An important update for our International Students and Global Partners
On July 6, 2020, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that international students who attend college in the United States may have to leave the country or transfer to another college if their schools decide to teach all classes online.
Here is the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) news release:
Key summary points:
- Nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States. The U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States.
- Active students currently in the United States enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status. If not, they may face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings.
- Nonimmigrant F-1 students attending schools adopting a hybrid model—that is, a mixture of online and in person classes—will be allowed to take more than one class or three credit hours online. These schools must certify to SEVP, through the Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” certifying that the program is not entirely online, that the student is not taking an entirely online course load this semester, and that the student is taking the minimum number of online classes required to make normal progress in their degree program.
What this means for TCC international students:
- Tacoma Community College decided in June that the college will offer a hybrid model of instruction for students. This means, TCC’s instruction will be offered virtually and some on-campus instruction will be allowed. Our fall quarter learning plans will not be entirely online. We are offering multiple ways to teach courses.
- Our International Program team will contact each of our students about TCC’s hybrid options for you in the fall to align with the new ICE decision.
What you can do:
- We strongly encourage our International students to read and understand this decision and consult with their family members and/or counsel to determine your next course of action.
- For those students who are finishing their programs at TCC and elect to remain in their home country and study online, we encourage you to stay with us and finish your program. This should not affect you.
We understand the concern and potential impact that this announcement has on your academic plans this fall. We are just as concerned as you are and are closely monitoring the situation.
In the meantime, we are working with international student advocate organizations such as NAFSA (National Association for Foreign Student Advisers), CCID (Community Colleges for International Development) and AIRC (American International Recruitment Council) as well as local and state authorities.
We will keep you informed as more information becomes available.
Executive Director for International Programs
Tacoma Community College
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