To our International Undergraduate Students: ICE Announcement and Fall 2020 Study 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:

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


Dear International Undergraduate 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 would like to thank Undergraduate Student Government (USG) for hosting us at two sessions on Sunday July 12, and we look forward to attending future sessions as needed.

To answer some of the concerns that came up at those USG sessions we can now provide the following. Please continue to reach out to other campus partners as they are the ones with the best information to provide relevant to their areas.

The admission office is aware of the external timing challenges associated with the July 15 deadline, and is prepared to be flexible as needed. You can address those questions or requests to admissions directly through uaoffice@princeton.edu. The decision on which year you would defer to (i.e. Fall 2021 or later) is to be confirmed by September at the earliest. The admissions office will take the circumstances outside of your control into account, but it is not possible to confirm priority acceptance for 2021 at this time.

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 be updating the entire international student community including, as President Eisgruber states, with, “other University actions that might solve the problems created by ICE’s announcement."

We have scheduled upcoming information sessions by class year to try to answer questions related to the ICE announcement. If you are not able to attend at the scheduled time we will be sharing the slides as well as compiled questions and answers after we conclude the sessions. Please click on the relevant date and time below to register.
*First Year Information Session July 16, 2020 7:00 p.m. ET and July 20, 2020 9:00 a.m. ET
*Junior Information Session July 17, 2020 9:00 a.m. ET and July 21, 2020 5:00 p.m. ET
*Sophomore and Senior Information Session July 22, 2020 9:00 a.m. ET and July 22, 2020 6:30 p.m. ET

Please continue to check your Princeton email and our announcements page for updates. As you may 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 court decisions to come as early as this week.

If the current announcement stands unchanged, 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.
*It does not apply to students on post-completion opt.

If the outcome of litigation requires Davis IC to begin to comply with the ICE announcement, we will begin to provide remarks and reprinting I-20s. We will be prioritizing first year students, those outside the U.S. without a valid visa, and students with planned travel to begin reprinting documents. To ensure you receive your reprint ahead of your scheduled appointment or travel dates, please fill out our online form to alert Davis IC of your upcoming travel or scheduled visa appointment. Go to TigerNav. Click “Login" and use your university netid and password. In the left-hand column, click “F-1 Student Services” and then select “Undergraduate Students: Upcoming Visa Appointment or Travel Reporting."

To comply fully 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