F-1 Virtual Start

For F-1 international students who cannot arrive in-person for classes in Spring 2021, UT Dallas will be able to accommodate students by offering a “Virtual Start.” F-1 students can begin their program of study online, from their home country, while completing the visa issuance process. Beginning your program of study online while outside the U.S. will allow you to stay on track with your desired timeline, save on housing expenses while earning credits, and give you more time to complete the immigration process to enter the U.S.

We will continue to update this page, so please check back for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I select the Virtual Start option?

Is there a deadline to select Virtual Start?

If I enroll in online courses but obtain a visa mid-semester, can I come to campus for the rest of the semester?

How will a virtual start affect my eligibility for Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?

How will a virtual start affect my eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT)?

Do I need to get my I-20 now if I’m starting virtually?

I have an I-20 but I’m studying online this semester. Do I need to do anything?

How will I receive my I-20?

What is the deadline to submit financial documents to get my I-20?

What is the processing time to get my I-20?

What will happen to my assistantship?

What are the tuition rates and fees for Virtual Start?

Will the quality of education for online courses differ from on-campus courses?

If a student takes courses online, will the degree conferred after program completion be the same as an on-campus student?

What if I have more questions?


Speak with a prospective student advisor about starting your F-1 status at UT Dallas.

Virtual appointments available weekly.