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Fall 2021 Updates for Incoming/Admitted Students

Welcome to Illinois Tech and the International Center

A warm welcome to all new international students in F-1 and J-1 status from the International Center! We are looking forward to having you on campus for the Fall 2021 Semester. The information below is for new students for the Fall 2021 semester.  Please read carefully.

Required Check-In with the International Center

All new international students who are arriving for the first time for the Fall 2021 semester MUST complete their check-in online, using the following Check-In form.

Required documents for new student check-in

  • Passport
  • Visa stamp in passport
  • I-20 or DS-2019*
  • EAD Card (If Applicable)
  • Local Address in the U.S.
  • Local Telephone Number in the U.S.

*If you transferred from another U.S. institution, the International Center will also need to copy your previous school’s I-20/ DS-2019 form.

Once you have submitted the check-in form, please access your MyIIT portal and update your contact information and designate an emergency contact. You can update this information in your MyIIT portal in the academic tab under banner self service.

After you have completed the check-in form and updated your contact information, as listed above, please refer to the following "New International Student Checklist" for a list of the next steps.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email the International Center at

Fall 2021 Student Advising Hours

For the Fall 2021 Semester, Student Advising will continue to take place via Zoom appointments only. There will not be any walk-ins for advising during our walk-in hours at this time.

The International Center is no longer accepting paper requests for CPT, OPT, STEM OPT, etc. All document requests must be submitted electronically to

Fall 2021 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) for NEW Students.

Information for New F-1 and J-1 Students Planning to come to Campus for the Fall 2021 Semester.

Can I choose online classes only if I come to campus this Fall?

No, at least one of your classes must be in-person or hybrid. You will see codes for your classes that will allow you to determine whether or not a particular course is considered to be in-person, mixed (hybrid) or online. 

  • New F-1 students: Be sure to select at least one in-person or hybrid class (at least three credit hours) in order to protect your immigration status. You are required to enroll full-time.
  • New J-1 students: Be sure to select at least one in-person or hybrid class (at least three credit hours) in order to protect your immigration status. Since the Department of State only permits a “limited amount of distance learning” for new J-1 students, we also recommend selecting additional in-person or hybrid classes if possible. You are required to enroll full-time.

Will I be able to obtain a visa in time to come to Illinois Tech for Fall 2021 Semester?

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to severely affect the ability of U.S. embassies and consulates around the world to resume routine visa services. Check with the U.S. embassy or consulate nearest you to find out more about their plans and about your options for scheduling an appointment for a visa interview. Try to schedule your visa interview appointment as soon as possible. Even if visa issuance has resumed, there may be significant delays due to backlogs and physical distancing protocols at embassies and consulates.

All admitted students have received information from either the Graduate or Undergraduate Admission offices, on how to request an "expedited" appointment with their U.S. embassy. 

Will my plans to come to campus be affected by travel restrictions?

The COVID-19 entry restrictions the U.S. has imposed are still in effect. However, there are now exceptions to these restrictions for students.

  • F-1 students from the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, and Ireland can follow normal procedures to apply for an F-1 visa, and can enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the program start date on their I-20 form. J-1 students from these regions can request a “national interest exception” (NIE) when they apply for a visa. The NIE will allow travel to the U.S.
  • F-1 and J-1 students travelling from Brazil, China, India, Iran, or South Africa can travel directly to the United States provided that their academic programs begin August 1, 2021 or later. 
    • Students who are applying for an F-1 visa can follow normal visa application procedures.
    • Students who are applying for a J-1 visa or planning to travel using their current J-1 visa should contact the nearest embassy or consulate to initiate a national interest exception (NIE) request.
    • If your I-20 or DS-2019 has a start date before August 1, 2021, you will not be able to enter the U.S. if you have been in Brazil, China, India, Iran, or South Africa during the preceding 14-day period. You would need to spend at least 14 days in a country that is not subject to travel restrictions before entering the U.S.
    • If your I-20 or DS-2019 has a start date on or after August 1, 2021, you will be able to enter the U.S. up to 30 days before your program start date once you have obtained your F-1 or J-1 visa.

Will I need a new I-20 confirming that Illinois Tech is offering in-person and hybrid classes for Fall 2021 Semester?

No. Current DHS guidance does not require this. You can use the most recent I-20 you received from Illinois Tech to enter the U.S. If you want, you can contact your Enrollment Advisor to request for a letter from Illinois Tech, stating our plans for the Fall 2021 semester.

Is the COVID-19 vaccination required by the U.S. or by Illinois Tech?

COVID-19 vaccination is not required for entry to the U.S. However, in order to board a plane for the U.S. you must have evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken within the 3 days before your flight to the U.S. departs. This test is required even if you are fully vaccinated.

Will I need to quarantine once I arrive in the U.S.?

More information related to quarantine is available here

Will there be vaccines available on campus when I arrive?
Illinois Tech will be hosting a vaccination event for students on Tuesday, August 17, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Students must register in advance here. When providing your address, please use your local Chicago address.

For more information about the information above, please contact us at