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Incoming F-1 Students

The information provided on this page is accurate as of the date and time it is posted.  All information is subject to change based on federal, state, local and institutional guidance.   

Students who are starting a new program at NSU in the fall 2020 term have the following options: 


Attend In-Person Classes in Florida


Enroll Online, Outside of U.S.


Defer Admission to Future Term


Option 1: Attend In-Person Classes in Florida

NSU is operating in-person for the fall 2020 term, with a Blendflex hybrid model.  Therefore, students may enter the U.S. using their NSU I-20 and a valid F-1 visa and study in the U.S. in valid F-1 status.

*Canadian and Bermudian students do not require an F-1 visa, only the NSU I-20.

Students will use their NSU I-20 to apply for the F-1 visa.  Students who do not yet have their NSU I-20 should visit to review the checklist with instructions on how to apply for your NSU I-20.

NSU is currently issuing all I-20s in an electronic format.  No special remarks are required on your NSU I-20.  NSU will not honor requests to issue paper I-20s or to add special remarks on I-20s.

Students are not permitted to study in the U.S. on a B-1/B-2 visitor visa or through the ESTA visa waiver program as these immigration types do not permit study.  

F-1 International Students may enter the U.S. no more than 30 days prior to the start of the academic program.

If your program starts after August 1st, 2021, you will be allowed to enter the country even if there is still a COVID-19 Travel Ban due to the current National Interest Exemption for F-1 students. When entering the country, please ensure that you have:

  • A valid passport
  • A valid F-1 visa
  • Your initial or active I-20

All students are required to be on campus/in the country and attend their first day of classes, unless otherwise stated by your academic program. You may confirm your program requirements with your academic advisor (undergraduate), academic program (graduate) and specific course faculty.

If your academic program begins after August 1st, 2021, you may enter the United States no more than 30 days prior to your program start date, even if your country has a COVID-19 Travel Ban. This is due to the current National Interest Exemption for F-1 and M-1 students. 

Fragomen Worldwide has the most comprehensive overview of travel restrictions.  Please be aware that changes and additions to this list are always possible.

Initial status students located outside of the U.S. should not enter the U.S. if they will enroll in fully online coursework.  Students must adhere to standard F-1 enrollment minimum requirements and should have at least one in-person or Blendflex course.

F-1 Enrollment Minimums for Immigration Purposes:

  • USchool: 6 classes
  • Undergraduate Study - Nursing: 9 credits
  • Undergraduate Study - All Other Programs: 12 credits
  • Masters Study - Huizenga College of Business & Entrepreneurship: 9 credits
  • Masters Study - All Other Colleges: 6 credits, or per academic program
  • Doctoral Study: 1 course, or per academic program
Students should direct all questions regarding on-campus housing to

Quarantining procedures will be determined by local, federal, and university policy at the time of arrival. 

Students who are required to quarantine will be able to do so in their off-campus or on-campus housing and participate in their coursework remotely during their quarantine. 

Early on-campus move-in is not permitted for quarantining; students should communicate to their faculty instructors that they will need to quarantine during the first two weeks of classes.  

Additional questions about quarantine requirements can be sent to

Option 2: Enroll Online, Outside of the U.S.

Students who are unable to arrive on campus or who would prefer to start their studies online can do so from outside of the U.S..

New students will not have valid F-1 status while they study outside of the U.S.

Because you will not obtain F-1 status by entering the U.S. in the fall, you will need an updated I-20 for the winter 2021 term.  Learn more about obtaining your updated I-20 here.

You must confirm with your academic advisor (undergraduate), academic program (graduate) and specific course faculty that your coursework can be completed from outside of the U.S.  Not all academic programs will be offering fully online courses.

Additional considerations:

  • Most courses will require synchronous course participation, meaning students will need to log into Zoom at the actual course time in order to complete the course requirements.  This is true even for students who are located in other timezones.
  • Students must ensure they have a reliable internet connection to join synchronous online coursework.

Because students are not in F-1 status, they are not required to be in a minimum number of credits for immigration.

Some scholarships *do* require full-time enrollment so students will need to be full-time to maintain their scholarship.

Certain academic programs may require full-time enrollment.  Confirm with your program.

Online and Blendflex courses are charged at the same tuition rate as on-campus courses.

Students are charged a student services fee.

Students will have access to the full range of university services, remotely.  This includes:

  • International Affairs
  • Academic Advising 
  • Tutoring & Testing 
  • Writing Center 
  • Alvin Sherman Library
  • Center for Counseling & Wellness
  • Virtual events and programming campuswide

It is very important that students are aware that special accommodations are being made for the fall 2021 term due to COVID-19.  Students should not assume they will be able to continue in their program online after the fall 2021 term unless it is a program that is typically offered in a fully online format at NSU. 

Students will need to obtain a valid F-1 visa before they are able to begin their studies on campus during a future term.  If you are unable to obtain an F-1 visa for a future term you may not be able to continue in your program online. 

Students may enter the U.S. up to 30 days prior to their program start date, as listed on their I-20. 

Additional information about requesting your updated I-20 to begin your studies online after the fall 2020 term is available here.

While studying outside of the U.S., students are not authorized to engage in any employment options connected to NSU.  This includes Nova Student Employment (NSE) jobs that have remote work options.

Most off-campus work/training authorizations (CPT & OPT) require a minimum of one academic year of study in the U.S. prior to authorization.  As students studying online during the fall 2020 term will not be in valid F-1 status, students will not begin accruing eligibility for off-campus work/training until after they enter the U.S. in valid F-1 status.

Students should direct all questions regarding on-campus housing to

Students living outside of the U.S. are not required to have health insurance. However, all student accounts are automatically charged for Student Health Insurance upon registration. In order to remove the Student Health Insurance charge from their student account, students are required to complete the online waiver.

 When students arrive in the fall 2021 term, they will be required to notify NSU’s Student Health Insurance Office to activate their NSU Florida health insurance. Students have the ability to waive NSU's policy with proof of sufficient coverage. 

Option 3: Defer Admission to a Future Term

New students who prefer to wait to start their programs at NSU may be able to defer their admission to a future term. 

Students must confirm their ability to defer their acceptance and learn about any implications of a deferred admission, including scholarship and special program implications.   Once you have made the decision to defer your admission, your NSU student record will be updated by your admission counselor or academic department.  Only after this deferral is completed in your student record is it possible for the Office of International Affairs to issue you an updated I-20.  See more about getting your updated I-20 here.
Students should direct all questions regarding on-campus housing to

During the first term a student is enrolled at NSU they will be enrolled in NSU's mandatory insurance policy.  Students have the ability to waive NSU's policy with proof of sufficient coverage. 

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