Please note that these FAQs provide general information for international students. If you have specific questions, please email International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) at to obtain information for your particular situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Students should contact International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) at with any visa-related questions. When emailing ISSS, please include your full legal name, as this will help us answer your questions in a timely manner.

Engagement in remote course work from outside the U.S. does not require that a student have a valid U.S. visa for study. The F-1 (student) or J-1 (exchange visitor) visa is required only when a student is intending to enter the U.S. and engage in in-person courses.

The Institute will continue to offer remote coursework for the spring 2021 semester.

  • Incoming students who are currently outside the U.S. must engage in their coursework remotely from outside the U.S. until in-person courses resume at the Middlebury Institute.
  • Incoming students who are currently in the U.S., hold a valid F-1 status and intend to transfer their SEVIS record to the Middlebury Institute for the spring 2021 semester, please email ISSS ( for additional guidance.

An international student is not able to enter the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 status to engage in remote course work.

If a student enters the U.S. during the semester in which they are engaged in remote study, they must enter the U.S. in a status that allows for the intended activity. Until the Institute offers courses in person, a student cannot enter the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 status.

Students who are outside the U.S. and decide to engage in remote study may enroll in a full time or part time course load, provided they do not hold an active F–1 or J–1 student visa.

Students in F–1 or J–1 status must comply with regulations, including full-time enrollment, to maintain their status.

To be eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT), an F-1 student must first complete an academic year of study in the F-1 status. It is likely that some students will remain eligible for both CPT and OPT, while others might only be eligible for OPT at the end of their program. There may be some situations where a student will not be eligible for any off-campus training. 

Please note: This information is based on current regulations and could change. An individual student’s situation could also affect their eligibility to engage in off-campus work.

To be eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT), a student must complete at least one year of study in F–1 status. If an Advanced Entry student engages in remote study for one of the two semesters needed for their degree, then they would not have accumulated the required time in F–1 status to be eligible to apply for OPT.

J-1 exchange visitor students are eligible to apply for Academic Training at any point during their program of study. The length of a J-1 student’s in-person program will affect the amount of time for which a student is eligible for off-campus training.