New federal guidance regarding international students

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Lori Kletzer

I am pleased to report that the Trump administration has reversed course on a sudden policy change that threatened to strip international students of their U.S. visas if their fall-quarter coursework was entirely online.

The proposed change, announced July 6, prompted immediate lawsuits from multiple universities including the University of California. On Tuesday, the Trump administration and Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the first two universities to file lawsuits, reached a resolution. The agreement reinstates a policy implemented in March giving international students flexibility to take all their classes online and remain legally in the country with F-1 visas.

The July 6 announcement was abrupt and outside of normal administrative procedures. Most importantly, it created great anxiety and stress for our international students during what is already a difficult time. The health and well-being of our students remains our top priority.

University of California Board of Regents Chair John A. Pérez and President Janet Napolitano issued a joint statement today on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security decision to rescind the directive.

“This sudden reversal by ICE is a win for common sense and for public health. Revoking the visas of international students in the midst of a pandemic would have put students’ futures, their communities’ health, and the U.S. economy in further jeopardy. College and university leaders must be allowed to make decisions about campus operations that are guided by public health experts — not by a hastily drafted, arbitrary and mean-spirited policy.”