These are challenging times for all of us, and the staff of the Rollie Williams International Center at WLU is available to help answer your questions during this unprecedented state of global pandemic.
Below please find numerous resources which are pertinent to current and prospective West Liberty University International Students (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please check the following resources to help you remain safe and healthy, as well as instructions on what to do in the event of symptoms or illness:
- COVID-19 University Updates
- Center For Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html and https://www.coronavirus.gov/
- US Department of State: https://www.state.gov/coronavirus/
- West Liberty University Student Health: https://westliberty.edu/health-services/coronavirus-covid-19-resources/
- West Liberty University Counseling Services: https://westliberty.edu/current-students/behavior-intervention-team-bit/counseling-services/
FALL 2021 Specific COVID Guidelines for WLU international students:
The WLU COVID procedures that will be enforced during the Fall 2021 semester for all international students are as follow:
- BOTH vaccinated and unvaccinated students will need to schedule a COVID test in the WLU’s Student Health Center on the 3rd, 4th or 5th day after arrival at West Liberty. Tests will not be administered on weekends and students will have to plan accordingly. At this time, these tests will be free through the Student Health Center. Vaccinated students will not need to quarantine.
- Unvaccinated students arriving directly to WLU from their country must quarantine for 7 full days after they arrive at WLU ( in WLU isolation rooms) as required by CDC. The isolation rooms are equipped with a bed, desk, bathroom, and small refrigerator. WLU will provide bed and bath linens. We will also assist in meal deliveries for the duration of your quarantine.). Students will need to self-monitor for symptoms and will be required to be tested between day three and day five of quarantine. A member of our Student Health Services staff will contact the student with instructions on testing procedures. Students desiring to prepare for quarantine and buy personal items/electronics etc online before their arrival to WLU, can have their items delivered to the WLU International Center and we will coordinate to be delivered to the student’s isolation room. Address to be used: WLU International Center, Attn. Student’s Name, 208 University Drive, CU Box 200, West Liberty, WV 26074
- Students that have been in the United States for 8 days or more before arriving at WLU, will not need to quarantine at WLU upon arrival. Students must email a photo of their last U.S. entry stamp from their passport or I-94 document to email@example.com before arrival on campus.
WLU Student Health Center requires international students to provide the following information before their arrival to campus:
– vaccinated international students upload proof of COVID vaccination to the health portal – official translations would be required if not already in English. Information on how to create an account on the Health Portal is attached, though you will not be able to set it up until you register for at least one WLU course and a WLU email address has been issued to you.
– international students will need to upload the negative COVID test results taken 3 days prior to traveling to the U.S. to the WLU health portal as well.
Student failure to comply with the University Guidelines is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.
All international students must confirm in advance their arrival to WLU by emailing the International Center (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by contacting the WLU Housing Office email@example.com Phone: 304.336.8345.
Maintaining F-1 Status during COVID-19 Pandemic:
- International students have to maintain full time enrollment and stay registered in at least 12 credit hours (undergraduate students) and 9 credit hours (graduate students) in order to maintain your active SEVIS record.
- Due to COVID-19, the 5 month rule is not in effect for current international students that remain enrolled and active in SEVIS. This means that current F-1 Students can re-enter the United States with current I-20 after being outside of the U.S. for more than 5 months.
- All international students must report their new physical address within 10 days of move, in order for WLU to update your SEVIS record and maintain it in active status. All students must email their new physical address to: firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line: new physical address.
Visas to the United States:
Most embassies and consulates have resumed routine visa services, but appointments are limited and vary from one embassy/consulate to another. Check the website of the embassy or consulate for its current operating status: usembassy.gov.
Important Tax Information for International Students:
The Office of Private Sector Exchange has learned of some current and former exchange visitors receiving 2020 Recovery Rebates in the amount of $1200 distributed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as part of the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,” or the “CARES Act.” The exchange visitors may have received these funds by direct deposit to bank accounts they listed in a tax return filing to the IRS. Some may receive a check, starting the week of April 20, mailed to them at a current or former address.
Exchange visitors who do not meet the IRS definition of “resident alien” are not eligible to receive these funds. Grossly simplified, exchange visitors cannot even begin to accumulate the time in the United States required to become a “resident alien” until they have been present in the country for two years. So, exchange visitors here on shorter programs would not be considered resident aliens and should not get a Recovery Rebate. However, if those exchange visitors filed their tax returns on the wrong form, then they may have mistakenly received the Recovery Rebates anyway.
The IRS provides a number of interactive tax tools that can assist interested individuals in determining eligibility to file taxes and on what form; please see the links below. We strongly recommend that sponsors make these links available to exchange visitors and encourage them to use these tools. We are maintaining communication with the IRS to provide further guidance on next steps exchange visitors can take regarding this matter. In the meantime, we would appreciate it if you could let us know how widespread the issue is by sending information to JVisas@state.gov.