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Are you all waiting for the US embassy to open again for visa appointment? I'm anxious that I won't be able to get visa on time for the start of the semester. I saw an online comment saying that I should probably consider deferring, but I've already taken a gap year that I just can't wast more time. Has anyone deferred their plan to start the semester this fall?

Also, Do you know of any school delayed their start date?

 

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Hi Alain!

We're all waiting, indeed. According to the weekly webinars we hold with University's authorities, though, classes will be hybrid. This means that the same course will most likely be taught online as well as in person. Therefore, in case we don't arrive to the US in time, we will still be able to join the classes we've been following online.

Given that I took a gap year as well, I have no interest in deferring. However, I understand it is something that may happen if the visa situation doesn't move in the near term. At my university, we can wait until August 1st before deciding whether to defer. 

I have been reading updates from a handful of schools and some of them are having full in person semesters, others full online, and others hybrid ones. I don't believe any of them will actually delay their start date.

I hope we remain patient during these times (: Best of luck.

P.S.: I just remembered the admissions office team at my U mentioned that there will be flexibility regarding arrival dates to the US, given the situation. I guess that means that missing a week or two of classes is possible.

 

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Update: My university has just started shipping I-20s. In any case, we're warned that US consulates are still closed so we'll most likely experience difficulties when submitting for an appointment. As ever, the basic principle is "we're still hoping you could join us for fall".

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I am anxious as well. They opened slots starting in July for an interview, but the US consulates are still closed here in Brazil. I was able to schedule in early-July, but not sure if they will be able to reopen since the situation in my country is a bit crucial. I am praying.

I did not receive any feedback from the university, they are planning to come out with the Fall plans in mid-June.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, MMP said:

I am anxious as well. They opened slots starting in July for an interview, but the US consulates are still closed here in Brazil. I was able to schedule in early-July, but not sure if they will be able to reopen since the situation in my country is a bit crucial. I am praying.

I did not receive any feedback from the university, they are planning to come out with the Fall plans in mid-June.

 

 

 

Good luck, and stay safe.  I see things are in a bad spot in Brazil at the moment.  

Edited by Dreams

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I'm in a European country where things have stabilized with >25 cases per day for the past several weeks and there's no word yet on whether the embassy will reopen soon. In New Zealand, which seems to be the most ahead w.r.t. covid, the embassy recently opened for US citizen services but not for visa processing yet https://nz.usembassy.gov/visas/nonimmigrant-visas/ .

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A note of hope; USCIS is facing massive financial issues due to the lack of visa processing. Knowing the president's attitude to money...

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I am also waiting for the embassy to open, I am in South Africa and my visa appointment is at the end of June (depending on the embassy re-opening). 

My concern is about receiving the fellowship stipend internationally, does anyone how that might work (I'm an incoming PhD student)?

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1 hour ago, mablid said:

I am also waiting for the embassy to open, I am in South Africa and my visa appointment is at the end of June (depending on the embassy re-opening). 

My concern is about receiving the fellowship stipend internationally, does anyone how that might work (I'm an incoming PhD student)?

For most schools, unless those who really want to go out of their ways, unless you have an American social security number and bank account, it's going to be an issue. Already heard of places informing people that they are unable to pay people without that information. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, mablid said:

My concern is about receiving the fellowship stipend internationally, does anyone how that might work (I'm an incoming PhD student)?

At least at my Uni, we've been told that that's not possible, there are regulations that prohibit them from depositing in a non-US account and they are not willing to pay for off-campus work.

 

Regarding financials in general, if we arrive late, that wouldn't be a problem although we'll have to discuss the stipend with our advisor, given that they have reassign that money to pay for other stuff. However, if we arrive in fall 2021, that's another fiscal year and therefore we wouldn't have neither the stipend nor the tuition remission available. We would need to apply again for those, knowing that universities' budgets will be under financial strain because of the pandemic.

Edited by cafueles

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Thank you for the response PokePsych and cafueles, all I can do right now is wait.

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I have also heard people in this problem. I hope this all gets resolved for people, and I'm sure it will.

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On 5/24/2020 at 1:39 AM, MMP said:

I am anxious as well. They opened slots starting in July for an interview, but the US consulates are still closed here in Brazil. I was able to schedule in early-July, but not sure if they will be able to reopen since the situation in my country is a bit crucial. I am praying.

I did not receive any feedback from the university, they are planning to come out with the Fall plans in mid-June.

 

 

Does your appointment still hold or did they cancel it?

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23 hours ago, MMP said:

They canceled it. Now with only slots starting in September.

How disappointing. Still no slots open where I am in Japan. Will we make it?

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No slots where I am either. They haven't reopened the appointment system at all yet, although the country is open. 

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I am an incoming PhD student from Spain and the situation is the same here. Country is open again but no appointments until November. My school said if I get there after the start date they can’t pay my stipend at all this Fall and Spring. I’m so disappointed, I feel so alone and I don’t know what to do...

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I have heard that some embassies will open starting from next week and will prioritize student's visa. In-person interviews will be waived for students and will be conducted through Zoom or Skype. Documents will be mailed to embassy. 

I think we should wait and see what will happen next week!

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2 hours ago, SULI said:

I have heard that some embassies will open starting from next week and will prioritize student's visa. In-person interviews will be waived for students and will be conducted through Zoom or Skype. Documents will be mailed to embassy. 

I think we should wait and see what will happen next week!

Do you have any idea if this will apply to just some countries or all US Embassies everywhere? Also can you keep us updated if you hear anything? I’ve been so on edge lately not knowing what’s going to happen...

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3 hours ago, SULI said:

I have heard that some embassies will open starting from next week and will prioritize student's visa. In-person interviews will be waived for students and will be conducted through Zoom or Skype. Documents will be mailed to embassy. 

I think we should wait and see what will happen next week!

Hi! Incoming Yale graduate here, I will be applying for the F-1 visa in Germany and thought I'd join the discussion as I'm just as anxious as everyone else here. SULI, in which country are you applying and how have you heard this? This would indeed be amazing news, I just hope it will apply to all of us.

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9 hours ago, SULI said:

I have heard that some embassies will open starting from next week and will prioritize student's visa. In-person interviews will be waived for students and will be conducted through Zoom or Skype. Documents will be mailed to embassy. 

I think we should wait and see what will happen next week!

That sounds promising. Would you mind sharing updates when you get them please?

Im in South Africa, and the US consulate keeps cancelling and rescheduling interview appointments. The next slots are only available in August...

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10 hours ago, SULI said:

I have heard that some embassies will open starting from next week and will prioritize student's visa. In-person interviews will be waived for students and will be conducted through Zoom or Skype. Documents will be mailed to embassy. 

I think we should wait and see what will happen next week!

Could you tell us more. I am having appointment in 7/9 in Hong Kong and the appointment is still there. It will be really nice if the they prepare to restart in July.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, SULI said:

I have heard that some embassies will open starting from next week and will prioritize student's visa. In-person interviews will be waived for students and will be conducted through Zoom or Skype. Documents will be mailed to embassy. 

I think we should wait and see what will happen next week!

This is great! I really hope that is the case.

23 hours ago, laura_PhD said:

I am an incoming PhD student from Spain and the situation is the same here. Country is open again but no appointments until November. My school said if I get there after the start date they can’t pay my stipend at all this Fall and Spring. I’m so disappointed, I feel so alone and I don’t know what to do...

That sounds extremely harsh, I'm assuming that's for a TA. May I suggest talking directly to your advisor if you haven't done that already? Everybody at IU was super helpful and, while they guaranteed my stipend starting Spring 2021, my advisor is independently also keeping my stipend through Fall 2020, even if I arrive late. I'm hoping you could tell them this is becoming a common practice amidst this chaos so they'll reconsider it.

Edited by cafueles

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12 hours ago, cafueles said:

This is great! I really hope that is the case.

That sounds extremely harsh, I'm assuming that's for a TA. May I suggest talking directly to your advisor if you haven't done that already? Everybody at IU was super helpful and, while they guaranteed my stipend starting Spring 2021, my advisor is independently also keeping my stipend through Fall 2020, even if I arrive late. I'm hoping you could tell them this is becoming a common practice amidst this chaos so they'll reconsider it.

I appreciate this, thank you. They said US tax law prevented them (Johns Hopkins University) from paying students if they don’t arrive in time to matriculate. I have a fellowship to the school, so I don’t need to TA at all my first year. I’m wondering why their deferral term is one year instead of a semester at most. It seems like your school’s response is much more reasonable and flexible. I’m so scared for my future :(

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On 6/27/2020 at 4:42 PM, cafueles said:

This is great! I really hope that is the case.

That sounds extremely harsh, I'm assuming that's for a TA. May I suggest talking directly to your advisor if you haven't done that already? Everybody at IU was super helpful and, while they guaranteed my stipend starting Spring 2021, my advisor is independently also keeping my stipend through Fall 2020, even if I arrive late. I'm hoping you could tell them this is becoming a common practice amidst this chaos so they'll reconsider it.

Is this from the department or International office/HR? Departments are horribly uninformed about the legal aspects in general. Have seen them almost break the law for international students now a couple of times and stories are common in that regard. 

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