The international student advisor provides support to foreign students who are studying at NHCC on an F-1 student visa (or F-1 students, for short).  If you are a current F-1 student at NHCC and could benefit from any of advising services listed below, please contact the international student advisor.

COVID-19 Information

  • Courses

    How will classes be taught?

    • For fall semester 2020, most courses will be offered online, with some courses having on-campus or limited on-campus instruction (hybrid, mostly online, Hyflex). Details about these course types will be reflected in eServices' course schedule.
    • International students should register for as many courses in an on-campus, hybrid, mostly online, or Hyflex format as possible for their degree plan.
    • International students cannot take a fully online course load for fall semester 2020.
    • Please consult your international student advisor for assistance planning your summer or fall course schedule and ensuring you have at least one course that meets on-campus or with limited on-campus instruction.

    Course lists by format:

  • F-1 Status - important new info

    Aren’t there limits on how many online credits or classes an F-1 student can take?

    • Under normal circumstances, F-1 students can take up to 3 credits online each fall and spring semesters.
    • The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), which oversees F-1 students, recognized this spring was an unprecedented time and had made an exception to allow F-1 students to maintain their status while also maintaining their full course load of 12+ credits, even if all credits move to online course delivery. This guidance was also for summer, although NHCC does not require full-time enrollment for summer session.
    • For fall semester 2020, guidance was released on July 6 that international students are not able to take only online courses.
    • Ask your international advisor to help you select a course schedule that complies with regulations for international students, so that you can maintain your status at NHCC this fall semester. Lists of on-campus, hybrid, mostly online, and Hyflex courses are in the Courses section above.
    • All students are expected to maintain a full course load of 12+ credits, regardless of the course delivery type.
    • NHCC is assessing additional options for students and will communicate them to you by email. Please regularly check your email for updates and ask us questions so we can help.

    Can I remain in the U.S. during this time?

    • For fall semester 2020, you can remain in the US in status if you are taking a full course load of 12+ credits and your schedule is not entirely online courses.
    • If your visa has expired, you are still permitted to remain in the U.S. as long as you are maintaining your F-1 status. You are not required to leave the country.
    • If your passport has expired, you will need to contact your country's embassy for assistance renewing it. Passports must be valid at least six months into the future at all times while in the U.S.

    Can I travel home during this time?

    • SEVP is permitting students to return home while maintaining their F-1 status. You may only return home if you are maintaining your full course load of 12+ credits. Students who return home and do not maintain 12 credits during this time will be considered out of status and terminated accordingly. This would impact your ability to return for fall.
    • If you intend to travel home, please contact international@nhcc.edu to receive an updated I-20 with travel endorsement on the second page. NHCC needs to note why you are travelling outside of the U.S. in the middle of the semester as that is generally not permitted. You will receive information on when to pick up your new I-20.
    • If you are departing the U.S., you must check your visa to make sure it is still valid. If it has expired or will expire when you are outside the U.S., you will need to renew it before returning for the fall semester. You must check with your embassy for their renewal guidelines and timelines. There is no guarantee your visa will be renewed to return to the U.S. For questions about your visa, please send a picture of it to international@nhcc.edu

    Can I go below 12 credits or withdraw from classes?

    • SEVP still expects students to maintain a full course load of 12+ credits during this time. Withdrawing from classes will generally not be permitted. If you feel you have a circumstance that requires you to go below 12 credits, please contact your international student advisor to see what options may exist.
    • NHCC does not require international students to enroll in summer session courses.
  • Campus hours and offices

    Is NHCC still open?

    • All services are operating remotely and no offices are open to the public. Students can access CBT158 for technology needs, but must limit their visits to campus.
    • Campus hours for summer 2020 are: 10:00am-6:30pm Monday-Thursdays; Closed on Fridays-Sundays.
    • Student services hours for summer 2020 are: 8:00am-4:30pm on Mondays and Thursdays; 8:00am-6:30pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 8:00am-12:00pm Fridays.
    • Fall semester hours will be determined soon.

    Summer Hours - May 20-August 4

    • North Hennepin will have summer hours from May 20 to August 4. Please note that Friday office hours will only be until 12:00pm (noon) on Fridays during summer hours.

    Advising Center and meetings?

    • The Advising Center is open remotely 8:00am-4:30pm on Mondays and Thursdays; 8:00am-6:30pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 8:00am-12:00pm Fridays. This means Advisors are not on campus, but are still working from their homes. Appointments will only be available via phone or Zoom. Please call us at 763-424-0703 to set up an appointment, or use Navigate to schedule a meeting.

    Admissions & Outreach Office and Information Center?

    • The Admissions & Outreach office staff are working remotely as well. The Information Center is closed at this time. You may call Admissions at 763-424-0724 or the Information Center at 763-424-0702 during business hours: 8:00am-4:30pm on Mondays and Thursdays; 8:00am-6:30pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 8:00am-12:00pm Fridays.
  • Insurance

    What COVID-19 related items does my insurance cover?

    • If an international student is exposed to COVID-19, they need to call UHCSR (United HealthCare Student Resources), visit uhcsr.com/MyAccount, or use their UHCSR mobile app to find a network provider.
    • You do not need a referral to be tested and treated for COVID-19. COVID-19 testing is covered and copays, coinsurance, and deductibles will be waived for testing provided at approved locations in accordance with CDC (Centers for Disease Control) guidelines.
    • UHCSR is also offering an emotional support helpline for students. You can access this helpline by calling their toll-free number, 866-342-6892. This line will be operated by trained mental health specialists 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    How does this affect my insurance policy in general?

    • Students must maintain insurance coverage while in the U.S. The 2019-2020 policy expires in August. More information about future insurance will be given during the summer session (new plan information is typically available in late-July or early-August).
    • If you departed the U.S., you have the right to request a partial refund of your insurance fee. Please contact your International Student Advisor for a refund request form. Insurance refunds are processed based on the date UHCSR receives your refund form, not when you left the U.S.
    • If your International Student Advisors determine you may withdraw from some or all of your courses, you are allowed to remain covered by the F-1 insurance policy. You will need to work with your advisor to determine if you have a situation that allows you to withdraw, as SEVP is not permitting reduced course loads based on COVID-19 changes at this time.
  • What should I do if I think I have COVID-19 or test positive for it?

    If an international student suspects they have been exposed to COVID-19, they are to call UHCSR or visit uhcsr.com/MyAccount or use their UHCSR mobile app to find a network provider. You do not need a referral to be tested and treated for COVID-19 anywhere. COVID-19 testing is covered and copays, coinsurance, and deductibles will be waived for testing provided at approved locations in accordance with CDC guidelines.

    Please email international@nhcc.edu to update staff regarding your situation. Staff will follow up with you and advise you of your next steps.

  • Travel

    Can I travel home during this time?

    • SEVP is permitting students to return home while maintaining their F-1 status. You may only return home and keep your if you are maintaining your full course load of 12+ credits. Students who return home and do not maintain 12 credits during this time will be considered out of status and terminated accordingly.

    Do you recommend I travel home during this time?

    • Many countries are enacting travel restrictions or bans on anyone entering their borders. You will need to check travel restrictions with your home country to determine your plan. It is your decision, but be aware you may have issues traveling back to the United States if this situation stays the same or gets worse before fall semester starts. The CDC website lists current restrictions for some countries.

    How do I return to the U.S. if I choose to return home for the remainder of the semester?

    • If you intend to travel home, please contact international@nhcc.edu for an updated I-20. NHCC needs to note why you are travelling outside of the U.S. in the middle of the semester as that is generally not permitted. You will receive information on when you may pick up your new I-20 after contacting us. Please check travel restrictions with your home country to determine if returning home is a good plan for you.
    • If you are departing the U.S., you must check your visa to make sure it is still valid. If it has expired or will expire when you are outside the U.S., you will need to renew it before returning for the fall semester. You must check with your embassy for their renewal guidelines and timelines. There is no guarantee your visa will be renewed to return to the U.S. For questions about your visa, please send a picture of it to international@nhcc.edu
  • Employment

    I am graduating this May or August. Do you recommend I still apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT)?

    • As of now, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has not made changes that affect the post-completion OPT application process.
    • Timelines for OPT application processing still range from 3-4 months. If you are graduating in May and have not applied for OPT yet, schedule an appointment with an International Student Advisor to start on your paperwork. If you have already applied for OPT, continue to check your Case Status using the receipt number issued by USCIS for upddates.
    • You must remain in the U.S. while your OPT application is processed or USCIS will consider your request abandoned.
    • If you do not want to apply for OPT, please schedule an appointment with an International Student Advisor to discuss other options to maintain your status.

    How am I affected if I am already working on OPT?

    • There are minimal changes that apply for students who are currently on post-completion OPT. If your employer chooses to have you work from home instead of physically reporting to your workspace, that is OK as long as you continue to work at least 20 hours per week and your job is related to your field of study.
    • As of now, there have not been extensions to OPT unemployment time or options to work longer than your currently approved OPT period.

    Are there special circumstances that allow me to obtain off-campus work authorization?

    • As of now, no special guidance has been issued to allow for more opportunities to work off-campus.
    • If you believe you have a circumstance that meets the criteria for economic hardship (see the 'F-1 students Off-Campus' tab), please schedule an appointment with your International Student Advisor to discuss your options. 
  • Resources

International Advising Services include:

  • Special orientation activities for new students
  • Weekly time to advise students
  • Occasional workshops at all-campus events

Areas of international student advising expertise include:

  • How to maintain F-1 Status
  • How to apply for Optional Practical Training
  • How to apply for Off-Campus Employment Authorization based on Economic Hardship
  • How to satisfy the Minn State International Insurance requirement
  • How to secure on-campus work or institutional scholarships
  • How to transfer the SEVIS record from NHCC to another school
  • How to apply for a Social Security Number
  • What documents are needed to re-enter the United States after traveling abroad