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TGS Response to the ICE Announcement Regarding Online-Only Learning

Dear TGS Students:
As you are likely aware, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced yesterday modified exceptions for enrollment requirements for international students in the country on F-1 visas.
These temporary exemptions indicate that students with certain visas “may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States” for fall 2020. In addition, “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.”
I want to assure you that The Graduate School strongly supports our international students, that we recognize the confusion and concern this will cause for many, and that we will do all we can to keep you informed and help you to navigate these challenges. Please understand that the situation is quite fluid—we want to provide you with timely information, but most importantly, we want to provide you with accurate information.
The Graduate School is in active dialogue with the many University offices that are responsible for interpreting this ruling and understanding how it will impact our students. The Office of the Provost has provided the following language regarding the current state of affairs:

“Please be assured that Northwestern is strongly committed to doing everything possible to ensure that international students are able to study at the University, both remotely and in person, this year. The University is reviewing the ICE announcement from yesterday and anticipates shortly receiving further guidance from the Department of Education. As soon as it has this information, it will develop and communicate its approach to addressing this issue.”

I recognize that this new ruling is of substantial concern not only to our international community, but to all of us. Please know The Graduate School, the Office of International Student and Scholar Services, and our University leadership remain steadfast in our commitment to support our international students. I will provide further information as soon as it is available. In the meantime, do not hesitate to reach out to my office if you have specific questions or concerns.
Kelly E. Mayo
Walter and Jennie Bayne Professor of Molecular Biosciences
Interim Dean of The Graduate School and
Interim Associate Provost for Graduate Education
Northwestern University

Categories: From the Dean