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Commonly Asked Questions

Commonly Asked Questions

Maintaining Your Status

You may go back to your home country and still maintain your status. If you continue to attend your online classes and make normal progress towards your degree in your home country - you will remain in “active” status with immigration.  This means enrolling and completing 12 units.  You MUST complete the TRAVEL REQUEST FORM online to let us know you have exited the U.S. so we will be able to contact you with travel signature information.

You are able to take classes from your home country, however, there are significant risks to taking classes online:

  1. Canvas and MyECC: Canvas and MyECC may not be accessible outside of the U.S. If you cannot access Canvas, then you may miss assignments, tests and other homework. Without MyECC, you cannot make any registration changes or access your student email.  We recommend looking into a separate VPN access to ensure access.
  2. Time Zones: Keep in mind that all classes are taught in Pacific Standard Time (PST). You may be required to wake up very early, or stay awake very late, in order to complete your class.
  3. Classes may return to campus: If the COVID-19 “Safer at Home” order is lifted, all classes may return to campus.
  4. Expiring Visas: We do not know if (or when) the U.S. Embassies will reopen and become fully functioning. Therefore, you may not receive a new visa in time to re-enter the U.S. to resume classes on campus.
  5. Textbooks:  You may not have access to textbooks for the class.  We recommend to see if an electronic option exists to through https://redshelf.com/.  At this moment, the Bookstore is not mailing textbooks overseas.  We are looking at options to deliver, however, you may need to purchase through a 3rd party if it is unavailable via the Bookstore.  Students are responsible for all textbooks and class materials.

If you do not want to continue to attend your classes online and you want to return home, you will need to drop your classes using your MyECC account and fill out the END OF PROGRAM FORM online. Your I-20 will be terminated and will no longer be valid for reentry to the U.S. If you decide later that you want to return to El Camino to finish your program, please contact the ISP office to discuss options.

No. If you are currently enrolled, you must still attend those classes in order to stay in status and remain in the United States. If you are not enrolled in classes, you must return back to your home country. 

Yes, to reenter the country you will need to have a signed travel signature on your I-20.  You MUST complete the TRAVEL REQUEST FORM to let us know your plans.  We will not be able to sign original I-20’s at this time, so we will provide you with either an electronic I-20 or an I-20 reprint. We will need to know that you have left the country to be able to contact you with travel signature information.

You must attend and participate in your scheduled classes that are now online. F1 visa students must maintain a full course load while they are studying on an I-20.  This means that you will have to enroll and complete 12 units each semester.  You will remain in “active” status with immigration and the 5-month rule will not apply for being out of the United States.

Remember - there are risks to taking classes in your home country:

  1. Canvas and MyECC: Canvas and MyECC may not be accessible outside of the U.S. If you cannot access Canvas, then you may miss assignments, tests and other homework. Without MyECC, you cannot make any registration changes or access your student email.
  2. Time Zones: Keep in mind that all classes are taught in Pacific Standard Time (PST). You may be required to wake up very early, or stay awake very late, in order to complete your class.
  3. Classes may return to campus: If the COVID-19 “Safer at Home” order is lifted, all classes may return to campus.
  4. Expiring Visas: We do not know if (or when) the U.S. Embassies will reopen and become fully functioning. Therefore, you may not receive a new visa in time to re-enter the U.S. to resume classes on campus.
  5. Textbooks:  You may not have access to textbooks for the class.  We recommend to see if an electronic option exists to through https://redshelf.com/.  At this moment, the Bookstore is not mailing textbooks overseas.  We are looking at options to deliver, however, you may need to purchase through a 3rd party if it is unavailable via the Bookstore.  Students are responsible for all textbooks and class materials.

No – you will be allowed to enter the United States after 5 months if you have continued to make progress towards your academic goal (keep attending your onlne classes).

We do not know at this time.

We understand a difficulty of being in the U.S. on your own. However, if your visa is expiring prior to your return to the U.S. from your home country, we do not recommend traveling at this time. Many United States Embassies are closed right now. Once they reopen, they may be overwhelmed and may not prioritize F-1 visa issuance. We recommend postponing your travel until winter break - you’ll have two full months to travel home and renew your visa.

Academic Questions/Concerns

If your class was cancelled, please fill out the REDUCED COURSE LOAD PETITION indicating that your class was cancelled as the reason. You must list the name and section number(s) of the class(es) that were cancelled. Your I-20 and immigration status will not be affected if you fall below 12 units.

Students who are uncertain about their plans for graduation should consult with a counselor. All counseling services will be offered online. To reach an international student counselor, click HERE.

Check both your ECC email and your Canvas. If you have no emails from the instructor and you do not see the class in your Canvas, please email the instructor directly to find your instructions on how to access your class.

Go here for more help: CANVAS HELP

You can find more assistance here: https://www.elcamino.edu/library/distance-ed/Canvas_Students.aspx

No. If you drop a class that was originally being taught online, you will not get a refund. Also, if dropping the class causes you to fall below 12 units, you will be out of status and might have your I-20 terminated. Please contact ISP staff HERE.

Please follow the usual procedure for transfer. Once a college or a university sends you an acceptance letter, fill out the TRANSFER REQUEST form and your I-20 will be transferred.

You must do this before your I-20 expires.

Yes, there should be no disruption to transcript requests or deliveries during this health crisis. Instructions on how to order your transcripts online can be found HERE.

To recieve refunds

Fall 2020 
Sunday, September 6th – 100%
Sunday, September 13th – 75%
Sunday, September 20th – 50%
Sunday, September 27th – 25%

To maintain your F1 visa status, you are still required to complete 12 units unless you have approval to be under units from ISP staff or the ISP counselor. Please contact ISP staff HERE.

If a class has been cancelled and you no longer have 12 units, fill out the REDUCED COURSE LOAD PETITION indicating that your class was cancelled as the reason. Refunds for cancelled classes will be processed through admissions at a future date when college personnel are able to return to campus.

 

No. The campus is closed and all staff are working remotely.

No. All library services are not virtual!  You can find all their resources here - https://www.elcamino.edu/library/division.aspx

The health center is open virtually and you can make telephone appointments for the nurse and mental health professional.  You can access the health center here: https://www.elcamino.edu/student/studentservices/health/index.aspx

Yes!  Please follow our regular application process. While you cannot submit an application in-person until El Camino College is reopened, you can email your application and supporting documents to us. Please visit our application webpage here: APPLY NOW.

Campus Resources

Yes!  Although the campus is closed, the physical library is closed. However, the library is now virtual. You can chat and access all library resources online. VIRTUAL LIBRARY

Tutoring services are available online!

-For the Writing Center, click HERE.
-For the Math Study Center, click HERE.
-For all other subjects, click HERE.

No. There are no staff on campus. Please chat with us online or email us: ISP STAFF

Please go to our webpage to chat with us online or find our email addresses: ISP STAFF

Yes! Your counselors are still available to help you by email, chat and phone: ONLINE COUNSELING

Yes. Student Health Services is offering drop-in Nurse Practitioner Advice hours and drop-in mental health “check-ins” to currently enrolled students who have paid their student health fee for the semester. Learn more here.

Warrior Pantry

Yes, the Warrior Pantry will be offering a pre-packaged bag filled with various food items for our students to pick up from the Warrior Pantry during our new operating hours. This is our new, "Drive-Through Grab-A-Bag", policy that will allow us to keep the Warrior Pantry open and serve our students during this difficult time.

You must fill out the Pantry Registration form online before going to the pantry.  Students must also have a valid ECC number.

Students will have the option to drive through Parking Lot B and pick up their bag at the large white canopy where there will be several Warrior Pantry pop-up tents that will be in place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00am-2:00pm.

Parking Lot B can be accessed from Manhattan Beach Blvd.

Off Campus Resources

The Warrior Pantry at El Camino will be offering a pre-packaged bag filled with various food items for students to pick up during operating hours. This is a new “Drive-Through Grab-A-Bag" policy. See the above section on how to use the Warrior Pantry.

Listed below are helpful links to access additional food resources.
California Association of Food Banks
Gardena Food Pantry
Torrance Food Pantries
Feeding America
CalFresh
The Social Care Network
211 Services

Several companies are providing reduced cost or free internet access to ensure students have access to reliable internet service.  Another resource for low cost internet and chrome books can be found here: https://www.human-i-t.org/programs

Health Insurance

Yes, all students enrolled for fall semester have medical insurance through Lewermark and ID cards can be obtained by going to https://www.lewermark.com

Yes, medically necessary, diagnostic testing for the coronavirus is covered under your plan at no charge to you. This means you will not be charged a copay or deductible.

Yes!

If you believe you may have been exposed to the coronavirus and think you need to be tested, please contact your doctor’s office to discuss your symptoms and determine next steps. If you don’t have a doctor, you can contact LewerMark or your state or local health department for assistance. Nurseline is available 24/7/365.

We recommend that you connect with your local county health department to obtain information about where to be tested. If you need help finding your state health department, please contact LewerMark and they would be happy to help!

Yes! It is covered under the same maximum benefit listed on your plan summary and plan brochure. In the event you need treatment, those services are covered according to policy guidelines. You may wish to seek treatment with an in-network provider as cost sharing may apply.

There are several ways you can contact them:
· Email - lewermarksupport@lewer.com
· Chatwww.lewermark.com
· Phone - (800) 821-7710

No, the Student Health Center does not have coronavirus tests. If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, difficulty breathing, severe illness), remain at home and call your doctor for instructions. If you don’t have a doctor, you can contact LewerMark for assistance.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Submit the OPT REQUEST FORM online. Scan and email your documents to Candace Trice, ctrice@elcamino.edu for review. Candace will review your documents to ensure that it they are complete. An OPT I-20 will be issued to you by email for the OPT packet. However, we will not be able to issue you a hardcopy of your I-20 until campus reopens. 

No, you cannot submit your application without the OPT I-20. USCIS will reject or deny your application due to missing documents.

If you wish to withdraw a currently pending application, you must submit the request in writing. Please write to the USCIS service center processing your case. You can find the address for the service center processing your case on the confirmation notice that you received by mail. Once your case is withdrawn, it cannot be reopened. You will not receive a refund.

DO NOT send the notice to withdraw to the P.O. Box used to mail your application.

Unfortunately, no refunds can be granted if you choose to withdraw your application.

Warrior Jobs is available to assist El Camino College students with finding employment during OPT.

There is no official notice from USCIS or SEVP regarding unemployment for OPT students. ISP advises that you continue to apply for jobs as we anticipate that immigration rules will be flexible due to these extreme circumstances.

Yes, students are allowed to travel internationally during OPT. However, ISP does not recommend travelling during this time as it is uncertain if (or when) students will be able to re-enter the United States.

Students must either transfer their I-20 to a new school, return to El Camino College fulltime, return home or change their immigration status. Students have 60 days after the OPT End Date to transfer their I-20 to a new school. To transfer your I-20, complete the I-20 TRANSFER REQUEST form and upload a copy of your acceptance letter.

To return to ECC and pursue new degree or certificate program, submit a new application with an up-to-date bank statement.