The University of Akron students at an International Center event

Current international students

The International Center assists all international students from orientation to commencement. We can help with visa, immigration, or status concerns, housing, campus and community integration (including conversation partners) and much more.

On this page:

Immigration Updates

Repeal of Travel Ban:

  • On January 20, 2021, President Biden issued a proclamation revoking Executive Order 13780 and Proclamations 9645, 9723, and 9983, which had limited entry to the U.S. by certain citizens of several countries. He directed the U.S. Secretary of State to direct all embassies and consulates to cease applying the repealed order and proclamations.
  • Background: On June 26, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Trump's Proclamation 9645 (“Travel Ban 3.0”), which limits entry to the United States by certain citizens of 7 countries (Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Somalia, Venezuela, and Yemen). The travel restrictions are country-specific. In addition, on January 31, 2020, the Trump administration expanded the travel ban (“Travel Ban 4.0”) on travelers from 6 more countries (Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania). Travel Ban 4.0 does not impact the ability to acquire F-1, J-1, or H-1B visas or enter the U.S. in these categories.

Withdrawal of proposed rule from Department of Homeland Security to eliminate duration of status (D/S)

  • On January 20, 2021, President Biden announced a freeze on pending regulations pending review. Therefore, the proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is not expected to move forward. On September 25, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed rule that will adversely affect a number of aspects of F and J nonimmigrant status if it goes into effect.
  • Background: On September 25, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed rule that would have adversely affected a number of aspects of F and J nonimmigrant status if it went into effect.
    • The University of Akron submitted a comment to DHS opposing the proposed rule, and UA belongs to organizations such as the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and NAFSA: Association of International Educators that are asking DHS to withdraw or significantly revise the proposed rule.
  • Note: this is only a proposed rule at this time, so it may be changed or withdrawn in the months ahead.

Consular Update

  • The U.S. State Department (DOS) has indicated U.S. Embassies and Consulates have a “significant backlog of both immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applications awaiting a visa interview” and DOS is “working to reduce this backlog.” The Embassies and Consulates processing nonimmigrant visas will prioritize travelers with “urgent needs, foreign diplomats, mission-critical categories of travelers (such as those coming to assist with the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and workers who are essential to the American food supply), followed by students, exchange visitors, and some temporary employment visas.” Please visit the individual U.S. Embassy or Consulate’s website for information regarding its operating status. A visa appointment wait time tool is available here.

Coronavirus Travel Restrictions

  • National Interest Exceptions to Presidential Proclamations (Updated April 26, 2021)
    • The U.S. Department of State has announced that students with valid F-1 visas who are in locations currently subject to Presidential Proclamations barring entry to the U.S. may travel directly to the U.S. to begin or continue a program starting August 1, 2021, or later, without spending 14 days in another country. Students applying for new F-1 visas will automatically be considered for a National Interest Exception (NIE). The NIE announcement applies to travelers coming from or transiting through the following locations: Schengen Area, United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, China, Iran, South Africa, and India.
    • J-1 Researchers and Students from the above-listed countries may also qualify for an NIE – contact your nearest embassy or consulate.  
  • On January 21, 2021, President Biden announced persons traveling internationally to the United States must produce proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test prior to entry and comply with other applicable Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines concerning international travel including recommended periods of self-quarantine or self-isolation after entry to the U.S.

Public Charge

  • On March 9, 2021, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that it has stopped applying the Public Charge Final Rule to all pending applications and petitions that would have been subject to the rule. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services also will not apply the “public benefits condition” to applications or petitions for extension of nonimmigrant stay and change of nonimmigrant status.
  • More information here.
  • If you have specific questions about “public charge” in relation to your situation, we encourage you to contact an experienced immigration attorney.

Social media question on visa applications

  • The U.S. Department of State has added a “social media” question to Form DS-160, the online nonimmigrant visa application for identity resolution and vetting purposes. The new item requires applicants to indicate which social media platforms they have used during the past 5 years and provide usernames or handles used on those platforms. Do not provide your password. According to DOS, more updates to Form DS-160 will be added in the future. Students are encouraged to review their social media postings to see what they have conveyed.

SEVIS fee increase

  • The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) will be implementing changes to the I-901 SEVIS fee on June 24, 2019. The I-901 SEVIS fee for F students will increase from $200 to $350 and the I-901 SEVIS fee for J exchange visitors will increase from $180 to $220. Most students and visiting scholars who have already paid the I-901 fee are not affected by this change.
  • For more information about who pays the SEVIS fee.

Notice to Appear (NTA)

  • A Notice to Appear (NTA) is a document instructing an individual to appear before an Immigration Court for removal proceedings. Starting October 1, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may issue an NTA on denied applications such as Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) and Form I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status), if the applicant no longer is in a period of authorized stay and does not depart the United States. USCIS has indicated it will post updates and information on the Notice to Appear Policy Memorandum page.

Request for Evidence (RFE) and Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) policy

  • Old policy: In 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued guidance instructing adjudicators to issue Requests for Evidence (RFEs) when evidence submitted at the time of filing an application or petition to USCIS did not establish eligibility for the benefit sought. The guidance also provided that denials should only be issued where there was no possibility the deficiency could be cured by the submission of additional evidence.

  • New policy: On July 13, 2018, USCIS announced a new policy that “restores to the [USCIS] adjudicator full discretion to deny applications, petitions, and requests without first issuing an RFE or NOID, when appropriate.” This guidance becomes effective September 11, 2018. Students are strongly urged to carefully review their applications and petitions to USCIS to ensure they have provided complete applications and included all necessary supporting documents.

Academic Assistance & Tutoring for International Students

The English Language Institute, offers individualized, one-on-one and small group assistance and tutoring. These services will help if you are an International Student at UA, English is not your first language, and/or you are currently writing a Thesis or Dissertation.

See available services

Employment Information for International Students

F-1 and J-1 Students: Maintaining Status

Students in F-1 or J-1 nonimmigrant status must follow federal regulations to maintain lawful status in the U.S. Click on your nonimmigrant status below to read more about maintaining status at The University of Akron.

If you have questions, email or call 330-972-6349 to set up an appointment to meet with an advisor at the International Center.

Visit the following government websites for more information:


Groups for International Students

A number of groups on campus and in the community make it easier for you to adjust to living in the U.S. and getting to know both UA and Akron.

See groups

Immigration Forms

See our forms directory to report changes, apply for work authorization, information packets and applications related to F-1 and J-1 status etc.

Forms directory

Immunization update

As you may be aware the United States and other countries are experiencing a resurgence in vaccine-preventable measles infections.

Immunization information you need to know

Tax Information for 2021

We will help guide you through what you need to do comply with US tax law and understand the tax filing requirements of your visa. All non-immigrants in the US who were present at some time during 2020 are required to file tax related documents. The deadline for filing taxes in 2021 is Thursday, April 15.

Detailed tax information

International Student Programs & Events

selfie-groupInternational Friends Program

The International Friends Program connects international undergraduate students with local families to develop meaningful intercultural exchange, friendship and support for international students while they are in the USA.

Learn more and sign up!

Conversation Partners Program

The Conversation Partners Program gives international students a chance to improve their conversational skills with native English speakers. It is an opportunity to speak in English, socialize, meet new people who want to help you feel welcome in the U.S. and learn more about American culture. 

If you are interested in participating, learn more and sign up here!

International Education Week

International Education Week (IEW) is an opportunity for international students, faculty, and staff to highlight the rich cultural diversity we have here at UA. The annual event, held each October or November, features cultural performances, international food, guest speakers, and more.

If you are interested in participating, contact

Events calendar

See the university's events calendar to know about upcoming shows, lectures, exhibits, gatherings, athletics and more.