As many of you are aware, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) issued an announcement yesterday indicating that international students in F-1 status will not be allowed to remain in the U.S. and maintain their visa status if their course of study is entirely online in fall 2020. Given that the Institute’s fall semester will be entirely remote, the government’s announcement adds an additional layer of anxious uncertainty to an already difficult context for international students.
Yesterday’s announcement is by all appearances entirely at odds with the values and the global character of our institution. I sincerely hope that we, together with colleges and universities across the country, will be capable of countering the implementation of this mean-spirited, poorly-designed and irrational measure.
Our colleagues in Middlebury’s International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) are aware of this alarming news, and are busy sorting out what it means and how we can best support our international students. Earlier today, ISSS emailed an update to our international students. I am writing to all of you – not only our international students – because this involves all of us.
Parsing out the consequences of such announcements is not straightforward and often requires follow-up inquiries to SEVP. Adding to the complexity of the situation, sometimes the content of these measures change between their original announcement and their implementation. I appreciate your patience as we seek to better understand our options.
The Institute will strive to keep you informed about this evolving situation and provide whatever guidance we can. Please contact our Offices of Student Services (email@example.com) and the Chief Diversity Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org) for information on additional resources and services to help you weather this uncertain time.
Our international students and scholars are an integral part of the Institute community and we stand with them.