OIS Operational Update for Summer 2021

Director’s Message

Dear Students and Scholars,

We have great news: After more than 15 months of remote operations, the OIS Team will officially return to the office beginning Tuesday, July 6, 2021.

Before we get into the details of our reopening, we would like to take a moment to thank you.  During the uncertainty of the past year, we were grateful for the patience, flexibility, and perseverance shown by our international students, scholars, and dependents.  Thank you for trusting us to find new ways of providing the best services to you while we were in fully remote status.

While our staff will be coming back to campus, we will move more slowly with our return to providing in-person services.  We know that many of our population will be returning from international travel this summer, and our incoming students may not have had access to vaccinations prior to arrival.  In order to ensure a safe and measured transition to campus, we want to communicate a few updates to our operating procedures particularly regarding the continuation of our virtual drop-in hours and the ability to self-schedule appointments with advisors.  We are also expanding the hours in which we will provide document pick-up times for the limited number of documents that still require original copies. 

We look forward to seeing more of you in Fall 2021 when we resume in-person campus events and programming.

Sincerely, 

Elizabeth James

Director

Upcoming office closures

Please note that we have two upcoming office closures.  NC State and OIS will be closed on Monday, July 5 for Independence Day.  OIS will also be closed on Wednesday, July 7 for staff training.  We will not be monitoring phone or email on either day so please plan accordingly.

Virtual Drop-in Hours

Due to the inability to socially distance in our physical office space, Virtual Drop-in hours will continue into the fall semester. If you have a quick question for our team, you can join our Virtual Drop-in Hours using Zoom on Mondays and Tuesdays from 10:00 am – 11:45 am and Thursdays and Fridays from 1:00 pm – 2:45 pm. More information and instructions on how to attend can be found on our website: go.ncsu.edu/ois-advising.

Virtual appointment scheduling

Appointments with advisors will remain in a virtual format by phone or Zoom meeting until further notice. Due to staff transitions and summer vacation schedules, we will temporarily transition to a general appointment schedule from July 6 to September 3 where you will be assigned to the OIS advisor on duty for that day.  
To schedule a virtual appointment with an advisor, please visit our Contact Us page. Please remember that appointments should only be used for more complex inquiries that may take 15-20 minutes to discuss. If you have a quick 5-10 minute question, please utilize our virtual drop-in hours. For questions on applying for OPT or STEM OPT, please use our virtual OPT Q&As which are offered via zoom weekly on Tuesdays at 1:00 pm and Thursdays at 10:00 am. More information about OPT Q&As can be found on our OPT page.

Expanded Document Pick-up by appointment

OIS will continue to issue and distribute I-20 forms electronically per SEVP guidance. DS-2019 forms and some I-20 forms for specific scenarios that require a document with an ink signature will be issued as paper forms.  The students and scholars who require paper forms will receive direct communication about mailing options or appointment options to collect their documents from 111 Lampe Dr (formerly Daniels Hall).

Office Accessibility – Currently by Telephone and Document Pick-Up Appointments Only

Phones:  8:00 am – 12:00 pm  and 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Monday through Friday except Wednesday, which will be 8:00 am – 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm (to accommodate weekly staff meetings)

Document Pick-up (by appointment only): 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday

As a reminder, for the time being in-person visits are limited to confirmed appointments only.

COVID-19 Testing, Quarantine, and Vaccinations

We know that some of you may be planning your own return to campus and the United States after spending a prolonged period abroad.  In addition to confirming you have the necessary immigration documents to facilitate your entry, please refer to our Travel During COVID webpage for information on required COVID testing prior to boarding a U.S. flight and additional testing and self-quarantine requirements following entry to the U.S.   NC State will continue to offer COVID-19 vaccines to those needing them in the summer and fall.  These webpages are being actively updated as new information becomes available throughout the summer. 

NC State also has a COVID-19 website to keep our campus community updated on campus policies and expectations for the Fall 2021 semester.