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University applauds federal decision to rescind ICE guidance

The University of Rochester applauds the news today from the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that the policy announced on July 6 to bar the majority of international students from taking online-only courses from U.S. colleges and universities has been rescinded. The University views this reversal as a huge victory for international students currently studying at Rochester and all over the country. The decision to roll back the policy was made at a hearing today by federal judge Allison D. Burroughs.

Importantly, this news today means that the threat that our current international students faced, which included the real possibility of interrupted or cancelled studies here, is gone. ICE will revert to the guidance it issued this March that allows current students with an active SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) record to take online courses from either in the United States or from their home country or country of residence and maintain their F-1 status. Guidance for new/incoming international students is expected to be forthcoming.

Since July 6 when the ICE policy news broke, the University immediately expressed our deepest concerns to our Congressional representatives and urged them to support efforts to rescind it. We became fully engaged with the advocacy and legal efforts of our national associations, like the Association of American Universities, and joined with NYU to develop an amicus brief in support of the federal lawsuit that Harvard and MIT brought against ICE. View our amicus brief.

Our International Services Office (ISO) immediately began to help clarify the July 6 guidance for impacted students, and the team provided up-to-the-minute information and support to our students and their parents.

Today, we are thrilled for both our international students who contribute so much to the life of the University, and for the state of global education. So many individuals from all over the country came together to respond to this crisis, and we are overcoming it together. We hope that the upcoming guidance for new international students is just as positive.

ISO will hold a town hall meeting and issue additional FAQs as soon as possible. Again, we want to state unequivocally and directly to all of our international students: you are welcome here.

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