Visit the Babson Together website for information about our spring return to campus plan.

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.

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. The Student & Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) under Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) has not provided official agency communication ahead of the Spring 2021 semester. However, per information provided in a December 9th Inside Higher Ed article, a SEVP spokesperson stated that SEVP guidance issued in March 2020 should continue to be followed. 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.

The information below 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 pages.

Last updated: December 21, 2020

Updates for Babson F-1 International Students for the Spring 2021 semester:

As of this email, there has been no formal communication from the U.S. government (ICE/SEVP) regarding spring 2021 allowances due to COVID-19. However, per information provided in a December 9th Inside Higher Ed article, a Student & Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) spokesperson stated that SEVP guidance issued in March 2020 should continue to be followed, as it was for the fall 2020 semester.

Please review the information below pertaining to Babson F-1 international students and allowances due to Babson’s hybrid model for the spring 2021 semester. The Information for International Students page on the Babson Together site will be updated by early next week to reflect this updated information and stay updated throughout the spring semester as needed. Generally speaking, we are thankful that continued allowances provide flexibility for our international students to progress academically and remain safe, without impact to their immigration status.

Highlights of Spring 2021 allowances:

  • F-1 continuing students (those 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 spring semester (100% online or mix of hybrid/online) from in or outside the U.S. and maintain their immigration status/work authorization eligibility.
  • F-1 continuing students (whose first semester in the U.S. in F-1 status was Fall 2020) cannot be 100% online and must be in the U.S. pursuing at least one hybrid course, attending in person as campus procedures permit.
  • New international students in Spring 2021 and students who started their program in Fall 2020 from abroad are eligible to apply for an F-1 visa and enter the U.S. due to Babson’s hybrid model but must enroll in at least one hybrid course, attending in person as campus procedures permit. Late arrivals due to visa or travel delays can only be accommodated until February 10th to meet immigration deadlines. Students who are unable to arrive to the U.S. would be able to make academic progress from abroad, but their U.S. immigration status would be updated to the next semester that permits in-person attendance.
  • All F-1 students are eligible to renew their F-1 visa (if applicable) and can enter the U.S. due to Babson’s hybrid model. Pay close attention to local U.S. embassy or consulate procedures.
  • 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 flowchart

Additional information as it applies to this guidance:

  • Travel to the U.S. / Form I-20 Travel Signatures:
    • Make sure your immigration documents are in order for your travel to the U.S.
      • Travel Signatures: students without a valid Form I-20 with travel signature (less than 12 months old upon arrival to the U.S.) should request a new Form I-20 using our online request. 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 should be printed and presented at the U.S. Port of Entry. This Form I-20 and travel signature will be valid for the same duration as a printed/ink signature (12 months).
      • 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 COVID-19 emergency.
  • Registration and Reporting Requirements:
    • A standard review of full time status requirements will be conducted at the start of the spring semester to ensure that international students are enrolled in a full course of study; an exception of this requirement is for May 2021 graduates.
    • At the start of the semester, international students need to report updated U.S. address information or that they are outside the U.S. for the Spring 2021 term through the standard immigration address reporting process (using our Immigration Address Reporting Form on the HUB).
    • ISSS reminders to students will be sent at the start of the semester related to the information above.
  • May 2021 graduates:
    • Students planning to graduate in May 2021 who want to apply for Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) should return to the U.S. for the spring semester since you must be in F-1 status in order to apply. Learn more about OPT at www.babson.edu/isssopt.

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

Due to Babson’s hybrid model for the spring semester and continued U.S. government allowances, incoming F-1 students can apply for an F-1 visa and enter the U.S. We understand that some incoming international undergraduate students may not be able to obtain a student visa and enter the U.S. by January 19th 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. or a limited late arrival may be possible. It will be important to communicate to ISSS and Student Advising and Success.

While the U.S. Department of State’s U.S. Embassies and Consulates began resuming routine visa services on July 15th (depending on local conditions) this will vary from 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 throughout the process. 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 spring 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). It is recommended that students enroll in as many hybrid courses as possible.

Late arrivals to the U.S. due to visa or travel delays can only be accommodated until February 10th to meet immigraiton reporting deadlines and require additional coordination for those with on-campus housing. If you are unable to arrive to the U.S. by Wednesday, February 10th you will need to remain outside the U.S. for the duration of the spring semester to pursue your courses online. Your immigration status would most likely begin with the fall 2021 semester.

For any student who deferred to a future semester, or is remaining outside the U.S. for the spring semester to pursue courses 100% online, a new Form I-20 will be issued later to reflect your new U.S. arrival and immigration record start date. The SEVIS fee payment and/or student visa obtained for your Babson program can most likely be used. ISSS will be contacting students after February 10th to follow up on issuing the new Form I-20 and next steps.

 

Due to Babson’s hybrid model for the spring semester and continued U.S. government allowances incoming F-1 students can apply for an F-1 visa and enter the U.S. 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.

While the U.S. Department of State’s U.S. Embassies and Consulates resumed routine visa services depending on local conditions as of July 15th,this will vary from country to country. We recommend that international students pay close attention to their local U.S. Embassy or Consulate for 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 throughout the process. The International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) team will continue to reach out to incoming students if any guidance changes for the spring 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. 

One Year & Two Year MBA (Fall 2020 cohorts)

Students who began in the fall semester but will be entering the U.S. to begin their F-1/J-1 status should try to arrive to the U.S. and report to Babson by the start of classes on Tuesday, January 19, 2021. If you are unable to arrive to the U.S. by January 19, you may begin classes online from abroad. Late arrivals to the U.S. can be accommodated until Wednesday, February 10th to meet immigration reporting deadlines. Students arriving and reporting to Babson by this date will be considered to maintain immigration status for the spring semester and count toward eligibility for off-campus work authorization. A full course load for immigration requirements is at least 12 credits.

Students who paid the SEVIS fee or were able to obtain their student visa, but not enter the U.S. for the fall semester will be able to use them with the new Form I-20 for the spring semester. Your SEVIS ID will not change.

MSBA / MSF (Fall 2020 cohorts)

Students (F-1 visa) should try to arrive to the U.S. and report to Babson by the start of classes on Tuesday, January 19, 2021. If you are unable to arrive to the U.S. by then, you may begin classes online from abroad. Late arrivals to the U.S. can be accommodated until Wednesday, February 10th to meet immigration reporting deadlines. Students arriving and reporting to Babson by this date will be considered to maintain immigration status for the spring semester. A full course load for immigration requirements is at least 9 credits, and at least one course should be in the hybrid format.

Students who paid the SEVIS fee or were able to obtain their student visa, but did not enter the U.S. for the fall semester will be able to use them with the new Form I-20 for the spring semester arrival. Your SEVIS ID will not change.

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. Students in the three-semester format who arrive by February 10th will be eligible only for Post-Completion OPT after graduation. You may contact isss@babson.edu with any specific questions about delayed U.S. entry and impact on work authorization.

MSEL (Fall 2020 cohort)

All Students (F-1 visa) should try to arrive to the U.S. and report to Babson by the start of classes on Tuesday, January 19, 2021. If you are unable to arrive to the U.S. by January 19th due to travel or visa delays, you may begin classes online from abroad; however late arrivals to the U.S. can only be accommodated until Wednesday, February 10th to meet immigration reporting deadlines. Students arriving and reporting to Babson by this date will be considered to maintain immigration status for the spring semester. Only MSEL students who were in the U.S. for the fall semester and the spring semester will be eligible for off-campus work authorization, Optional Practical Training (OPT) upon graduation. However, MSEL students who remain outside the U.S. for the entire spring semester will not be eligible for OPT as students will not meet the one academic year requirement. A full course load for immigration requirements is at least 12 credits, and at least one course should be in the hybrid format.

MSEL (Spring 2021 cohort)

Students (F-1 visa) should try to arrive to the U.S. and report to Babson before the start of classes on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 to comply with health and safety protocols. If you are unable to arrive to the U.S. by January 19th due to visa or travel delays, you may begin classes online from abroad however late arrivals to the U.S. can only be accommodated until Wednesday, February 10th to meet immigration reporting deadlines. Students arriving and reporting to Babson by this date will be considered to maintain immigration status for the spring semester and count toward the one academic year eligibility for the off-campus work authorization, Optional Practical Training (OPT). However, any MSEL student who begins the program online and remains outside the U.S. for the spring semester will not be eligible for OPT as students will not meet the one academic year requirement. A full course load for immigration requirements is at least 12 credits.

Blended Learning MBA Miami (Fall 2020 cohort)

Students (F-1/J-1 visa) should try to arrive to the U.S. and report to Babson Miami to attend F2F classes for the first session on January 21st. If you are unable to arrive to the U.S. by January 21st, you may begin classes online from abroad, however late arrivals to the U.S. can only be accommodated until February 17th to meet immigration reporting deadlines. Students arriving and reporting to Babson Miami by this date will be considered to maintain immigration status for the spring semester. A full course load for immigration requirements is at least 12 credits and face to face participation is required as current health and safety or U.S. government allow.

If you are unable to arrive in the U.S. by February 17th, you will need to remain outside the U.S. for the duration of the spring semester, and your immigration status will begin with the fall 2021 semester. A new I-20 will be issued reflecting the first F2F class for the fall semester. Students who paid the SEVIS fee or were able to obtain their student visa, but not enter the U.S. by February 17th will be able to use them with the new Form I-20 for the fall 2021 semester arrival. Your SEVIS ID will not change. ISSS will be contacting students 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, a delayed start to your immigration status until Fall 2021 will delay your eligibility to obtain OPT work authorization.

Maintaining Immigration Status

At this time, per a SEVP spokesperson on December 9th, allowances from March 2020 are to continue. As a result Spring 2021 allowances include:

  • F-1 continuing students (those 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 spring semester (100% online or mix of hybrid/online) from in or outside the U.S. and maintain their immigration status/work authorization eligibility.

  • F-1 continuing students (whose first semester in the U.S. in F-1 status was Fall 2020) cannot be 100% online and must be in the U.S. pursuing at least one hybrid course, attending in person as campus procedures permit

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 May 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).

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

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 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).

For students seeking to apply for CPT or OPT, updates for spring processing will be posted soon to our webpages. It is important for spring 2021 graduating students to note that OPT can only be applied from within the U.S.

Spring 2021 Frequently Asked Questions

Filter by Category

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

 

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).

 

 

No, F-1 or J-1 international students’ immigration status is not impacted by Babson’s shift to 100% online due to current COVID-19 allowances for the fall semester. Continued enrollment and academic progress is still required.

For spring admits or fall admits who remained outside the U.S. for the fall semester, there is a limited amount of flexibility for incoming international students to arrive late to the U.S. due to required immigration reporting. Students may begin their program online but if they are not able to arrive by a certain deadline students will need to remain outside the U.S. for the entire semester. If applicable, they would begin their immigration status for the next semester. Please see allowances above for incoming graduate students based on the program. Students should pay close attention to their local U.S. Embassy/Consulate re-opening procedures and process to request earlier visa appointments. 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. Continuing international students who were in the U.S. or participating in a Babson Education Abroad experience as of March 9, 2020 have the flexibility to remain outside the U.S. and maintain their immigration status. Enrolling in a full course load of study along with standard 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. Continued flexibility from the U.S. government to permits increased online course enrollment - 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 or who arrived to the U.S. after March 9, 2020 must be enrolled in at least one hybrid class.

Students that cannot/do not return to the U.S. or Boston area - with the exception of those who started their Babson program after March 9, 2020 - are permitted to continue their academics 100% online by enrolling in 100% online or hybrid course offerings, whether in or outside the U.S. Though understand that your classmates in hybrid courses may be in-person on campus while you participate virtually via Webflex technology.

 

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 Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for internships in the U.S. 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: 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/isssoptAn online OPT workshop in Canvas must be completed in the final semester in order to start the application process. 

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 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

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 for 14 days. Similar to the fall semester, Babson will be implementing testing and symptom reporting procedures.

For additional information and an arrival checklist, please visit the Health Guidelines page of our 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 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 can pursue less than a full course load.

If U.S. government allowances continue for the spring 2021 as they did for the fall 2020 semester, international students would be able to continue to maintain their status whether they remained in the U.S. or departed the U.S. Additional information will be provided once the U.S. government has provided more information relating specifically to the spring 2021 semester. However, Babson will always 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 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. The Student Advising and Success office 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.

While, international students may have the flexibility to maintain their immigraiton status even if outside the U.S. students must be in the U.S. in F-1 status to apply for OPT so returning to the U.S. would be needed. It is anticipated that there could be longer than normal processing, so students are encouraged to apply early in the spring semester. More information about how to apply for OPT can be found at www.babson.edu/isssopt.

Continuing students may be able to continue to maintain their immigraiton 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.

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 spring semester other than making sure your immigration documents are in order.

For those who took a Leave of Absence for the fall semester, you should have received information from ISSS about what is needed to return for the spring semester.

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 (access with Babson credentials) listing ongoing updates to ISSS services and procedures, advising can be done via email or through virtual appointments.