To our International Graduate Students: Upcoming Information Sessions-ICE Announcement 7/14/20

Tuesday, Jul 14, 2020
by Joanne Bateup Thomas

The following email was sent out to our International Graduate Students on July 14, 2020:


Please do not respond to this email. Should you have any questions, please email or contact your assigned advisor

Dear International Graduate Students, It has been an honor to get to know you, your work, and your personal circumstances over the last week as we attempted to manage specific concerns related to the ICE announcement. If you have not heard an answer to your specific question yet, know that our advisors are working diligently to respond to each email we have received over the last week. In the meantime, our walk-in hours and advising appointments continue to be available for individual conversations. We have created an FAQ page for Fall 2020 to try to answer as many questions as possible. We will continuously update this page as new information is available to us.

In addition, we have scheduled two upcoming information sessions for graduate students to try to answer questions related to the ICE announcement. Please click on the appropriate date and time for the registration link July 16 at 11:30 a.m. ET and July 20 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Should you not be available to join us at either time, we will share our slides after the sessions and provide answers to common FAQs that are discussed.

As noted by President Eisgruber on July 8 “While we are already examining multiple possible responses to ICE’s announcement, its sudden and incomplete character makes our task even more difficult. Understanding the details will be crucial as we develop ongoing responses. ICE has issued a statement and a series of FAQs, but as of this morning, it had published neither any formal legal rule nor even a draft of one.” Once we understand those details, we will update the entire international student community. Please continue to check your Princeton email and our announcements page for updates. As you also have heard by now, Princeton University has joined 58 colleges and universities in an amicus brief to the Harvard/MIT lawsuit filed last week. We are waiting for decisions in this case as well as others before we will be able to confirm all of the details of what procedures we will need to follow in advance of the start of Fall 2020. We are anticipating decisions to come as early as this week.

If the current announcement stands, we can confirm the following:
*It will go into effect from the start of Fall 2020 classes at Princeton University.
*It only applies to F-1 students and J-1 students are not currently subject to the same guidance.
*Doctoral students who have completed all required coursework and therefore, will not be enrolled in courses can remain in status.
*As long as your department has approved you to continue your enrollment, your record will remain active.
*It does not apply to students on post-completion opt.

As Dean Crittenden noted on July 6 and July 10 “graduate students have been invited to campus for the full academic year, and graduate advising and research may be conducted in person. Our libraries and laboratories are reopening, and the research that graduate students do in them is an integral part of their curriculum as graduate students.” If the outcome of litigation requires Davis IC to begin to comply with the ICE announcement, we will provide a remark to the same on every graduate student’s I-20. We will be prioritizing first year students and students outside the U.S. without a valid visa to begin reprinting documents. If you are not currently outside the U.S., but have proof of planned upcoming travel do not hesitate to email or your Davis IC advisor to request your reprint. To comply with the ICE order, it will take us all approximately 2 full weeks of reprinting full time to complete the task. Knowing that we will not be able to dedicate ourselves full time to this task and continue to provide you with timely advising services, we ask your patience as we work to reprint documents as quickly as we are able. For now, SEVP has confirmed that we can continue to distribute I-20s electronically, so we will provide these documents in that format. Should you hear from a consular officer or other government agency that you require a paper I-20 with the added remark, do not hesitate to report that to us.

Finally, it was announced on twitter that “US embassies and consulates are beginning the phased resumption of routine visa services. The dates for each embassy or consulate will depend on local conditions. We are unable to provide details for each location. Please monitor the embassy or consulate website for updates.” Country specific information can be found here. Please keep in mind that COVID-19 travel restrictions remain in effect even for those holding valid U.S. visas.

With Warm Regards,
Joanne Bateup Thomas
Associate Director for International Students
Davis International Center
Princeton University Louis A. Simpson International Building
+1 (609) 258-1445