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Last updated on Aug 11, 2021

Immigration guidance for CCA Fall 2021 hybrid classes

Current Homeland Security guidance will restrict the ability of new international students and students returning from leave of absence to enter the United States if they are enrolled in 100% online classes. This impacts any CCA international student who is currently outside the United States who was not attending in-person classes at CCA before the pandemic. Such students can be issued I-20 paperwork to apply for the F-1 student visa to enter the US only if they are enrolled in a course with an in-person requirement.

ISAP is receiving feedback that students are being asked during visa interviews to show documentation of specific details related to the in-person requirements of their hybrid classes. Immigration officials are taking this very seriously. ISAP is recommending that students take documentation of their CCA hybrid class with them to their visa appointment and that the stated requirements of in-person meetings be very clear.

So that students can demonstrate that their courses are truly hybrid, instructors should identify in-person requirements in their course syllabi or course section page on Portal. This will make it easier for a student to prepare for a visa appointment or for a chair or ISAP staff member to draw from documentation if asked to provide a letter for immigration officials confirming that a course is hybrid.

What criteria are immigration officials likely to look for in a hybrid class?

  • The course must include both in-person and online required components.
  • A student enrolled in a hybrid course must only be able to meet the in-person requirements with physical presence.
  • The in-person component is integral to successful completion of the course.
  • All students enrolled in the hybrid course are subject to the same in-person requirements. Students that are unable to meet the in person requirements of the course should be enrolled in an online only course.

Instructors are advised that a class that a student can successfully complete without in-person attendance would not be a suitable means of fulfilling the hybrid-class requirement for student visa purposes. For example, a class that only requires three in-person meetings with an instructor but allows the student to miss multiple meetings without negative impact on grading essentially renders in-person attendance to be optional rather than required. Such courses raise issues for international student enrollees and/or CCA’s authorization to host future international students.

Information for employers: Applying for a social security number (SSN) during COVID-19

Hiring managers need to complete the Social Security Number Request Form (see Resources) when a student needs a SSN for their CCA Workstudy position.

  1. Complete form listing an employment start date in the future (SSN offices may reject forms with a past start date)
  2. Provide form to student directly
  3. Inform student to schedule an appointment with an ISAP staff member for completion of the form and all next steps.

***Please note that F-1 international students can only apply for the SSN while inside the United States.