Skip to main content
Immigration Issues and Resources

Statement on new immigration announcement

Stanford is working to assess and respond to new rules that were announced today by the federal government affecting international students studying this fall on F-1 visas.

“We are concerned about this decision, which will create more uncertainty and complexity for international students,” said Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne. “Our international students must be able to continue making progress toward completing their degrees, and as a university we intend to support them in doing so. We will be working with our peers and national associations to understand how best to accomplish that in the context of these new rules, as well as to urge the Administration to rethink its position. We will be in continuing communication with our international students as we gather more information.”

The Department of Homeland Security on Monday announced changes to a temporary exemption regarding online coursework that it had put in place this spring due to the coronavirus pandemic. The changes are scheduled to take effect this fall after being published officially in the Federal Register.

The changes affect students differently depending on whether they attend universities that will be operating entirely online, entirely in person, or on a hybrid model this fall. Among other things, the new rules say that “nonimmigrant students within the United States are not permitted to take a full course of study through online classes.”

Stanford has been planning to have roughly half of its undergraduate student body and all of its graduate and professional school students in residence on campus at any given time during the coming academic year, but the university will have to offer many or most courses online.

“Our focus and efforts right now are on analyzing the DHS guidance to provide Stanford students accurate and timely information,” Shalini Bhutani, executive director of the Bechtel International Center, wrote in a message to international students on Monday. “Please know that the Stanford community is committed to supporting international students.”