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COVID-19 Visa Requirements
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has rescinded the policy changes announced on July 6, 2021 for F-1 visa students studying online. However, the current situation remains very fluid. We will provide updates as they become available.
- Please review our updated Coronavirus FAQs, particularly the sections that relate to your status as either a continuing student or new student.
- Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention webpage for more coronavirus updates and news.
- Visit the California Department of Public Health webpage for the most up-to-date travel advisory.
- Below you will see earlier messages from De Anza College about this situation.
Important Update: SEVP/ICE Decision Rescinded
July 14, 2021
You may have heard the news that the Trump Administration has rescinded the SEVP/ICE policy that was released on July 6. This policy would have required F-1 students in the U.S. to take hybrid or in-person classes in Fall 2020 to remain in status and stated that F-1 students who had traveled outside the U.S. could stay in status only if their institution offered all online courses.
This policy was rescinded in court on July 14 during a hearing for a lawsuit filed by Harvard and MIT and there is still no official guidance released by SEVP/ICE for colleges and universities; however, we want to communicate what this means for you. Please read the next steps based on the most recent information that we have below:
All F-1 Students
- Important: Please register for a minimum of 12 units as usual, according to your education plan, to ensure that you get the classes that you want and need.
F-1 Students Studying in the U.S.
- You do not need to register for hybrid courses unless it fits into your education plan or program requirements.
- Remember to check the schedule and footnotes for details on how classes will be taught, including whether online classes will have regularly scheduled online meeting times.
F-1 Students Studying outside the U.S.
- If you are currently outside the U.S. and still in F-1 status, please plan to register in at least 12 units that will allow you to make normal progress toward your academic goal. At this time, we do not have confirmation that you will remain in F-1 status; however, we advise you to plan for continuing in F-1 status by registering for 12 units. We will update you as soon as we know more.
- Remember to check the schedule and footnotes for details on how classes will be taught, including whether online courses will have regularly scheduled online meeting times. Scheduled meeting times are listed in Pacific Time (California time).
We are relieved that this unjust policy has been rescinded and we will continue to stand with you and offer our support. We understand that this has been a stressful and confusing time. We will continue to keep you informed with any further updates and instructions via email as soon as they become available.
Foothill-De Anza International Student Programs (ISP)
July 9, 2020
Dear International Students,
On July 6, 2020, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued changes in guidance that modify the exceptions to regulations that were put in place due to COVID-19 for the 2020 spring quarter and summer session.
Over the past four days, we have been working tirelessly to gather information, consult with our peer institutions, and with Foothill-De Anza Community College District administration, to brainstorm student-friendly options. We also have to carefully consider how each option will fulfill the new SEVP F-1 requirements for fall 2020.
The language in the SEVP memo is ambiguous and we will continue to gather information. Here is what we know as of today:
- You will have options available that will allow you to continue your studies at Foothill or De Anza
- Both Foothill and De Anza will be offering hybrid classes in the fall of 2020, and thus meet SEVP’s definition of hybrid
What does this mean?
F-1 Visa students studying in the U.S.
- If you wish to remain in the U.S., you will have the option to register for a hybrid class to meet the SEVP F-1 requirements.
- We will have the course options necessary for you to maintain your F-1 status.
- We will follow up with information regarding which classes you can add to fulfill the hybrid course requirement.
F-1 Visa students studying outside the U.S.
- You can register for and take fall 2020 classes from abroad regardless of whether you are in F-1 status or not.
- The SEVP guidance is still unclear regarding the details of maintaining your F-1 status during fall 2020.
- We are continuing to seek clarification and will be back in touch with more details soon.
- In the meantime, we will not do anything to your SEVIS record.
- We will continue to be here to support you and to keep you updated.
We also want to reaffirm that the administration, faculty, staff and students at the Foothill-De Anza district stand together with our international students and condemn this profoundly troubling and xenophobic policy.
In addition to taking steps to assist our students, the Foothill-De Anza district is actively advocating against this unjust requirement. Earlier today, district Chancellor Dr. Judy C. Miner, announced that the district has joined an amicus brief in support of the Harvard/MIT lawsuit, challenging the SEVP/ICE rule. The leaders of California’s public system of higher education are also filing a separate lawsuit against the Trump administration.
Our district chancellor and the presidents of both De Anza and Foothill College have issued messages of support for you, our international students.
We recognize that many of you are far from home and may feel isolated. We are here to offer our support. We understand that many of you will have further questions and concerns during this stressful time and we will continue to have opportunities for you to connect with us. You have always been, and will continue to be, welcome here.
Foothill-De Anza International Student Programs (ISP)
July 8, 2020
We strongly disagree with this short-sighted rule change, which immediately created uncertainty, stress and hardship for you, our international students, and our college as a whole.
As international students, you are an integral part of our diverse college community, contributing unique experiences and perspectives to the educational experience that De Anza offers to all students. This new directive from the Trump Administration puts you in a grossly unfair position.
De Anza College has been following local, state and federal health guidelines in providing online instruction to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. This new requirement seems designed to pressure colleges into providing in-person instruction. It is essential that the college retain the flexibility to provide instruction in ways that best serve students, and help ensure their safety.
We are actively exploring all options to ensure that you can continue receiving an outstanding education from De Anza College, while protecting your health and that of our resident students, faculty and staff.
Lloyd A. Holmes,
President, De Anza College
July 8, 2020
International students are essential to the vibrant culture at Foothill College and De Anza College and have been for many years. Our district is deeply disturbed by the new guidance from the Department of Homeland Security/Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the significant impact it has on our international student community. We will join state and national efforts that oppose these draconian measures.
We are working to find options that will allow international students to continue preparing for university transfer and careers at Foothill and De Anza colleges during the upcoming academic year. I am confident that we will have options available to protect our students' eligibility to study with us. A number of creative ideas have already emerged and we will have more information to share in the coming days.
Our faculty, staff and students value being part of a global family and our community college district will fight to continue that tradition. To our international students, please know that you are welcome here, that we appreciate all that you bring to college life, and that we are working to ensure your continued presence at Foothill and De Anza colleges.
Judy C. Miner
Foothill-De Anza Community College District