July 6 ICE Statement Concerning F-1 Study

Updated Federal Regulations for International Students with F1 Visas

Hello International Students,

We are so impressed with the high levels of maturity you are all applying as you navigate the barriers to international education which are in place due to the pandemic.  We are happy that we are able to support you and will continue to provide the most accurate information that we can.

On July 6, 2020, the U.S. Federal Government issued new regulations that pertain to international students’ access to classes during Fall 2020 term.  This new guidance supersedes all other regulations for the Fall 2020 term only as it is currently set to expire in December 2020. The guidelines were counter to expectation and have created major upset within the international learning community.  We are currently organizing by signing petitions to the White House, talking with government officials through our professional organizations, and advocating for change with our local SEVP and state representatives.  It is possible that some of the guidance will be updated in the coming days and weeks based on the pushback the government is receiving from international educators, students, and the higher education field at large; however, we cannot rely on a change in policy.

The new guidelines state that every international student who wishes to cross borders into the United States will need to show an I-20 form certifying that Stetson University is offering face-to-face classes and that you are properly enrolled in 12 credits or more.  Please ensure that you are registered for at least 12 credits by July 15, 2020.  Thereafter, we will add the required registration note to each individual I-20. This may require that we post the document to you via regular mail. To ensure that we have your correct information, please submit at this link by July 15, 2020.

The federal guidelines offer three possible scenarios for course delivery, each of which will impact you differently.

  • Scenario 1:  Stetson delivers all courses online.
    • This scenario would require all international students currently in the U.S. to either leave the country and take Stetson’s classes, or transfer to a university/college offering face-to-face courses. Students would be allowed to take online courses through Stetson as long as they are outside of the United States.
  • Scenario 2:  Stetson offers face-toface courses only
    • All international students are required to be physically present at Stetson to participate in their courses. The usual online learning rules would apply, namely, students can only take one online course during the semester; the remaining courses must be taken in-person.
    • New first-time-in-college international students have the choice to be physically present at Stetson to participate in their courses, or defer their start at Stetson until the spring 2021 term.
    • New international students transferring to Stetson have the choice to be physically present at Stetson to participate in their courses, or defer their start at Stetson until the spring 2021 term.
    • Returning international students have the choice to be physically present at Stetson to participate in their courses, or to take a leave of absence for one semester and take NO STETSON COURSES.
  • Scenario 3: Stetson offers hybrid courses (a mix of online and in-person classes)
    • All international students are required to be physically present at Stetson to participate in their courses. However, students are required enroll in face-to-face courses whenever possible to advance toward their degree. In the event that a student requires specific courses to graduate and the courses are offered as fully online courses only, the student is required seek approval from WORLD to ensure compliance with federal regulations. NOTE: Students cannot take more than one online course without permission from their DSO.
    • New first-time-in-college international students have the choice to be physically present at Stetson to participate in their courses, or defer their start at Stetson until the spring 2021 term.
    • New international students transferring to Stetson have the choice to be physically present at Stetson to participate in their courses, or defer their start at Stetson until the spring 2021 term.
    • Returning international students have the choice to be physically present at Stetson to participate in their courses, or to take a leave of absence for one semester and take NO STETSON COURSES.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve in the state of Florida, Stetson University‚Äôs administration is updating its decision-making to ensure your health and safety.  At this time WORLD highly recommends you make plans for returning to Stetson in time to quarantine for fourteen days before classes start on August 13, 2020.

Students currently participating in OPT or awaiting OPT approval will not be impacted by these changes.

If you have specific questions, please reach out to Roxanne at rlewis1@stetson.edu for assistance.  Please know we that we appreciate you and we look forward to our continued partnership in helping you complete a U.S. education.

Thank you,
Roxanne Lewis
International Student and Scholar Services Coordinator
Paula Hentz
Director of International Learning
WORLD: The David and Leighan Rinker Center for International Learning

International Student Activities during Lockdown

—International Tax session April 6, 2020 2:30 PM EST. Use the link below to sign up by noon April 3rd to be included in a chat during which Albert Aguirre and Roxanne Lewis will be available to talk you through the process of filing your taxes for 2019. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe5GJf7i_mhsPmR7nU-PRlPq3q4QfIFDEurC7fvdN6-rGZwag/viewform

Other University Events

–March 23, 2020  from Travis Potter of Stetson’s Wellness and Recreation office tpotter1@stetson.edu. Contact him to express interest in joining. “It goes without saying that we are not scheduling any intramural games for the remainder of the semester, but what if we can explore an alternative for your fun and entertainment. The first step is to gauge your initial interest and hopefully there are some commonalities among everyone. I have brainstormed the following activities:

Madden Tournament (PS4; Xbox)Call of Duty Warzone (top finishes; Xbox, PS4, Computer)
8 Ball Pool Competitions (App on Google Play)
FIFA 2020 Tournament (PS4; Xbox)
Rocket League CompetitionNBA 2K (PS4 & Xbox)
Interested? Let me know, I’m starting new tournaments each Monday between now and the end of April. “

–Looking to get involved in Stetson leadership opportunities? Connect with ULEAD  www.stetson.edu/ulead