This Week's Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) Guidance

This email was sent to new, international CalArts students about recent SEVP guidance from Robert Borden, vice president of Enrollment, and Anna Jablonski, assistant vice president of Enrollment and associate provost for Student Success. 

Dear New CalArtian,

By now you should have received a letter from President Ravi Rajan and Provost Tracie Costantino regarding the rescindment of the recent SEVP guidance. As their letter indicated, we stand with you, and will do all we can to help you through this uncertain time.

We understand that the new decision from SEVP regarding online learning has likely left you with more questions than answers. While we don’t have all of the answers yet, we’re writing today to share what we know about the current SEVP guidance and how it applies to you as a new CalArts student this fall (if you are a J-1 student, EVP has already issued an update for Fall 2020).  

Here is what we know:

  • Most academic programs at CalArts have designed a curriculum that will allow students to enroll either on-campus or online. The fall course schedule will be available online on August 3 with details about what courses are offered in-person, hybrid, or fully online. If you have questions now about what your schedule will look like, contact your program director or the Office of Academic Advising at
  • In order to maintain F-1 status, you will need to enroll in a full-time courseload.
  • We are awaiting further guidance from SEVP on how many online courses F-1 students can take. For now, we recommend active F-1 students plan for at least 75% of your full-time courseload to be in-person or hybrid.
  • You can enroll online from outside of the U.S., but you will not be an active F-1 student if you choose this option.
  • After Thanksgiving, most class meetings will become fully remote for the remainder of fall semester, but this will not affect your F-1 status as an on-campus student.
  • If you don’t think you can make it to campus, and you don’t want to enroll online, you can request to defer your admission for one or two semesters. Each program has different rules about deferral, though, so we cannot guarantee that it will be approved. To request a deferral, contact your admission counselor or email
  • Routine visa services have started to resume in some U.S. embassies and consulates. You should be able to find details by checking the embassy or consulate’s website.
  • Travel restrictions are still in effect, but the U.S. Department of State announced a national interest exception statement on July 16. If you are traveling from Europe, please contact the U.S. embassy or consulate near you to confirm whether you can travel directly into the United States.

We are closely monitoring many sources of information to provide you with the most up to date and accurate information possible. You should expect a weekly email similar to this one.

We are also maintaining up to date information on various pages throughout the CalArts website - our Fall 2020 Welcome Page has links to all of the resources you will need to stay on top of current information. 

You can also go directly to the ICE website for complete details on the current guidance, and watch for updates and tweets by the U.S. Department of State.  

If you have any questions about your status as a new international student for fall, we would be very happy to have you join one of our zoom meetings at the times listed below to discuss current concerns, or our daily walk-in hour.

International Office Q&A Zoom Room

  • Monday, July 20th, 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time
  • Monday, July 20th, 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time
  • Wednesday, July 22nd, 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time
  • Wednesday, July 22nd, 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time

Daily International Office Zoom Walk-In Hour

  • Monday through Friday, 2 -3 p.m. Pacific Time

We are very much looking forward to welcoming you to campus and will do everything possible to support you in your journey. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of the Student Success Offices listed below with any questions about your CalArts degree program or your path to enrollment.

Robert Borden
Vice President of Enrollment

Anna Jablonski
Assistant Vice President of Enrollment
and Associate Provost for Student Success 

CalArts Office of Student Success

Contact Us!
for questions about degree progress and course requirements
for questions about financial aid and scholarships
for questions about international student resources
for questions about student records and class signup

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