International Students

At this moment in time, immigration advising for students with F-1 and J-1 visas has become extremely complex and thus, individualized. For the most detailed, up-to-date information, please review International Student Services' comprehensive FAQ page for many detailed answers regarding status, absence, Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) questions and more.

Please also review the following information, and always contact with any questions specific to your status. 


For the latest visa, immigration and arrival information

Spring 2021 Information

  • Bucknell will conduct pre-arrival COVID-19 testing similar to the fall arrival protocol. Tests must be taken on Jan. 14 and Jan. 21 and returned via UPS. If you are planning to travel to the U.S. to begin classes on Feb. 1 and will arrive in the United States after Jan. 14, please submit this form as soon as possible so that we can determine your COVID-19 testing plan. Please also begin researching how to get tested in your country prior to departure. 

    COVID-19 test kit form — abroad over winter break
  • If you are a new international student arriving on campus for the first time in January, we are excited to welcome you. Shuttles will be provided upon your arrival, and an abbreviated international student orientation will assure you settle into campus smoothly. 

Update for Students Studying Remotely

On July 14, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement rescinded a rule that would have required international students to transfer schools or leave the country if their colleges or universities hold classes entirely online because of the coronavirus pandemic.

With this court decision, schools will (for now) revert to prior SEVP guidance, originally published in March, which allowed schools to prioritize students' well-being and safety in the midst of the pandemic by offering considerable flexibility for online study both from within the U.S. and from abroad.

Fall Semester Visa Information

Any student holding an I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status, which shows "active" or "continuing" status (not "initial"), their SEVIS record will be maintained as active, regardless of whether they enroll remotely or in-person/hybrid. Students should update their physical address with International Student Services (ISS) if they are living within the U.S. but not on campus. Students also have the flexibility to begin classes online and then arrive at any point in the semester, if approved by their deans and Housing Services and Residential Education. Students must have these approvals before moving forward with any plans.

For any student holding an "initial" status I-20 (a new student who has never been in F-1 status before), they can use that I-20 to enter the U.S. and study at Bucknell in person, assuming they can arrive on campus within approximately two weeks of Aug. 17. ISS must confirm that students are present in the U.S. and their U.S. address by no later than Sept. 15.

 "Initial" status students who will enroll remotely will have their SEVIS records deferred until January, which means ISS will provide them with a new I-20 during the fall semester. In the meantime, they can proceed with visa interviews as they become available.

For any student taking a leave of absence, there is some flexibility allowed, but this is navigated on a case-by-case basis. If a student takes a leave of absence, they should consult with ISS regarding their status.

Further FAQs for international students can be found here. Contact with questions or concerns.