Coronavirus Information and Resources for UC Davis International Students and Scholars

We continue to follow the developments of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and monitor situations on campus and around the world. Your wellbeing and educational experience are our prioritiesSee the updates and resourcesThe UC Davis International Center is currently closed, but we are still here to help: please email your SISS advisor directly with questions or to set up a remote appointment. Find your advisor listed on our Contact Us page.

Understanding U.S. Department of Homeland Security Guidance for Fall 2020

International Center in daylight

Campus Update: July 31, 2020

Today, UC Davis offered a campus update that included information for F-1 international students about fall 2020:

Continuing F-1 international students in the U.S. may pursue up to 100 percent remote courses without having to leave the U.S., and continuing F-1 international students outside the U.S. can take remote classes while remaining in status. New students are subject to additional government restrictions at this time, and UC Davis is committed to ensuring there are plenty of course offerings to help them satisfy the government’s requirements. Please see the Services for International Students and Scholars website for updates and information, and if you have questions, work with your advisor

Read the full statement

Fall Plan Student FAQs

Weekly updates from Chancellor May


Originally published on July 30, 2020

Details On Current SEVP Guidance For Fall 2020

On July 24, 2020, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released a new FAQ guidance for U.S. Department of Homeland Security SEVP guidelines for fall 2020. After our initial review of these guidelines and in consultation with University of California, below is information for international students: 

Newly admitted students currently outside the United States

Enrolling from outside the United States: International students admitted to UC Davis for fall quarter 2020 can choose to take all of their coursework remotely (online classes) from outside of the U.S. Once they enter the U.S., they will be in F-1 status.

Coming to the U.S. to enroll locally at UC Davis: International students admitted to UC Davis for fall quarter 2020 may choose to come to the United States if they are enrolled in at least one in-person class. These students work with their SISS Advisor to have appropriate documentation showing they are enrolled in at least one in-person course for fall 2020. 

Newly admitted students currently in the United States

International students who were enrolled in a U.S. school (including a U.S. high school) on March 9, 2020, may enroll in 100% remote courses at UC Davis during fall 2020 and remain in the U.S. 

Continuing UC Davis students currently in the United States

If the international student was enrolled in UC Davis on March 9, 2020, the student may enroll in 100% remote courses during fall 2020 and remain in the U.S. 

Continuing UC Davis students currently outside the United States

If the international student was enrolled at UC Davis on March 9, 2020, and returned their home outside the U.S., they may enroll in all remote courses for fall 2020 while remaining outside the country.

Other students or for additional questions

International students who do not fit in the above categories or who have other questions should work with their SISS Advisors

Previous Updates

  • SEVP Guidance Reverts to Spring Guidelines (July 21)
  • As the SEVP guidance and FAQs announced by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on July 6 and 7 respectively have been rescinded and canceled by the federal government, we resume adhering to the modified guidelines used for spring quarter and summer sessions. These original guidelines make accommodations for students attending universities that have had to modify instruction as a result of COVID-19.

    We want to assure F-1 students, that whether or not you are in the U.S. for fall quarter, you will not be penalized for enrolling in the hybrid and online classes offered at UC Davis this term. UC Davis has adopted a hybrid instruction for fall as we continue to adhere to county and state public health guidelines. Just as in spring quarter, F-1 students do not need to enroll in in-person classes; they may remain in the country if they are here while taking all online classes or a combination of online or hybrid—whichever you have planned. UC Davis F-1 students who returned to their home countries and were in active SEVIS status before they left should still be active for fall 2020.

    We hope this update offers you further reassurance and stability for fall 2020. If you have any questions about your visa status, please contact your SISS Advisor. We also invite you to view our webinar with immigration attorneys “Understanding U.S. Department of Homeland Security Guidance for Fall 2020” (recorded on July 16) for more information and an update of these most current events.

  • Planned Guidelines for F-1 Students for Fall 2020 Have Been Rescinded (July 15)
  • Originally published: July 15, 2020
     

    Yesterday (July 14), the University of California Office of the President confirmed that the Trump administration has canceled its plans to adopt and enforce new Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) guidelines and related FAQs for fall 2020, which were announced by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on July 6 and July 7, respectively. At this time, we are analyzing what this reversal means to UC Davis international students, but we are hopeful that this decision not to move forward with the guidelines adds more stability as you plan for fall. We remain committed to supporting you and will update this webpage with guidance as soon as we have more information to share.

    We realize the stress the announcement of the new Homeland Security guidelines caused during an already challenging time in the world, on top of an already dynamic spring quarter. Travel restrictions and closures of embassies and consulates due to the COVID-19 pandemic have added to these challenges. We recognize the significant hard work and sacrifice you have put in these past few months at UC Davis. We also recognize that in particular, this last week has been filled with even more uncertainty and stress as you assessed your options within these new guidelines. You have persevered through so much. Please know we are empathetic to your concerns and we are committed to continued action as needed to support you.

    We are still planning the webinar on Thursday (July 16) with immigration attorneys from Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP to help F-1 international students navigate this topic. We also ask international students to please continue to fill out the e-form Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS) emailed to you on July 10 regarding your plans for fall 2020 (“Complete this required form immediately”).

    As you know, we in Global Affairs and throughout UC Davis and the UC system have been steadfast in our objection and opposition to these new Homeland Security guidelines proposed last week. Thank you for your patience and grace during such a challenging time. We also want to thank the many students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members who advocated in support of our international students and international community.

    Again, we are here for you and we look forward to sharing additional information regarding today’s reversal as soon as we know more.

    Sincerely,

    Joanna Regulska
    Vice Provost and Dean
    Global Affairs

     

    Wesley Young
    Director of Services for International Students and Scholars
    Global Affairs

  • Statement: UC Davis, UC System 'Remains Committed to Supporting You' (July 10)
  • Originally published: July 10, 2020

    The following message from Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Mary Croughan and Vice Provost and Dean of Global Affairs Joanna Regulska was sent to international students on July 10, 2020.

    We are writing to you to share our sincere concern, empathy, and commitment to action related to the new guidelines for the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) published July 6, by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

    As we wrote in our joint message with Chancellor Gary S. May, these new guidelines are an abrupt departure from the Homeland Security guidance provided for spring and summer 2020 and run counter to our values at UC Davis—in a way that is cruel and thoughtless. We realize how stressful and upsetting this might be during an already extremely challenging time in the world, following an already dynamic spring quarter. We also realize the significant hard work and sacrifice you have put in, especially these past few months, and how you have achieved so much. Please know we are proud of the wealth of experiences, knowledge, and skills you bring to our global community, and we value your voices, perspectives, and ideas in classes, research and other collaborations, and extra-curricular and community activities.

    Please be assured our entire campus and the entire University of California system remains committed to supporting you and we are here to help. We are heartened by the influx of messages we have been receiving in support of you from students, faculty, staff, alumni, community members, and more.

    While there are many answers to come, we do know:

    - The new Homeland Security guidance has no immediate effect on visa statuses.

    - So long as permitted by public health authorities, UC Davis is committed to providing ample in-person as well as online class experiences to enable compliance with the recently announced federal requirements.

    - We are also committed to the health and safety of our entire campus community.

    - Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS) within Global Affairs is hosting a webinar on July 16 at 11 a.m. PDT with immigration attorneys to offer further clarification. Students, faculty, staff, and families can register and submit questions in advance on the SISS website.

    - We also encourage affected international students to continue visiting this SISS webpage for ongoing updates as new information becomes available, and to contact your SISS Advisors with questions about unique circumstances. Thank you to the team in SISS for their dedication and hard work to comply with these new guidelines.

    We are actively working with the University of California Office of the President and our campus teams to determine the best way to move forward together. We’re proud to be a part of the UC system, which announced it is poised to sue the federal government over their new policy. We are also partnering with our professional associations and networks to advocate in support of international educational exchange.

    UC Davis is a wonderfully diverse community and we consider this one of our greatest strengths. Our community benefits tremendously from welcoming you, the brightest students from all over the world, to our campus community—whether in person or online as we experience this global pandemic. Thank you for your perseverance and grace during what is undoubtedly a very stressful and challenging time. We are committed to supporting our international community together.

    Sincerely,

    Mary Croughan
    Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

    Joanna Regulska
    Vice Provost and Dean of Global Affairs

  • Statement: Homeland Security Guidelines ‘Cruel and Thoughtless’ (July 9)
  • Originally published: July 9, 2020

    The following statement from Chancellor Gary S. May, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Mary Croughan, and Vice Provost and Dean of Global Affairs Joanna Regulska was published this morning to the entire UC Davis community.

    To the UC Davis community:

    On July 6, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security published new guidelines for the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, or SEVP, that impacts thousands of our international students at UC Davis. Like our colleagues across campus and throughout the University of California system, we are deeply concerned by these new guidelines as they are an abrupt departure from the Homeland Security guidance provided for spring and summer 2020 and they run counter to our values at UC Davis. In fact, these guidelines are cruel and thoughtless. We want to assure you that UC Davis remains committed to supporting our international students and scholars who add enormously to the excellence that puts us amongst the world’s leading research and teaching institutions.

    We are actively working with the University of California Office of the President and our campus teams to determine the best way to move forward together. We are also partnering with our professional associations and networks to advocate in support of international educational exchange. Moreover, the University of California announced last evening that it is poised to sue the federal government over their new policy.

    UC Davis is a wonderfully diverse community and we consider this one of our greatest strengths. We are proud of our global and inclusive campus. Our community benefits tremendously from welcoming the brightest students from all over the world. Our international students contribute a wealth of experiences, knowledge, and skills, and truly bring the world to UC Davis. We value international student voices, perspectives, and ideas in classes, research and other collaborations, and extra-curricular and community activities. In today’s interconnected world this global and cultural exchange is more important than ever. We also know the hard work and sacrifice of international students who have achieved so much, have strong ties in our communities, and have made UC Davis their home away from home during their studies. 

    Thank you for your patience and grace during what is undoubtedly a stressful and challenging time. We value each and every member of our UC Davis community and are committed to supporting our international community together.

    Sincerely,

    Gary S. May
    Chancellor

    Mary Croughan
    Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

    Joanna Regulska
    Vice Provost and Dean of Global Affairs

    Read the statement

  • UC Poised to Sue Federal Government (July 9)
  • Originally published: July 9, 2020

    University of California Office of the President announced yesterday (July 8) that UC is poised to sue the federal government over the guidelines it provided earlier this week.

    According to the UC news release,

    The lawsuit will seek a temporary restraining order and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to bar ICE from enforcing an order that UC President Janet Napolitano called “mean-spirited, arbitrary and damaging to America.”  

    Read the statement

  • Register for the July 16 Webinar (July 8)
  • Originally published: July 8, 2020

    Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS) within Global Affairs has invited immigration attorneys from Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP to provide their insights on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security guidance (issued on July 6, 2020) regarding F-1 Students for fall 2020. All UC Davis students, faculty, staff, and families are welcome to attend this free, informational webinar.

    When: Jul 16, 2020, 11 a.m. Pacific Time (U.S. and Canada)
    Topic: Understanding U.S. Department of Homeland Security Guidance for Fall 2020
    Register in advance for this webinar:
    https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN__SfISjeJS0qUW2ILvKu4cw  

    We remain committed to supporting our international students and campus community. UC Davis is working with the University of California Office of the President to determine the best way to support international students. We will provide updates as they become available on this webpage.

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Upon registering, you may choose to submit questions in advance. While we cannot guarantee that we will be able to answer your specific question during the event, we will do our best to consolidate questions base on topics to address as many concerns as possible.

  • Statement from UC President Janet Napolitano on ICE Announcement (July 7)
  • Originally published: July 7, 2020

    Today, University of California President Janet Napolitano issued the following statement about yesterday's U.S. Homeland Security guidelines on Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) for fall quarter, as announced by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

    UC President Janet Napolitano, July 7, 2020:

    “The University of California recognizes that our country benefits when the world’s brightest students and academics learn, teach and research on our shores. International students provide unique contributions that enrich our campuses and their perspectives ensure that we continue to be a leading academic force around the world. Making it more difficult for international students to study here undermines decades of collaboration between the United States and our international partners, particularly in fields that contribute to America’s economic vitality.

    “ICE’s announcement is perplexing, given that some degree of remote instruction is necessary for colleges and universities to protect the safety and well-being of their communities and the public at large, while still allowing students to continue their studies. Challenges and uncertainty related to COVID-19 are already weighing heavily on students; now is the worst time to burden them further with anxiety.

    “UC will assess fully how these changes will affect our campuses and our international students. However, this much is abundantly clear: The Trump administration’s latest actions impacting international students jeopardize our nation’s future as a worldwide leader in research and innovation.”

    Read the statement

  • Announcement for UC Davis International Students (July 6)
  • Originally published: July 6, 2020

    Dear UC Davis International Students,

    Today (July 6), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security published new guidance for the U.S. Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) related to online courses for fall 2020 that concerns students on F-1 nonimmigrant visas (please note: this applies only to F-1 and M-1 students). This is concerning to us and UC Davis is working with the University of California Office of the President to determine the best way to support international students. UC Davis Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS) within Global Affairs and campus leadership will provide more information as soon as possible to support affected students.

    We will update this announcement as new information becomes available. Please know UC Davis remains committed to supporting international students and scholars. We understand this guidance from Homeland Security creates stress and uncertainty in an already challenging time. If you are an international student affected by this, have questions about these restrictions, or are concerned about your immigration status, please contact your SISS Advisor through the staff directory on the SISS website.

    Sincerely,

    Joanna Regulska
    Vice Provost and Dean
    Global Affairs

    Wesley Young
    Services for International Students and Scholars Director
    Global Affairs

Resources For Connecting With Your Campus Community At UC Davis

Here are some resources to support international students with remote learning and some exciting ways to connect with our global community.


About Services for International Students and Scholars

Services for International Students and Scholars (SISS), within Global Affairs, is helping to build a campus community that includes students and scholars from over 140 countries and six continents. SISS serves more than 10,000 international students, faculty, and researchers and their accompanying family members who come to UC Davis each year.  We welcome the world to UC Davis.

As a part of Global Affairs, Services for International Students and Scholars aims to inspire global curiosity, understanding, and engagement.

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