Yesterday afternoon, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security rescinded its July 6, 2020 policy directive that would have required international students with F-1 visas to leave the United States if they were unable to take face-to-face classes during the Fall 2020 semester. DHS also agreed to rescind any implementation of the directive.
The Department indicates it will return to the status quo as established by the March 9, 2020 policy directive and the addendum issued on March 13, 2020, which allowed F-1 students to remain in the United States with a shift to fully online course delivery.
While it is unknown at this time whether DHS will issue further guidance, we remain cautiously optimistic. Still, we recommend you take the following steps to prepare for the broadest range of federal requirements and ensure you remain compliant throughout the fall semester:
- Please complete the survey that I emailed to you on Friday, July 10, 2020 if you have not done so.
- Maintain your full course load and the reporting requirements.
- If this is your final semester or you have other eligible reasons that you are applying for a Reduced Course Load (RCL) for the fall semester, please complete the RCL form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
- We encourage you to maintain at least one face-to-face class as we know the options are very limited.
- If you need assistance with registering in a face-to-face class, you may email: email@example.com.
Again, the University of Houston is committed to helping you maintain compliance and will continue to update you once new information is available to us. We will work together to go through this challenging time.
Stay healthy and safe,
International Student and Scholar Services