March 12: COVID-19, Visa Status, OPT, CPT, Travel Restrictions - For International Students

Dear International Students,
As you know, all CalArts classes are temporarily canceled until March 22, 2020, and the remote forms of instruction will begin on March 23, 2020, as we continue the Spring 2020 semester. In-person classes are expected to resume by April 13.  

CalArts Plan                                                 
Campus Closed: from March 11
Classes Canceled: March 11 – March 22
Remote Classes:  March 23 - April 12   
Spring Break, No Classes: March 28--April 5
In-person Classes: from April 13

International Office Cancelation of Workshops/Appointments/Walk-ins
All administrative offices are instructed not to have face-to-face meetings with students.  We are canceling all OPT workshops and face-to-face appointments as well as the walk-in hours at the Office of International Students and Programs. You can still email us and set up a phone appointment for advising on issues not related to OPT. Our staff will be in our office or working remotely.

Off-Campus U.S. Mailing Address for I-20 & Documents
In case we need to mail your I-20 and other documents to you, we need to have your U.S. physical off-campus address and not your CalArts mailbox address.  Please update it on the Hubhelper (instructions).  Please do not drop off your I-20 for a travel signature. We will issue a new I-20 with a travel signature and mail it to your U.S. address. Just email us.

OPT Applications
You can apply for OPT by reviewing the workshop presentations online. Our staff is still reviewing your application materials online and suggesting edits via email.  OPT I-20s we issue will be in your CalArts mailbox or mailed to you.  You will receive more instructions in a separate email.

CPT Applications
Please refer to the handouts on the HUB. Email the required forms/documents to:  

Travel Bans and Restrictions
If you are planning on traveling internationally briefly during this transition period / spring break please remember to check the current travel bans and restrictions for people on non-immigrant visas, which could change over time.  CalArts asks you to fill out an International Travel Form before you depart the U.S. 

Currently, travels from China and Iran are the most restricted.  If you travel from China or Iran to the U.S. you will not be able to enter the U.S. until you spent at least 14 days in a 3rd country/area that is not affected by COVID-19.  A new presidential proclamation extends the travel restriction to and from the Schengen area countries.    So, if you are planning to travel to China, Iran, or Schengen area, please carefully plan your travel.  In addition, if you travel to other "high risk" countries (including South Korea and Italy) you may be voluntarily or involuntarily quarantined upon your return to the U.S. Please check the CDC information on returning to the U.S. for updates. Make sure to also check the transit restrictions in other countries. IATA has a comprehensive summary of countries with travel restrictions. Although it's a summary and not an official notice by each government it is simple and useful.

Please refer to our past reminder emails on the HUB for suggested travel documents.  

Student Visa Status
If you are still enrolled in all the classes you registered for and if you will be making progress in coursework from a remote location in the U.S., you are maintaining good student visa status, although our office cannot actively check your location during the remote instruction period.  We plan to have a check-in day at the International Office in April once the campus reopens.  We will terminate your F-1 status if you are physically not on campus for the check-in day.  If your F-1 status is terminated we will request to reactivate your status a few weeks before the Fall 2020 semester starts.  Depending on your departure date and the current situation of COVID-19, SEVP may reactivate your F-1 status. If they can't, you will have to apply for a new I-20 with a new SEVIS ID number by submitting a DOF and bank statement like the first time you enrolled. In that case, you will only qualify for CPT or OPT after completing Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters at CalArts.

If you have questions about withdrawals and leave of absence we suggest you contact your mentor, registrar's office, and our office.  

All CalArts general announcements to students/faculty/staff are posted at CalArts Coronavirus Information and Update site

All handouts, presentationsappointment info, and past reminders/newsletters are always at the HUB.


Fumiyo, Laura, Ani, Jen, Udval, and Brenda

We are here!
International Office Hours: 9am-5pm M-F
Phone: 661-291-3406

After Hours Emergency CalArts Phone: 661-222-2702