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August 30th, 2021


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 must resume 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.

In preparation for 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 registering for Fall 2021 classes 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:
•  For more information on immigration scams:    
•  For more information on tax/IRS scams: and  
•  For more information on money transfer and check scams:   
•  In addition to the USCIS, IRS, and Consumer FTC Sites, scams can be reported here:


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: 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 10 from 11:30 am – 1 pm in the Intercultural Diversity Center (FERGUSON CENTER ROOM 2100 - Near food court).
Join us for free coffee, tea, and conversation!

International Students Needed for Global Studies Panel!!!

This September, Dr. Fran Oneal will host six international student panels in the Global Studies courses and she is inviting any interested international students to join these panels. if you are interested or want to learn more information, email

Safe Zone Resource Center: Karaoke Night

Tuesday, Aug. 31 | 6-8 p.m. | Safe Zone Resource Center, 2419 Ferguson Center
(Social Enrichment)

The Safe Zone Resource Center will host LGBTQ+ Karaoke Night during the Weeks of Welcome to provide a social community-building experience. The event will allow new and returning students to interact in the Safe Zone and further a sense of community on campus. Catering will be provided for attendees, and Safe Zone promotional handouts will be available. To reserve your spot, register at

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. This month's seminar will be about the academic culture in the US, and will be held on Sept. 7th from 6-7:30pm in 109 BB Comer Hall. Light refreshments will be served.

Success and Growth in the U.S. 
Apply by September 8

Success and Growth in the U.S. is a 9-week workshop designed to facilitate international students’ adjustment, academic success and personal growth.
This workshop will be done as a closed group of 5-8 members. Members will have opportunities to learn useful skills for successful life in America, to develop understanding about American culture and life, and to explore their experiences of living and studying in America.
The group will meet every Wednesday from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm in-person.   The group sessions will begin on September 15 and end on November 10.
To apply to join the group:

  1. Complete an application form and submit it to Dr. Nahree Doh at
  2. Complete the Counseling Center’s Group Agreement Form and Email Consent Form, both can be accessed at:
After your application, Dr. Doh will contact you for a short phone interview.
Deadline to apply is Wednesday, September 8. 
Weekly schedule
week Topic Activities
Introduction Program orientation
Getting to know each other
Leaving home
My culture and me (Cultural identity)
Cultural explorations
What to expect in the US Acculturation model
Social, cultural, and personal
Potential psychological challenges
Surviving in the US I In town and campus resources
self-care and Sleep hygiene
Academic success in the US I Multiple intelligence
Effective study strategies
Surviving in the US II Stress management
Academic success in the US II Time management techniques
Relationship building
in the US
Challenging relationship situations in the US
Four communication styles
Growing in the US2 My developmental tasks
Value and identity exploration


Minjung Seo and Po-Chuan Chiang peform at Moody Concern Hall, Wednesday, September 8 at 7:30 PM.  All are invited.
In case you have not heard yet, football is a big deal at UA and the Football season is about to start.
Check out this UA traditions page for a better understanding of all things Crimson tide
You will find game day information here.

 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
 Global Café has a full schedule for Fall 2021 (Fall 2021 schedule).
Language Partner Program starts September 13
Details and updates are posted on

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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