Emory statement on preliminary DHS guidance affecting international students with F-1 visas

July 7, 2020

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Laura Diamond
404-727-8096
laura.diamond@emory.edu

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Emory University President Claire E. Sterk and President-elect Gregory L. Fenves issued the following statement:
 
On July 6, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued preliminary guidance affecting international students who hold F-1 visas and who are taking courses during the fall 2020 semester. 
 
We are deeply concerned by the implications of this guidance which threatens to limit the academic and professional options of so many of our students.  
 
This preliminary guidance sends a message that international students are unwelcome.  It has severe, negative implications based on local pandemic conditions and whether an institution offers classes in-person, online, or both, forcing our international students to make difficult decisions, disrupting their educational programs in the midst of a pandemic that has brought its own set of challenges.  
 
Emory’s International Student and Scholar Services has reached out to support our international students and to offer them one-on-one immigration advising as well as upcoming information sessions as they navigate new challenges in the midst of a fluid situation that imposes unnecessary obstacles to their academic progress and personal lives. 
 
Emory is partnering with national higher education organizations to advocate for the guidance to be drastically changed.  We are working in concert with other universities to make the strongest possible case that greater, not less, flexibility is needed in the face of the uncertainties of the pandemic.  Finally, we are working with our elected officials to push back on this preliminary guidance.
 
We will do all we can to enable our international students to pursue their education at Emory without disruption of their academic progress, and within a supportive and safe environment.