. While a lot of updated information can be found throughout the Return to Campus site, the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) main website and the ISSS Information document (access with Babson credentials) listing ongoing updates to ISSS services and procedures, advising can be done via email, drop-in hours or by appointment.