International Students

Autumn 2021 Updates

Notice about Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) Guidance:

Information is subject to change. Updates are based on guidance released from ICE and SEVP on April 26, 2021. Please continue to monitor your Ohio State email and this page for updates.

International Student Information

The Office of International Affairs has created answers to frequently asked questions regarding this semester.

Click on Current Students if you are a returning international Ohio State student already in active F-1 or J-1 status. Choose New Students, if Autumn 2021 will be your first semester in the United States on your current F-1 or J-1 SEVIS record. Note that if you began classes online in your home country last academic year, you are considered a “new student” for the purposes of enrollment requirements. If you are transferring an active SEVIS record to Ohio State you are considered a “current student.”

We will continue to provide updates as new information is issued by the university and the Department of Homeland Security and the Student Exchange Visitor Program.

Current Students New Students

Planning for Reactivation of Ohio State Campuses

While information surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, please know that the university’s highest priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.

Ohio State is preparing to offer significantly more in-person classes and robust in-person experiences autumn semester. All decisions will be made in partnership with and approval of local, state and federal health authorities. Learn more about the university’s plan for the 2021-2021 academic year.

It is important to frequently monitor your Ohio State email, OIA’s website and Ohio State’s Safe and Health Buckeyes website for updates and important information regarding autumn semester.

Other Updates

Limited reopening of the Office of International Affairs (OIA)—The OIA front desk in 140 Enarson Classroom Building is open for international students to pick up and drop off documents. Students must schedule an appointment in advance. Once inside Enarson, you alert the front desk of your arrival at the side door, up the ramp to the right. Please remember that you must wear a mask at all times while in the building.

Students can also utilize the OIA Drop-Off Box located by the office's front doors to drop off documents without scheduling an appointment. Students will be notified when documents are ready for pick-up.

Appointments for I-20/DS-2019 pick-up are available. You must schedule an appointment online.

If you need to request a travel signature, please complete the e-form first:
For all other documents, an immigration coordinator will confirm how you would like to receive them once they have been processed.

Once the document has been processed, you will receive an email from an immigration coordinator with the instructions on how to schedule a pick up appointment. DO NOT SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT UNTIL YOU HAVE HEARD FROM AN IMMIGRATION COORDINATOR THAT YOUR DOCUMENTS ARE READY FOR PICK UP AT OIA.

The only document that international students may drop off in person at this time (again, by appointment only) is the Employment Verification Letter (EVL), needed to apply for a Social Security Number. Appointments for EVL drop-off and pick-up may be scheduled online.

Please continue to email all other paper forms to

All immigration advising, workshops and programs will continue to be virtual throughout the semester. You may schedule an appointment with an immigration coordinator at

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has updated the filing address for Form I-765. Students applying for F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) and STEM Extension OPT should send their application materials to the USCIS Chicago Lockbox Facility. Students can find the filing address on the USCIS website at Additional questions about Form I-765 and the filing address should be directed to

Students applying for F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) and STEM Extension OPT may now also file the Form I-765 online. Please note you should NOT mail your documents to USCIS if you choose to file online.

Things to consider before filing Form I-765 online:
  • Students must be within the United States when filing their OPT application online
  • USCIS may require you to appear for an interview or provide biometrics (fingerprints, photograph, and/or signature) at any time before making a decision on your application
  • Students must still obtain a physical OPT endorsed I-20 or STEM OPT endorsed I-20 from the Office of International Affairs
  • USCIS must still receive your OPT application within 30 days of the OPT endorsed I-20 issuance date
  • You must upload a passport style photograph (2 inches by 2 inches) of you must  be uploaded in JPG, JPEG or PNG file formats
  • Other files such as I-20 copies, passport and/or previous EAD must be uploaded in JPG, JPEG, PDF, TIF, or TIFF file formats (max size: 6 MB per file)
  • Foreign language documents must have an English translation
  • All uploaded files must have titles in English and no special characters (#,?,etc.)
  • Do not enter “N/A” for non-applicable fields on the online application
  • The application will be submitted once the non-refundable $410 payment has been made. If you would like a student immigration coordinator to review your OPT application during a virtual appointment, please do not submit payment until we have reviewed your application