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September 14th, 2021


All international undergraduate students currently have a registration hold on their account.  This hold was placed after Fall add/drop date and will be removed before Spring registration opens.

The hold is there to prevent students from dropping below full-time (12 credit hours) and jeopardizing their immigration status.

Please contact us at, if you need the hold to be temporarily lifted so you can add/drop a course during the semester.


Based on The University of Alabama’s announced plan to return to full-time, in-person instruction under normal operations in the Fall 2021 Semester, all F-1 and J-1 students returned to regular in-person enrollment under standard F-1 and J-1 guidance beginning in the Fall 2021 Semester as outlined on our Full-Time Enrollment Page.

Due to the change back to pre-COVID enrollment requirements, ISSS requires all international students on F-1 and J-1 student visas to follow the standard immigration regulations when enrolling as outlined on our Full-Time Enrollment Page.

Generally speaking, F-1 and J-1 students are required to maintain a full-time course load during fall and spring semesters. Full-time enrollment generally means graduate students must enroll for at least 9 credits and undergraduate students must enroll for at least 12 credits every semester.

For F-1 visa holders, only 1 online class (i.e. 3 credit hours) per semester may count towards a “full course of study.”  For example, an undergraduate student is required to register for 12 credits per semester to maintain full-time status. Of the 12 required hours only 3 credit hours may be online. After an F-1 student has met the full-time requirement, any additional hours above the 12 required hours may be either regular campus classes or online.

J-1 student visa holders cannot count any online classes toward their full-time enrollment requirements.  For example, an undergraduate student on a J-1 student visa must enroll the first 12 credit hours in main campus, in-person courses, but after meeting the full-time requirement via main campus courses, they may enroll in additional hours above the full-time requirement in on-line courses.

FOR STUDENTS RETURNING FROM ABROAD, the notice here suspended the 5-month rule for absences from the United States.  So, for those students who have been enrolled online abroad and are returning to the U.S. to resume full-time in-person studies in Fall 2021 and have been outside of the U.S. for 5 months or more since March 2020, your I-20/DS-2019 and F-1/J-1 student status are valid for return.  Please refer to the RETURNING TO THE UNITED STATES section of this page for more information regarding what documents to carry with you.


All non-U.S. citizens residing in the U.S. are required update their address within 10 days of any change of address. 

F-1 and J-1 visa holders should update their address in myBama, and ISSS will report the change to the Department of Homeland Security in SEVIS. 

All other visa holders (those not on an F-1 or J-1 visa) should update their address both in myBama and with US Citizenship and Immigration Services by submitting the Form AR-11 online at this website:

For more information on F-1 and J-1 holders main responsibilities please click here.


F-1 and J-1 undergraduate students who are in their final semester of study at The University of Alabama may enroll in less than 12 credit hours of classes if they require less than full-time enrollment to graduate.  This exception is only for the final semester of study. PLEASE NOTE: If you only require one class to graduate, it cannot be taken as an online or distance learning class.
All F-1 and J-1 students, regardless of whether they will enroll full-time or part-time in their final semester, must submit a Final Semester Memo signed by their academic advisor to confirm that they are in their final term of study.
After submission of the Final Semester Memo, ISSS shortens the Program End Date on the I-20/DS-2019 and in SEVIS to the anticipated completion date. A student MUST complete their program by the end-date listed in the Final Semester Memo. If after submitting the Final Semester Memo a student or academic advisor anticipates a significant delay in completion beyond the anticipated final semester, please speak with an ISSS advisor as soon as possible.

For more information on Final Semester Requirements and Opportunities, please click here.


Please be aware that there is a high volume of scams this time of year.  Most of these types of scams will spoof a government agency phone number or email address in order to look official.
Please note, the IRS, DHS, and other government agencies will never contact you by phone or email.
Signs of a Scam Phone Call:

  1. Caller requests you to pay a fine using Western Union, PayPal, Green Dot, MoneyGram or some other wire transfer service
  2. Caller threatens your arrest or deportation for failure to act within a very short period of time.
  3. Caller will try to prevent you from hanging up, asking you to visit a retail store to transfer funds while remaining on the phone.

Scam Resources:


The University of Alabama policy mandates that all international students are required to maintain medical insurance coverage of at least:

  • Unlimited dollar amounts for medical expenses incurred outside the student’s home country;
  • Has no pre-existing medical conditions exclusions;
  • $25,000 USD coverage for repatriation of mortal remains;
  • $50,000 USD coverage for emergency medical evacuation; and
  • A deductible that does not exceed $350 per person per policy year for in-network care and does not exceed $750 per person per policy year for out-of-network care.

If you are an F-1 or J-1 student, the University-sponsored medical insurance will be automatically charged to your student account. If this charge is not included on your registration bill, it is your responsibility to notify the UA Student Health Insurance office.

UA Student Health Insurance forms are available here:

Health care in the United States is extremely expensive, so it is important to learn about health resources for your dependents as soon as they arrive in the U.S.  Insurance coverage for dependents of J-1 exchange visitors, spouse and children, is required by the J visa program. Coverage for dependents of F-1 students is strongly recommended.

If you are enrolled in the University-sponsored medical insurance plan, you can add your spouse and/or children using the form available here:

If you already have medical insurance that meets or exceeds the University of Alabama guidelines listed above, you may request a waiver of UA insurance charges. A waiver form is available here:

The waiver form must be completed by you as well as your insurance provider and submitted to UA’s Student Health Center before 09/14/2021.  Without processing a waiver, you will be automatically charged for the University-sponsored insurance policy; so, be sure to submit the waiver in order to avoid paying for two separate insurance policies.



If you are enrolled in The University of Alabama's healthcare plan, you are also able to use the 24/7 tele-doc (a doctor through the phone) for doctor access and counseling support, which is fully covered. If you are not on the UA Plan, you can use these services for a fee. To find out more information, please visit:


International Student & Scholar Services ask you to carefully consider and research your travel, keeping in mind continuing COVID restrictions on travel and limited U.S. Embassy operations and visa appointments.

For detailed information about travel please click here.
Friday, September 17th & Friday, September 24th from 11:30 am – 1 pm in the Intercultural Diversity Center (FERGUSON CENTER ROOM 2100 - Near the food court).

Join us for free coffee, tea, and conversation!

For more information about Coffee hour please visit our website at: 

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion provides leadership for the University to build on its core principles of inclusiveness in learning environments, programs, workforce and strategic partnerships.

DEI is our partner for Coffee Hour this year but they also have lots of other events. We are highlighting a couple of them below in this newsletter.

For more information and a schedule of their other events please click here.

Tide & Turf Alabama Football Community Building Event

Saturday, Sept. 18 | One hour prior to kickoff | Intercultural Diversity Center (2100 Ferguson)
(Cultural Exploration/Social Enrichment) 

The Intercultural Diversity Center will host Tide & Turf for the Alabama Crimson Tide vs. the University of Florida Gators game. Participants will have an opportunity to participate in cultural learning, cultural teaching and cultural sharing while building community. In addition, guests will learn ways to be involved with diversity, equity and inclusion programs, as well as the history and traditions of UA football. This event will feature an exclusive skybox experience with catered food, giveaways, music and more in a safe space. Registration is required: For more information, contact the Intercultural Diversity Center at

Multicultural Faculty and Staff Welcome

Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021 | 5-7 p.m. | Bryant Conference Center
(Cultural Exploration/Social Enrichment) 

The Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion invites new UA faculty and staff to its annual Multicultural Welcome for an opportunity to learn about campus employee resource groups and to network with peers. This event will include a general welcome, refreshments and more while featuring the following employee resource groups: Black Faculty and Staff Association, Chinese Faculty and Staff Association, Hispanic/Latinx Faculty and Staff Association, and the Jewish Faculty and Staff Association. For more information, contact the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at or 205-348-2053.

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III ( HEERF III)

The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) was signed into law on March 11, 2021, providing support to institutions of higher education to serve students and ensure learning continues during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 Unlike prior HEERF Funds disbursements, international students are eligible to apply for HEERF III Funds. Students who would like to request HEERF funds may submit an application by clicking the button below:
HEERF funds application (for students who did not complete 2021-2022 FAFSA)

 Students who are in need of emergency assistance should see the Emergency Assistance page on Student Care and Well-Being’s website.

An Evening At Global Café: Welcome Back 
Tuesday, September 21, 5:00–7:00 p.m.
Capital Hall
Refreshments will be provided.

New friends and old friends meet. Come celebrate with us as we return to our in-person events.
For newsletter and information please email
Check out Global Café's full schedule for Fall 2021 (Fall 2021 schedule).

Language Partner Program starts September 13.

Details and updates are posted on

The International Student & Scholar Services office and the Counseling Center have teamed up to offer a seminar series directed to international student success at UA. 

The next seminar will be about Interpersonal Communications in the US, and will be held on Oct. 12th from 6-7:30pm in 109 BB Comer Hall. Light refreshments will be served. Mark your calendar!!!

Check the following link for more information:


Guided Trips with University Recreation

Guided trips are offered throughout the semester. Most trips are geared towards entry-level activities and aim to teach participants baseline knowledge of the activity. Gear, guides, and a ride are included.

Fall 2021 Trips/Clinics Schedule of Events

Student pricing is listed. Nonstudent members may register for trips for an additional fee.

The upcoming trip schedule is “tentative” and is subject to change for any reason.  Trips are also subject to being canceled due to low participant turnout.  The deadline to signup for a trip is typically the Wednesday before the weekend of the event.  Contact us for questions about the kayak rolling sessions.

Sign up for any of our trips at the UREC Shop.

Click here for more information.
The University of Alabama Flu Shot Campaign

The College of Community Health Sciences leads The University of Alabama’s annual campus-wide effort to vaccinate students, faculty and staff against the flu. The quadrivalent flu shots are free to students, faculty, staff and spouses; insurance is not required. Employees and students must have their CWID.

Click here for dates and locations.

Available to All UA Students, Faculty and Staff


Students:  The Student Health Center offers the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine for all UA students. Call the Student Health Center at (205) 348-2778 or schedule an appointment through the patient portal.

Faculty and Staff:  The University Medical Center offers the COVID-19 Moderna vaccine for UA faculty and staff, as well as UMC patients aged 12 and older. Call (205) 348-1471 to schedule an appointment, and leave your name, date of birth and a way for UMC to contact you. Your phone call will be returned promptly.

COVID-19 Information 
To stay up to date on all COVID-19 updates, be sure to regularly check out

For information on medical care, visit

Drop-in Advising – Monday – Friday, 11 am – 3 pm – NO APPOINTMENT NEEDED

General advising hours are Monday through Friday, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm CST via Zoom or In-Person.  No Appointment is needed, but masks are required for in-person meetings.

When seeking advising via Zoom, students and scholars will be connected with one of the UA ISSS Staff.  If there are multiple students and scholars in the queue, you will be placed directly into a waiting room.

Please note, drop-in advising is meant for shorter inquiries of 5 – 10 minutes, and in order to serve all students and scholars, we ask that this be reserved for quick questions.

Need a longer appointment? Book an appointment with ISSS online.

For all other questions or inquiries, please email or call 205-348-5402.

Whether contacting us by phone or email, please be sure to include your name and CWID (if known) with your inquiry.


August 18th, 2021 

August 25th, 2021

August 26th, 2021

September 6th, 2021

September 20th, 2021 

October 25th,2021

October 27th, 2021

October 28th-29th, 2021

November 24th, 2021

November 25th-26th, 2021

December 3rd, 2021

December 3rd, 2021

December 6th-10th, 2021

December 11th,2021

December 23rd, 2021- January 3rd, 2022
 Academic Calendar

Classes Begin for Full Term

Last Day to Add a Course or Drop a Course Without a Grade of "W" for the Fall Full Term

Registration Begins for Fall 2

Labor Day (UA closed)

Classes Begin for Fall 2

Registration for Spring 2022 Begins

Last Day to Drop a Course with a Grade of "W" for the Fall Full Term

Mid-Semester Study Break - Classes Dismissed (UA offices open)

Thanksgiving - Classes Dismissed (UA offices open)

Thanksgiving - Classes Dismissed (UA closed)

Last Day to Withdraw from the Fall Full/Fall 2 Terms

Classes End for Full Term and Fall 2

Final Exams

Fall Commencement

Classes Dismissed - Holiday Break (UA offices closed)

These dates are valid as of 08/13/2021 but could be modified as needed.
Please double check for any changes/updates.
Copyright © 2021 International Student & Scholar Services, All rights reserved.

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