Advisory for International Students Amid Covid-19

As the Covid-19 virus continues to spread, colleges and universities across the United States are either closing down for the semester or hosting online classes. With this dramatic change in schooling, many international students who are in the U.S on a F or M visa find themselves worried about how to maintain their status.

Generally, foreign students in the U.S must maintain a full course load. Usually to be considered a full time student, the student must maintain 12 credit hours each semester. The requirement for foreign graduate student may vary a bit more depending on the school and program.

Even though we are currently experiencing a unique emergency, it is important for F and M students to maintain their nonimmigrant student status. It is advised that foreign students keep in communication with their designated school official about the best course of action. For those students who are currently partaking in practical training, communicate with your employer to maintain the training agreement, such as working from home.

According to the U.S Department of Education, “if your school has closed and you cannot get in contact with your school’s designated official for the Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program, please contact the SEVP Response Center at 1-800-892-4829 or 703-603-3400 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday; the response center is closed on holidays. You also may contact the SEVP Response Center by email at

Keeping up to date on immigration impacts due to world events, such as the coronavirus, is important especially if you have plans to travel or residing in the U.S under immigrant or nonimmigrant status. Here at Zhang & Associates, we try to keep you informed and ready so that you may travel with ease. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any immigration related issue, our seasoned staff will be happy to help. For a free evaluation on your case or situation, please email us at

Former U.S. Consular officer, Attorney Sechyi Laiu joined Zhang & Associates, P.C. on June 26, 2017

At Zhang & Associates, P.C., Attorney Laiu specializes on Consular Processing cases and business development. Attorney Laiu also focuses on TN visas, E visas, CBP administrative proceedings (monetary confiscation, deferred inspection), and overseas financial compliance.

Prior to joining Zhang & Associates, P.C., Attorney Laiu worked for the U.S. Department of State as a Chinese and Portuguese speaking diplomat. As a consular-coned officer who served in Vancouver (Canada), Shenyang (P.R. China), and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Attorney Laiu processed over 30,000 visa cases and worked in every section of Consular Affairs overseas (Fraud Prevention Unit, Immigrant Visas, Non-Immigrant Visas, and American Citizen Services).

He will use his experience and expertise to deliver the highest quality of service to our clients.

Founded in 1996, Zhang & Associates, P.C. offers legal services to clients worldwide in all aspects of U.S immigration law. We have successfully handled over ten thousand immigration cases.

At Zhang & Associates, P.C., our attorneys and supporting professionals are committed to providing high-quality immigration and non-immigration visa services. We specialize in NIW, EB-1, EB-5, PERM, I-485 I-130, H-1B, O, L and J cases. In the past twenty-two years, we have successfully helped over ten thousand clients get green cards. If you plan to apply for a green card, please send your CV to Attorney Jerry Zhang ( for a free evaluation.

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