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Updates on Governmental Actions

Below are updates from International Student and Scholars regarding the recent governmental actions. International students, scholars, and employees who have questions about these changes should contact ISSS. For other immigration-related matters, contact Immigration Response Team.

July 24, 2020: An Update from ISSS on the SEVP Guidance Regarding Fall 2020 Courses

On Friday (July 24), the Student Exchange Visitor Program updated the guidelines for this fall.  

The two new items that most impact students at the University of Minnesota are:

  • New students (those who have not previously studied at the University of Minnesota) are eligible to receive a visa and enter the U.S. as long as they are not registered for 100% online courses. As the University of Minnesota is implementing a hybrid model this fall, new University of Minnesota international students are eligible for entry. We regret that new students have the additional requirement that they cannot be enrolled 100% online; new students can be assured that the University of Minnesota is here to support you in meeting this requirement. 
    • The Office of Undergraduate Education and Graduate Education are aware of this requirement, and the University remains committed to working with each student to ensure that they are able to meet the requirement of having at least one course that is not fully online. You should contact your academic advisor to review your registration options. 
    • ISSS has been updating I-20s upon student request to state that the University of Minnesota will be using a hybrid model. We have been contacted by new students who have been successful in receiving visas and in entering the United States. We continue to monitor this activity; please email isssnew@umn.edu if you have difficulties. 
  • The guidelines also affirm what was decided in the outcome of the July court case: Current students can stay in the U.S. and maintain F-1 status while taking 100% of their class online this fall.
  • The updated guidance clarified that all international students in the U.S. will continue to be able to maintain their status and remain in the U.S. if the University of Minnesota were to switch to all online course offerings during the fall semester. 

We recognize that the ongoing issuance of guidance can be incredibly stressful, and we regret how late in the summer these announcements are coming. Please contact ISSS if you have specific questions (new students should email isssnew@umn.edu while continuing students should email isss@umn.edu or complete the Phone Request Form to talk to an advisor). We are here to support you.

Review Our Frequently Asked Questions for More Information

June 22, 2020: Presidential Proclamation Suspending Entry into the U.S. For Certain Foreign Nationals and Their Dependents

On June 22, President Trump issued a Proclamation suspending entry into the U.S. for foreign nationals in certain temporary visa categories (H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and certain J-1 exchange visitors along with the dependent family members for all of these visa types). The proclamation goes into effect on June 24, 2020 and expires on December 31, 2020.

The proclamation does NOT apply to F/J Students, certain J-1 categories (including the visa categories used at the University of Minnesota: Student, Research Scholar, Professor, Short-Term Scholar, Alien Physician), Green Card Holders, or spouse/minor children of a U.S. citizen.

It also does NOT apply to individuals who:

  • Are currently in the U.S. and do not intend to travel abroad.
  • Are outside the U.S. but already have valid H-1B/H-4 visas in their passports.
  • Have an Advance Parole travel document as part of the green card application process.
  • Presumably, this does not apply to individuals who are exempt from the visa requirement (i.e. Canadian citizens).

We urge individuals who are in the process of applying for H-1B visas to reach out directly to their employers and employers' attorneys for advice. University of Minnesota H-1B visa holders can contact the appropriate H-1B staff person.

ISSS advisers are available to answer questions about the proclamation and the impacts. Please either send an email to isss@umn.edu or complete our phone call request form to make an appointment to talk to an adviser.

May 29, 2020: Proclamation Regarding Certain F-1 and J-1 Graduate Students and Visiting Scholars From China

On May 29, a proclamation was issued by the U.S. government that bans the entry of certain F-1 and J-1 graduate students and visiting scholars from China effective June 1, 2020.

On June 1, ISSS sent an email to all UMN Chinese students and scholars on F-1 and J-1 visas with further information. The order does not include undergraduate students. Please review the email for more information, and we will provide further updates when appropriate.

GPS