Updates and Announcements

ISAO COVID-19 Updates (August 3, 2021)

UMKC continues to make accommodations to be able to keep campus open and maintain in-person functions with the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff in mind.

As international students, your needs may be more complex because of visa regulations and travel. Read our updates below related to ISAO services and answers to questions you may have regarding the impact of COVID-19 on your enrollment at UMKC.

Starting July 12, 2021, ISAO will return to full operations on campus. ISAO will be open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can accept phone calls, emails, and walk-in questions.

As we transition to a fully on-campus presence, we thank you for your patience and understanding if there continue to be any delays in our response times. We ask that if you call our office and receive our voicemail, please be prepared to leave a voicemail with your full name and ID number stated slowly and clearly. Our team will answer your questions by email.

Our Walk-In Advising days/times have been updated on our Current Student Advising page. Also, we have added an "In Person" option to our appointment requests on our Calendly page.


How to submit your documents to ISAO

  • You may not submit paper documents or request forms, with the exception of official documents needed for a provisional hold
  • Provisional hold document submission - come to the ISAO office on Monday through Thursday 3-4pm for Provisional Hold Walk-in
  • For most documents, including OPT applications, you may use the Secure Document Uploader in your Pathway account
  • Send all CPT applications to our office by email

On April 26th, 2021, SEVP released guidelines for F-1 students for the 2021/22 academic year (Summer 2021 through Spring 2022), stating the original March 2020 guidance would remain in place.

Continuing F-1 students currently inside the United States

If you were in valid F-1 status in the Spring 2020 semester and are continuing your studies in active F-1 status, you will be not be restricted in the number of online courses you can enroll in for full-time enrollment consideration.

This means you can take any combination of classroom-based, blended or online coursework, including a course load of 100% online coursework.

Full-time enrollment is still required in order to maintain F-1 status

  • 12 hours for undergraduate and ALI students
  • Nine hours for graduate and doctoral students
  • You may submit an FTE form (PDF) for under-enrollment so long as you are eligible under one of the reasons listed on the form

Continuing F-1 students who are outside the United States

If you were in valid F-1 status in the Spring 2020 semester but are currently unable to return to the United States, you may maintain your F-1 visa status this fall as long as you meet two requirements.

1. Enrolled full-time for the semester

  • 12 hours for undergraduate and ALI students
  • Nine hours for graduate and doctoral students
  • You may submit an FTE form (PDF) for under-enrollment so long as you are eligible under one of the reasons listed on the form

2. You must obtain an updated I-20 which includes the following statement in the remarks - 
“Outside the United States due to COVID-19”

  • Submit a Request for Documents (PDF) noting your intent to study full-time outside the United States this Fall as your reason for requesting an updated I-20

New F-1 Students

If you are a new F-1 student and were not present in the US as an F1 student in the Spring 2020 semester you are required to enroll in at least one in-person class during your first semester of enrollment. You may not be enrolled in a courseload that is completely online.

SEVP has announced they will permit universities to send I-20 documents digitally. After you request an I-20 for any reason and it has been prepared, we will send it to your UMKC email account.

Upon receipt, you must print and sign your I-20. Digital copies will not be accepted as valid for use.

This is a difficult time for anyone to travel anywhere in the world, but there are some extra considerations for international students needing to travel.

Will your visa expire within the next 6 months?

Have a plan in place for requesting an extension or renewal of your visa before attempting to return to the United States.

Do you have a travel endorsement signature valid for 6 months while you are a current student on your I-20 (located on the second page of your I-20)?

 If you don’t have a signature, or if the signature has expired, contact us and we will send you a Travel Endorsement Request form.

Talk to your academic advisor about your ability to travel

We recommend doing this so that if you are unable to return to the United States, you can create a plan for continued enrollment. We are aware of the difficulty many students are facing in trying to schedule flights to return to Kansas City for the Fall semester. You may be able to work with your academic advisor to create a schedule of online courses and plan to travel back to Kansas City for the Spring semester.

As of Jan. 26, 2021, per CDC guidelines, you will need a negative COVID test within three days of boarding a flight to the United States. Be prepared before your return to provide documented test results meeting the three-day time frame or other documents related to proof of having recovered from COVID-19 for yourself and any dependents you are traveling with over the age of 2. Currently, this requirement is in place through the end of 2021, or when COVID is deemed no longer a public health emergency.

Plan your travel dates to allow for a 7-day quarantine when you arrive in the United States if you are not fully vaccinated.

UMKC is encouraging students to follow CDC guidelines to self-quarantine for 7 days after international travel when traveling the the United States from abroad if you are not fully vaccinated.

Those who have received an FDA or World Health Organization (WHO) approved vaccine are recommended to get a COVID test 3-5 days after travel. Testing is available free on campus.


Resources for grocery and food delivery services

F-1 and J-1 students enrolled at UMKC are automatically enrolled in Anthem Student Advantage health insurance. Anthem has developed its own COVID-19 page for people insured by their plans, which outlines the additional coverage it is offering to members.