DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > New federal guidance clouds picture for international students

New federal guidance clouds picture for international students

(DePaul University/Jamie Moncrief)

On July 6, U.S. immigration authorities released new guidance to universities and colleges that enroll international students. 

Earlier guidance from the School and Visitor Exchange Program provided a temporary exemption that allowed international students to take most or all of their classes online. The new guidance, published Monday, suspends that exemption for Fall 2020. The change in guidance would mean foreign students who could not take in-person classes, will be required to return to their home countries, as their visas will no longer be considered valid. 

We share the frustration of our international students -- recognizing that our international students have the same needs, fears, and concerns of all other students when considering how to continue their education in the Fall.  We believe all students should be allowed the same flexibility, with health and safety as primary concerns, and find the spirit of the guidance unnecessarily punitive.

DePaul has adopted a hybrid model - a mixture of online and in-person classes - for the Fall 2020 quarter (see details here). The SEVP guidance will allow an F-1 student currently in the U.S. to be enrolled in online classes as long as the student is also enrolled in courses that are offered in-person. 

We understand that you may have many concerns and questions about SEVP's announcement as do we.  We are in the process of getting further clarification regarding the guidance and expect to share additional details next week.

Please know that, as we do for all of our students, DePaul University has the health, safety, and best interest of international students in mind. We are committed to supporting them and looking for solutions that will allow them to continue their academic careers at DePaul.  Possible solutions may require some additional flexibility, generosity, and creativity on the part of the faculty and an extra helping hand from academic advisors in the various units.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to International Student and Scholar Services should questions arise.