International Student Resources

COVID-19 Updated Guidelines

Effective May 11, 2023, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) ended its Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) guidance, consistent with the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, following the end of the COVID-19 National Emergency on April 10, 2023.

While the SEVP’s COVID-19 guidance is terminated as of May 11, 2023, Active F students will be able to complete the 2022-23 academic year under the COVID-19 flexibilities through the 2023 summer semester. However, Active F students will not be permitted to count online classes toward a full course of study in excess of the regulatory limits, i.e., one online course per term, for the 2023-24 academic year.

Updated FAQs about COVID-19 guidance may be found here.

Getting the I-20 for a Student Visa

Once admitted, international students must secure an I-20 in order to go to the US Consulate to secure an F-1 student visa to be able to study in the United States. Students must show sufficient financial resources to cover living expenses while engaged in a GTU program. Students will need to pay a SEVIS fee online before the meeting with the consulate official. The Admissions Office will work with new students on this process.

Transferring your F-1 SEVIS Record to GTU

If you are currently in F-1 status in the U.S., but no more than 5 months will have lapsed between your last day of enrollment and the start of fall quarter, you may transfer your SEVIS record to the GTU. Here are the steps that are required to transfer your SEVIS. 

1: You need to fill out the SEVIS Transfer Form. This form will collect immigration related information to confirm your eligibility to transfer your SEVIS record and determine when your SEVIS record will be released to GTU. 

2: Contact the Designated School Official (DSO) at the school that currently sponsors your F-1 status and ask them to complete Section 2 of the SEVIS Transfer Form. 

3: Return the completed SEVIS Transfer Form to as an email attachment, or fax.  

4: Complete and submit the “Getting the I-20 for F-1 Status” form. 

5: GTU will issue a “Transfer Pending” I-20 to you after the SEVIS “Transfer Release Date” noted in the SEVIS Transfer Form provided we have received all required documents – including the evidence of financial support. 

6: Complete the SEVIS Transfer process by reporting to the Director of Student Life & Liaison for International Students and Scholars at the GTU no later than 15 days after the start date indicated on your GTU Form I-20. Failure to report by this deadline will jeopardize your F-1 student status. 

Maintaining Student Status

Students must be careful to abide by all regulations to maintain their F-1 status. International students must provide the GTU with a copy of the passport upon arrival, and current address information at all times. International students can only work on campus. Students are not to work in any capacity off campus, unless authorized for Curricular Practical Training (CPT).

Proofreading/Writing Support

The Director of Student Life coordinates a proofreading program for students writing research papers in the course work stage of the doctoral program. The proofreaders are current students who are paid for their service. Please email if you wish to avail this service.

There are co-working groups for students wanting peer support, particularly for those in their comprehensive exam and dissertation writing stages.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training is off-campus employment or training directly related to your field of study. You must be authorized by the Dean of Students/PDSO, and you must register for a special agreed upon course where you will receive unit credit for the CPT training or work. You need to register for the course during each of the academic terms that you will be involved in the CPT training. The authorization will be indicated on the last page of a new I-20 form

  • To be eligible for CPT you must have been in F-1 student status for at least one academic year.
  • You will to provide an offer letter from the institution offering you job training.
  • During the academic term, you are only eligible for part-time CPT (20 hours a week).

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training is an opportunity to gain experience after the completion of your program on a 12-month OPT. It is intended to enhance your academic program by providing a way to gain experience in your field of study. Students may apply to work part-time (20 hours a week) or full time in either a paid or unpaid job related to their field of study. Apply to the Dean of Students/PDSO early, as it can take three months to get approval from USCIS. The earliest you can send in your application is 90 days before your program completion. You OPT start date must be within 60 days after your completion date. Your OPT end date will be 12 months later.