As soon as you received your dream admit, COVID-19 became everyone’s focus. Countries began suspending visa services and closing borders.
So, do you accept that admit or not?
Short answer: yes, you should accept it. Don’t put your dream on hold. This pandemic will pass. Moreover, the US government is eager to reopen as soon as possible, and universities are doing everything they can to accommodate international students at this time.
Whether you have one admit or several, once you’ve chosen the best school for you and your future, accept it without hesitation. That’s true, even when schools have extended their acceptance deadline.
When Should I Accept My US Admit?
While programs, schools and universities are free to set their own admissions and operating policies, you’ll find they’re all working towards solutions — not dragging their feet.
With limited resources available during this time, International Student Service offices will be focusing efforts on those who’ve accepted their seats. Remember that you may not receive another opportunity to pursue your dream. When applications open again, you might not make it to the admit list.
How Will I Get My I-20 to Secure My F-1 Study Visa?
This is where it gets interesting.
For the first time, you can secure an electronic I-20 from your university. That’s due in part to the urge to stop the spread through physical items, but mostly because it’s easier from a logistical standpoint. You shouldn’t expect every university to provide electronic I-20 forms; it appears to be their prerogative.
On the other hand, universities are still processing these documents and getting them off to international students as usual.
If you wait to accept your admission, you’ll need to wait to avail your loan, and that puts your I-20 in jeopardy. Don’t forget that a loan in US Dollars, issued to your university is considered a strong demonstration of financial capacity during the F-1 visa application process.
Most international students will do anything to avoid complications at the best of times; is it worth taking chances now?
When Will American Embassies in India Open for Visa Processing?
At the moment, no one is 100% certain. It’s a matter of safety, not a game of immigration numbers.
And, there’s a concerted effort to get things moving again. When that happens, you must be holding your I-20 form to be among the first applicants. If you don’t have your paperwork ready for application, you might not make processing deadlines.
What Happens If Classes Don’t Start or Take Place Online?
Universities will definitely be offering classes in one form or another. They may delay start dates if a week or two will make a difference. Alternatively, classes may be offered online for part of the Fall 2020 semester.
While online courses aren’t what you signed up for, this option opens doors. For a start, it provides a new surety you can offer at visa interviews. Now that restrictions on the number of online classes international students may take to maintain visa status have been lifted, you won’t jeopardise your standing. And, you won’t be limiting your OPT options as long as you make it to campus when it reopens.
As a last resort, Internationals will likely also see the possibility of deferring enrolment if absolutely necessary.
Though the Coronavirus has changed the way things are done at the moment, many of the changes make it easier than ever for international students. And that’s an excellent reason to accept that admit and keep working towards your dream.
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