Update on U.S. immigration policies

July 15, 2020

Dear SIA International Students,

We hope you are staying well, and want to make sure you are aware of an important update on immigration.

We are thrilled that the U.S. Immigrations and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agreed to rescind the July 6 directive that, if implemented, would have prevented international students from taking fully online classes from the United States (forcing them to leave) and also prohibited students outside of the United States at fully online universities from obtaining a visa or entry into the United States.

This resolution includes a return to the “status quo,” but what this means precisely is still unknown. This morning, ICE put out a “new” FAQ that is largely what they shared last spring—we are hoping to obtain more clarity and guidance from ICE and we will update you as we learn more.

As you know, Penn State hosted a virtual town hall last night about this issue. The event drew more than 1,500 international students and families for a discussion about the ICE rescission and answers to practical questions for international students. You can watch a recording of the town hall online. The University had previously joined 58 other U.S. colleges and universities in an amicus brief in support of international students.

As always, if you have any concerns, you can contact me or Matthew Detrick, SIA's Incoming Student Adviser (who is also an SIA alum). If you have visa-related questions, please contact the DISSA office.

Everyone at the Penn State School of International Affairs is here to support you and is committed to you joining the SIA family this fall.


Scott Gartner | Director, Penn State School of International Affairs