Updates and Announcements

ISAO COVID-19 Updates (May 5, 2022)

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.


To contact our office, you can email us at isao@umkc.edu or call us at 816-235-1113. Note that due to low staffing, we may not be able to answer your call or email immediately. Repeatedly calling and emailing our office slows down our ability to respond efficiently - please allow 2-3 business days for a reply.

Our Walk-In Advising days/times are listed on our Current Student Advising page. We offer both in-person and virtual one-on-one advising options on our appointment booking page: ISAO Calendly page.


How to submit your documents to ISAO

  • You may not submit paper documents or request forms in person, with the exception of official documents needed for a provisional hold
  • You can submit most documents, including OPT and CPT applications, to ISAO using the Secure Document Uploader in your Pathway account
  • Provisional hold document submission - come to the ISAO office on Monday through Thursday 3-4pm for Provisional Hold Walk-ins

On April 18, 2022, SEVP released guidelines for F-1 students for the 2022-2023 academic year (Fall 2022 through Summer 2023), stating their original March 2020 guidance would remain in place.

Please find your current category below to learn what your enrollment requirements are. 


New F-1 Students

If this is your first semester in the United States as an F-1 visa holder, 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.


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 (or if you arrived to the US in Summer 2020 or later but have now been in the U.S. for at least one semester in valid F-1 status), you will 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:

  • Twelve (12) hours for undergraduate and ALI students
  • Nine (9) hours for graduate and doctoral students
  • You may submit an FTE form to request 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 outside the U.S. and unable to return, you may maintain your F-1 visa status as long as you meet two requirements:

1. Enrolled full-time for the semester

  • Twelve (12) hours for undergraduate and ALI students
  • Nine (9) hours for graduate and doctoral students
  • You may submit an FTE form to request 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 semester as your reason for requesting an updated I-20

If you cannot maintain a full courseload online from outside the U.S., you will not be able to maintain your F-1 status. Your I-20 will be terminated, and you would need to request a new I-20 in order to return to the U.S. in F-1 status in the future.

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. While Designated School Officials (DSOs) are authorized to add a digital signature to an I-20, digital signatures cannot be accepted from students on the Form I-20.

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 passport expire within the next 6 months?

Have a plan in place for requesting an extension or renewal of your passport before attempting to travel to or from the United States. Unlike your visa, you CAN renew your passport from within the U.S. - you will need to contact your country's embassy here in the U.S. to learn how to renew your passport here.


Do you have a travel endorsement signature (valid for 12 months while you are a current student) on the second page of your I-20?

If you don’t have a signature, or if the signature has expired, complete a Travel Endorsement Request form and submit it to ISAO using the Secure Document Upload tool in Pathway. This form can be found on our Forms and Resources page.


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. 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 next semester.


Review the current CDC guidelines for international travel into the United States

Travel requirements are changing regularly, so please review CDC guidelines for non-U.S. citizens traveling into the United States to learn about current vaccination, testing, and quarantine requirements you must meet before traveling into the U.S.

The CDC currently recommends that all travelers get tested with a COVID-19 viral test 3-5 days after arriving in the United States. Testing is offered free on campus, subject to availability - check online here for information and to schedule an appointment.


Resources for grocery and food delivery services

Grocery delivery

Meal and prepared food delivery

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.