Information for Global Students
Your health, safety, and well-being is our first priority. We are aware that you - our global students at Gannon University, are greatly impacted by travel, housing, and public health concerns given the situation with COVID-19. We are here to support you! The first thing that we do is to keep you informed. We will continue to update the information below as new developments take place.
Below you will find the most up to date information on: visas, preparing for travel, travel, Gannon events, and others.
Gannon Re-Opening for the Fall Semester
Is Gannon University opening on campus for the in-person delivery of classes for the fall semester?
Yes, Classes begin Aug. 10, 2020.
- New global students are expected to arrive between July 31-Aug.2, for Check-in and Global Student Orientation and GU Welcome Week - Aug. 3-7
- Really fund small group orientation programs that have a thematic focus – Register HERE! (Deadline to register is the week of July 20-24) Themes: Active Lifestyle, Coffee Beans & Books, Fine Arts, Foodies, Nature, Musicians, Outdoor Adventure, and Serving Erie – Participating in an FYT is a fantastic way to meet other students and get to know more about Gannon and the Erie community!
- ALL new students are encouraged to check out Gannon’s RESOURCE HUB – This site contains many helpful instructional videos and information!
What is the current policy for entry or re-entry in the US -as related to COVID -19 - for new or returning students?
TRAVEL / Upon arrival to Gannon
Continuing AND New Students (Who are NOT ALREADY in ERIE and WHO PLAN TO RETURN)
Please tell us the following information via Globalsupport@gannon.edu (to schedule COVID-19 Testing):
- Date of Arrival to Erie
- Mode of Arrival (car, bus, plane – or as many as apply)
- What states, cities traveling from within U.S.
Students travelling to the U.S. from Europe or Brazil are subject to the Proclamation Restrictions, - Please READ
TRAVEL / New Students with who are delayed due to late VISA Issuance
- Please check the Dept. of State Website, Student Visa - you can enter the city, country of the U.S. embassy and consulate to find out the current status and wait time for appointments.
- Also stay in close communication with the staff in our Office of Global Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 814-871-7480 / Toll Free: 1-800-426-6668/WhatsApp+1-814-440-9419
- For questions about Orientation, contact Global Support (email@example.com) and complete the Attendance Confirmation Form.
If global students are currently living elsewhere in the U.S., may they stay where they are and continue at GU in online classes?
No. Students on a visa are required to be on campus if the campus is open per US immigration law. If you are in the U.S. please make arrangements to get to Erie prior to the start of classes on August 10.
I am not sure about traveling to the U.S. at this time. Can I choose to stay home and enroll in Gannon University's online classes? May GU global students choose to remain in home countries and enroll in Gannon courses online for the fall 2020 semester?
If you are in the U.S. or can get to Erie by August 10, please make arrangements to do so. Due to the pandemic situation, F-1 students may only enroll online at Gannon under the following circumstances:
- If there are travel restrictions between students' home countries and the U.S.
- If there is a delay in student’s ability to obtain F-1 visa in time to attend in-person classes
- If there is an inability to obtain or renew F-1 visa for entry to the U.S
Students who cannot get to the United States may apply for approval to attend classes remotely. Please complete this Remote Class Delivery Request. Deadline for Remote Access Registration is Aug. 3, 23:59 U.S. E.S.T. You will need your Gannon network ID and password.
What if I do not get my visa on time? What is the last date I can arrive on campus?
New Students contact Global Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: +1 814-871-7480 / WhatsApp: +1-814-440-9419
Returning students contact Global Support at email@example.com or Tel: +1 814-871-7033
What happens to my SEVIS I-20 if I remain in home country and continue my courses on-line or through Remote Access through synchronous delivery?
DSO’s across the U.S. are still waiting on updated guidance from SEVP about this. We hope we can register students and continue students’ status as “Active” for those who remain fully enrolled but not in the U.S. However there is a possibility we will be required to terminate students studying from home countries (as Academic Early Withdrawal – an action that does not have a negative impact).
THEME: COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS/PREPAREDNESS
How are students/faculty/staff protected from COVID-19 on the Gannon University campus?
Gannon University : Please see latest updates and precautions here http://ww5.gannon.edu/Emailblasts/president/COVID/06-10-20/
- Live Safe App - a download questionnaire that needs to be answered everyday
- Temperature Check - how this will happen is still being studied (no-touch thermometers, thermal imaging cameras; and Daily temperature checks (self-checks)
- A section of a residence hall has been designated for students who contract COVID-19 and quarantine site.
I am concerned about what I see in the news that is happening in the U.S. How does that affect me as an international student?
The U.S. is made up of people from all over the world: refugees, immigrants, and Native Americans. Some have lived here for generations; some are “first generation” or “new Americans”. There are good and bad people everywhere. Gannon University prides itself on being a very welcoming and inclusive campus environment, as does the Erie community. The Catholic university and religious tradition boasts being one of inclusion, service, and intellectual freedom toward education. At Gannon, you will observe and experience a welcoming environment where those of all cultural identities are warmly embraced.
As international students, you have interacted with our Global Admissions Staff and through pre-arrival videos and upon arrival you’ll meet the staff in Global Support and the many others who will be here to welcome you during Global Student Orientation and Welcome Week Activities.
Sources of Good Information
State of Pennsylvania
General Coronavirus COVID-19 medical information, such as symptoms
State Department Travel Restrictions
For ANY questions related to these or others you may have, please contact our staff at the Office of Global Support and Student Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am a global student who requires a visa to return to the United States. What are my options for returning for the rescheduled commencement?
Commencement Update HERE Global students will have three options:
- Students can return to the United States prior to the program end date on the Form I-20 and attend their graduation during the 60-day grace period (this would only be applicable if your program end date is in August, as commencement is scheduled for October).
- Students who intend to continue their study in the United States can return with a pending change of educational level or transfer Form I-20.
- Students can return to the United States on another visa classification (i.e.,B-2 visitor visa).
If my family wants to attend my (rescheduled) commencement, will we receive support for visa application?
The Office of Global Support will provide a letter of invitation describing the new commencement details for the purpose of applying for a B-2 visitors visa to visit the United States for Gannon’s commencement in October.
International students who apply for B-2 visas to attend commencement should also bring a copy of their latest I-20 form to the visa interview, even if the I-20 is expired, since this is evidence of previous F-1 status during enrollment at Gannon University.
For questions about visas for international students and family members entering the United States for commencement, contact the Office of Global Support and Student Engagement (OGSSE) via email at Globalsupport@gannon.edu
Visas & Immigration Status
My visa is expiring, and I am unable to travel to my home country at this time. What should I do?
Students may stay in the United States on an expired F-1/J-1 visa as long as they maintain their immigration status by being in possession of a valid I-20/DS-2019 and an I-94 Arrival/Departure record, and by meeting normal enrollment requirements. Please contact the Office of Global Support and Student Engagement (OGSSE) via email at email@example.com if you have questions regarding your visa or immigration status.
If you travel outside the US on an expired visa, you will be required to return to the US Consulate in your home country for a new visa before you return to the US.
Students who continue to make normal progress in their course of study remain eligible for admission to the United States when travel restrictions are lifted.
To request an I-20 (travel signature or program extension), please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions.
If you are on OPT or STEM OPT and you need to update your employer information, please continue to use https://forms.gle/jUpg1aYeJEpdCxUR8
I want to speak with an advisor at the Office of Global Support and Student Engagement. What should I do?
Please email email@example.com or find us individually HERE.In your email include your name, GU ID number, Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) number, phone number and a description of your inquiry, and we will respond.
Gannon University will not take any action to terminate student records for individuals who remain enrolled full-time and are outside of the United States for more than five months. Students who continue to make normal progress in their course of study remain eligible for admission to the United States when travel restrictions are lifted.
Global/international students are still required to maintain a full course load during this temporary transition to online instruction or synchronistic instruction. You should not fall below the full course requirement unless you have been permitted to do so either through a Reduced Course Load (RCL) or Leave of Absence (LOA) approved by GU’s Office of Global Support and Student Engagement (OGSSE).
Your well-being and up-to-date contact information is critically important to us and to the entire university.
My immigration documents are currently with GU’s Office of Global Support and Student Engagement. How will I receive them?
GU’s Office of Global Support and Student Engagement is currently prioritizing the mailing of documents to students. Global Support is dispersing documents to global students using eShipGlobal while we are all working remotely. If you have been contacted by a staff member that your immigration document is ready to be sent to you, please follow these instructions:
- Go to study.eshipglobal.com
- Click Student/Scholar sign up if you don’t already have an account with eShipGlobal
- Create an account. Use your current address. If you ever want packages shipped to a different address in the future, you can always input a “ship to” address when you create a shipment.
- Click on “Receive Documents from University”
- Search for Gannon University
- Select our office and click continue
- Follow the prompts to complete the creation of and payment for the label. We will receive the label and ship out your document.
Contact the Office Global Support and Student Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about mailing and shipping.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) & Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
I need to apply for an Optional Practical Training (OPT) STEM extension. Is it possible to apply while I am abroad?
As of June 12, 2020, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has not released any changes to its existing STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) Extension application instructions. Therefore, students must be physically present in the United States to apply for a STEM OPT Extension.
I am currently on Optional Practical Training (OPT), and my employer told me to work from home. Am I in violation of my immigration status?
Employers may ask their Optional Practical Training (OPT) employees to work from home. This will not affect their F-1 status. Students must still report their employment information to ensure they do not accrue days of unemployment in their SEVIS record.
I am currently on Optional Practical Training (OPT), but I haven't found a job yet. I am nearing the end of my 90 days of unemployment, but I am unable to leave the United States. What should I do?
In the event you are unable to find paid or volunteer employment and you are nearing the 90th day of unemployment on OPT, please contact GU’s Office of Global Support and Student Engagement at email@example.com for consultation with an advisor.
I am currently on Curricular Practical Training (CPT) but am returning to my home country for the remainder of the semester. My employer is allowing me to work from home. Is this allowed?
Employers may ask their Curricular Practical Training (CPT) employees to work from home. This will not affect their F-1 status.
I mailed my Optional Practical Training (OPT) application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) two weeks ago, and I haven’t received a receipt notice. Is USCIS still open and processing applications? What should I do?
It usually takes 1-3 weeks for students to receive an I-797 receipt notice from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If you haven’t already done so, please check your bank/credit card statement to verify if USCIS has withdrawn the funds from your account. If you don’t receive the I-797 receipt notice by the third week, please contact GU’s Office of Global Support and Student Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As of March 18, 2020, USCIS has suspended all in-person services, but benefits that do not require in-person appointments with USCIS such as Optional Practical Training (OPT)/STEM OPT applications are still being accepted.
Contact Us / View Resources
ALL COVID-Updates for Gannon University:https://update.gannon.edu/Update