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Update for students: SEVP operational guidance for fall 2020

McGovern College international students:

As President Khator has stated, the University of Houston is a university with a global footprint. We understand the tremendous value that our international students bring to the University and to the McGovern College of the Arts.

I have read, and I am in ongoing dialogue, on the guidelines issued this week by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) of the United States Department of Homeland Security. You have also received communication on these guidelines from the International Student and Scholar Services Office of the University of Houston. (If you have not received communication from ISSSO, please contact me directly.)

The University of Houston recently issued a statement to international students, ensuring you that the university is working to help you remain in compliance with the new guidelines. The McGovern College of the Arts is likewise committed to the same goal.

These are the most important details of the new SEVP guidelines as we understand them at this time:

The guidelines as written allow flexibility for international (F-1) students to remain in the U.S. if they enroll for a mixture of face-to-face and online coursework. The McGovern College, like the University of Houston as a whole, has adopted a flexible approach to fall 2020 course formats, offering courses that include face-to-face components as well as courses that are fully online. We are committed to making every effort to ensure that you may select a combination of course formats that will allow you to remain in compliance with federal guidelines and to continue to make progress toward your degrees.

International students may not, under the guidelines, enroll for a fully online degree program or take all of their courses online and remain in the United States. International students may, however, take more than one course online and remain in the United States if that student is making normal progress toward their degree and if that student takes least one course that includes face-to-face instruction.

The guidelines at this time do not allow for the possibility of international students remaining in the U.S. should the University shift to a fully-online format in the middle of the semester in response to the public health situation.

This is the information as we understand it at this time. You are welcome to contact me with additional questions. I understand the duress this causes for all of our international students, and I and my entire team are committed to ensuring that we provide you with the support you need.

Andrew Davis