SEVP/ICE Changes for New International Students for Fall 2020

Grand Valley State University is committed to your education, health, safety, and your ability to comply with U.S. Federal Regulations. We are prepared, across campus, to work with you on our individual situation.

This website is based on the current understanding and interpretation of the new ICE/SEVP guidelines. It is possible will continue to change and we will update this website accordingly. Please note that this is Grand Valley’s interpretation. Not every school will interpret the rules the same nor is every school in a position to be providing academic coursework in a variety of delivery methods. Please remember this when talking with friends at other schools.


Admissions Office

Chris Hendree 

phone: (616) 331-2025

Padnos International Center

Kate Stoeztner

phone: (616) 331-3878

ICE/SEVP Course Requirements

Every F-1 international students must be registered for a minimum of a 1 credit course that is either hybrid or face-to-face. This is an issue of compliance that Grand Valley must comply with moving forward. Grand Valley will be running registration audits regularly starting next week to make sure all F-1 students are in compliance.

Acceptable course options:

  • Course in your major
  • Course for your degree (general education or electives)
  • Internship course (where CPT is authorized)
  • Independent Study
  • Master’s Thesis/Project

Work with your academic advisor or graduate program director if you need help re-scheduling courses.

Special Note for Graduate Students: Your graduate program directors are currently working on arrangements for those of you who are enrolled in programs that are expected to be fully online this fall. You can begin contacting them on Monday July 13.

If you have having trouble finding a course, and you have already spoken with your academic advisors or graduate program director. Or, if you have been notified by an instructor that a course is changing delivery methods, please email Kate Stoetzner (



Course Formats

Grand Valley has determined that courses will be provided in three formats: face-to-face, hybrid, and online. Your advisor and graduate program director will be knowledgeable about which courses are offered in which format. 

After the semester begins, what happens if GVSU goes 100% online?

As long as ONE of your courses has met at least once in face-to-face or hybrid, you will be in compliance. The in-person component will have been determined by Grand Valley to have been met. If these is a decision to move to entirely remote learning and your course(s) has not met in-person, you must email Kate Stoetzner immediately (

Students who will not be entering the U.S. for the fall semester

If you will not be able to enter the U.S. for the fall semester, you may take online courses at Grand Valley. If you prefer to not enroll in classes and wish to defer your admission, please email Chris Hendree (

New I-20 Issuance

Every student who plans on being in Allendale or Grand Rapids for courses this fall will be issued a new I-20. This I-20 will become your current I-20. We will issue the I-20 electronically (soft copy), email a copy to you, and follow up with a physical copy in the mail. Grand Valley has until August 4 to issue I-20s and it will take some take. Please be patient.

Please keep your old I-20. Your updated I-20 will be notated with information about the course delivery options and will certify that you will not be taking 100% online courses.

How will my scholarships be added to my account?

If you receive the International Merit scholarship and/or the EducationUSA scholarship, you will see those credited to your student account by the end of July. If you receive any other financial assistance from GVSU (such as a graduate assistantship/Music/Athletic scholarship), you will want to talk with your supervisor, professor, or coach about your individual situation. 

What if borders are still closed and I cannot get a flight?

We know that many borders are still closed and flights coming to the U.S. are limited. We agree this is frustrating. If it turns out you need to re-work your schedule to only take online courses from home, because you simply cannot get to campus, please email both your academic advisor and Kate Stoetzner.


Self-Isolation Information and Living On-Campus

Grand Valley will be enforcing a 14 day isolation period recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for all international students arriving from outside the U.S. If you are out-of-country, you must plan to arrive in the U.S between August 14-16 in order to be finished with the isolation period in time for the first day of classes (August 31). You do not have to go through self-isolation period at Grand Valley, but you do have to self isolate. If you choose to not self-isolate at Grand Valley, be sure you have people to help you in isolation as you should not be going to stores, restaurants, etc. 

We strongly recommend living on campus this fall as we will be unable to provide any services to you off-campus. 

If you self-isolate at Grand Valley, there is a $385 fee that will cover your time from August 14-August 30. This charge will be added to your Grand Valley student account in September and is for housing only. You will likely be living in Laker Village. International students will be placed together. If this makes you unhappy, you may apply during the 3rd week of classes through the Living Center Director for a new place to live on campus. During this isolation period on campus, if you need groceries, bedding, etc. the Padnos International Center (PIC) will be contacting you mid to late July for you to place an order. This charge will be applied to your GVSU account in September.

If you are living on-campus and need a ride from the airport, you may submit a form with your flight details to the Padnos International Center (PIC) which will be sent to you in mid to late July. The taxi charge, around $60 USD, will be applied to your GVSU account in September. 


Final Reminders

All F-1 students must be full-time (12 credits undergraduate, 9 credits graduate). The only exception is if you are in your last semester of study and will graduate in December. The SEVP guidelines and COVID-19 pandemic does not change this law

We strongly encourage you to purchase health insurance. It is not mandatory, but it would be ill-advised during a global health crisis to not have insurance.