COVID-19 and Planning for Fall 2021

On March 4, 2021 President Crawford announced that Miami University plans to return to in-person classes and operations for Fall 2021. Coursework on the Oxford campus will be primarily face-to-face. The Regional campuses located in Hamilton and Middletown will return to its traditional modality of offering both in-person and online courses to students depending on their program of study.

Students may review fall semester course options and availability in the Course List. Students are encouraged to utilize the delivery type filter to review course modalities. Priority registration for Fall 2021 opens in early April. Registration will fully open on the Oxford campus on April 26th.

Enrollment Requirements

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program has issued this guidance regarding online enrollment for Fall 2021:

With the return to in-person instruction, traditional enrollment requirements for F-1 & J-1 students will resume.

  • Students who held and have maintained active F-1 or J-1 status since March 9, 2020 are eligible to enroll in a fully online schedule for Fall 2021 and maintain legal status.
  • Students who have started or resumed active F-1 or J-1 status after March 9, 2020 are required to enroll in at least one or more in-person courses in Fall 2021 in order to achieve or maintain legal status.

Courses coded as in-person or hybrid may meet the in-person requirement depending on their primary mode of instruction. ISSS defines coursework as meeting the in-person requirement of regulations when the course meets partially (at least 50% of the time) or fully (100%) in person. Courses that meet primarily online (60% or more) do not meet the in-person requirement. Students are encouraged to check with ISSS or academic advising if their hybrid coursework is sufficiently in-person. This information is not available to students in the Course List.

Full-Time Enrollment

  • Undergraduates: 12 credits
  • Graduates: 9 credits

Vaccine Information

All adults and children age 12+ residing in the United States are eligible to be vaccinated for COVID-19, including international students. The vaccine is free of charge.

How and Where to Get the Vaccine

Students may schedule an appointment through any provider that is currently offering the vaccine. We recommend utilizing Ohio's centralized vaccine GetTheShot website, which serves as a singular resource to confirm vaccine eligibility, identify nearby providers, and schedule vaccine appointments. International students should bring your insurance card with you to your vaccine appointment, along with photo identification (driver license or passport), and your Miami University ID card.

Miami University plans to offer COVID-19 vaccination clinics on campus to students arriving or returning for Fall 2021. Students who have not yet been vaccinated will be able to receive the vaccine upon arrival to campus in August. Learn more about Miami’s vaccination plan for students, staff, and faculty.

Which Vaccines are Acceptable

Miami University will recognize vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization (WHO).

The vaccines authorized by the FDA that are available in the U.S. include:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Moderna
  • Johnson & Johnson/Janssen

Additional vaccines authorized by the WHO include (this list will be updated as additional vaccines are authorized):

  • AstraZeneca
  • Covishield (Serum Institute of India)
  • Sinopharm/BIBP
  • Sinovac

Students who have received all required doses of one of the above vaccines are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their final dose.Review CDC guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals.

Students who receive a vaccine outside the U.S. that is not authorized by the FDA or the WHO will not be exempt from COVID-19 testing and quarantine protocols. In order to be exempt from testing and quarantine protocols, you will need to be revaccinated by one of the FDA-authorized vaccines after arriving in the U.S. Similarly, if you have not received all required doses of one of the authorized vaccines, you will either need to receive the remaining dose (for FDA-approved vaccines), or start over with an FDA-approved vaccine after arriving in the U.S.

What to do with Vaccine Records

Students who have been fully vaccinated should use the MedProctor Portal to share your documentation with the university. Doing so will allow your test result/vaccination record to be shared with the Miami COVID-19 testing and response teams in order to exempt you from testing, isolation and/or quarantine requirements.

Note that international vaccine records must be translated into English before being uploaded into MedProctor. We are awaiting further guidance from Student Health Services regarding translation requirements.

Track the U.S. vaccination progress! The Center for Disease Control updates statistics on vaccination daily. Click on the interactive U.S. map to track the state of Ohio’s progress. You may also review data on Butler County, the home of Miami University. Tip: Butler County is the county located second from the bottom on the left side.

Traveling to the U.S.

Documents

Passport

Must be valid for at least six months into the future upon entry date

Two passports


Visa

A U.S. visa with blank fields

Current & Returning Miami Students

  • Visa is valid unless expired – your duration of time outside the U.S. does not impact your visa validity
  • If your visa has expired and you are outside the U.S., you must renew your visa in order to travel to the U.S. At this time, visa appointment availability varies depending on country. Review current appointment wait times for your U.S. embassy or Consulate. However, the U.S. Department of State announced that they are temporarily expanding the ability of U.S. embassies and consulates to waive the in-person interview requirement provided that the visa expired within the past 48 months or less.
  • If your visa has expired and you are inside the U.S., please note that it is not possible to renew your visa from inside the U.S. A valid visa is only necessary for entry to the U.S. It is not proof of your legal status and may expire while you are in the U.S.

New Students

  • Review steps on How to Apply for a Visa. Students in countries in which visa appointments are limited should actively monitor availability.

I-20/DS-2019

Active F-1 or J-1 Students: Check to see if you have a valid travel signature issued no earlier than September 2020 on the second page (I-20) or first page (DS-2019) of your document. If not, request a travel signature through InterLink.

New to the U.S.: Check the first page of your I-20 or DS-2019 to verify you have an August 2021 program start date. If not, follow these instructions to request your Fall 2021 I-20 through InterLink.

Returning Students: A returning student is defined as a student who is re-enrolling at Miami University after a leave of absence, withdrawal, or suspension. Follow these instructions to request your Fall 2021 I-20 through InterLink.

Due to COVID-19, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program is temporarily allowing schools to issue electronic I-20s. Therefore, ISSS will be issuing I-20s via email as a PDF attachment. Please carefully check your attached document and let us know if you have any concerns. You will need to print your I-20 and sign after receipt. Please note government agencies will not accept an electronic version of the document on your device. You will need to print your I-20 and sign after receipt. Please note government agencies will not accept an electronic version of the document on your device.


Other documents that may be helpful to carry when entering the U.S. include:

  • Evidence of financial support
  • SEVIS Fee Receipt
  • Admission letter from Miami University (new students), transcript (current students), or Fall 2021 class schedule
  • Contact Information

Travel Logistics

Do your best to arrange your travel to ensure you are able to attend coursework in-person when fall semester starts on August 23, 2021 by considering these restrictions and guidelines:

  • Travel Restrictions: ISSS maintains a list of travel warnings and restrictions. On April 26, 2021 the U.S. Department of State announced that students traveling from China, Iran, Brazil, and South Africa with valid F-1 visas are permitted to travel to the U.S. through a National Interest Exception (NIE). A National Interest Exception was already in place for students traveling from the Schengen Area, United Kingdom and Ireland as of July 2020. Students with J-1 visas may request a National Interest Exception (NIE) waiver from your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Review this list for more information about National Interest Exceptions and Travel Restrictions before making travel plans.
  • COVID-19 Testing requirement: Effective January 26, 2021 the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) requires that all air passengers arriving to the U.S. from abroad complete COVID-19 testing no more than three days before flight departure and to provide proof of the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 before boarding the flight.
  • International Travel Guidelines: Students who will be traveling internationally before returning to campus in Fall 2021 should review CDC guidelines for international travel, including testing requirements, and recommendations after traveling internationally.

Reminder: Travel requirements are subject to change and may improve as vaccinations become more available worldwide.

ISSS Support

ISSS advisors will continue to support international students and scholars remotely.

ISSS advisors expect to resume in-person appointments in fall semester and continue virtual appointments when requested.

Frequently Asked Questions

Enrollment

I’m not sure I will be able to return to the U.S. for Fall 2021. What do I do?

If you are unsure of your plans, we encourage you to enroll in a course schedule that allows flexibility such as a combination of in-person (9 credits) and online coursework. If you realize that you will be unable to travel to the U.S., you may webdrop in-person coursework before the fall semester starts.

Can I enroll in coursework and remain outside the U.S.?

Yes, you may enroll in online coursework if available and complete coursework from outside the U.S. However, it will not be possible to maintain F-1 or J-1 status.

Vaccine Information

Which vaccines are available? Which one will I receive?

There are currently three vaccines authorized for emergency use in the US: Pfizer (2 doses, 21 days apart), Moderna (2 doses, 28 days apart), and Johnson & Johnson (1 dose). You may not know which vaccine you are receiving until you arrive for your appointment, as providers often do not know in advance which vaccine they will receive on a given day. If you receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you should schedule your second dose with the same provider.

What are the side effects of the vaccines?

You can read about the possible side effects of the vaccine on the CDC website.

What are the guidelines on safety measures we should follow after being vaccinated?

You can review the recommendations for fully vaccinated people on the CDC website.

Will Miami require students, staff and faculty to be vaccinated?

Miami does not intend to require the vaccination at this time. However, all members of the Miami University community are strongly encouraged to obtain the vaccine when possible.

Travel

If I spend 14 days in a country that does not have a travel restriction, will I be able to enter the U.S.?

Yes, ISSS can verify that students have been able to enter the U.S. after spending 14 days in a country without travel restrictions when traveling from a country with restrictions. However, please note that on April 26, 2021 the U.S. Department of State announced that students traveling from China, Iran, Brazil, and South Africa with valid F-1 visas are permitted to travel to the U.S. through a National Interest Exception (NIE). A National Interest Exception was already in place for students traveling from the Schengen Area, United Kingdom and Ireland as of July 2020. Students with J-1 visas may request a National Interest Exception (NIE) waiver from your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Review this list for more information about National Interest Exceptions and Travel Restrictions before making travel plans.

Can ISSS help me get a visa or visa appointment?

You must work directly with the U.S. consulate or embassy to secure a visa appointment and work through the adjudication process. Because visa issuance is at the discretion of the Department of State, ISSS is not able to influence U.S. embassies or consulates to expedite visa processing times.