International News, Updates, and FAQs
As changes to immigration policy, visa processing, and travel restrictions continue to develop, UO acknowledges how particularly stressful the current environment of uncertainty must feel for our highly-valued international students, scholars, faculty, and staff. We know that the current state of immigration policy and ever-changing procedures related to COVID-19 are causing confusion, concern, and questions. Please know that we want you here as part of our community, and the Division of Global Engagement is here to do everything possible to help you overcome every obstacle to your academic success and have full membership in our community. The most current updates are as follows:
You're Invited: Tuesday, November 10 at 4:30 p.m. (Pacific Time) for “International Students and the U.S. Election.” A place to discuss how the emerging election results and societal response might impact you.
DHS Proposed Rule Change: On October 26, the University of Oregon and the Oregon State University jointly submitted a letter to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau (ICEB) forcefully opposing the proposed restriction on time an international student can remain in the US on a student visa.
The proposed time limits are arbitrary and will interfere with students‘ standard progress toward degree completion. They are also unnecessary since the existing system for monitoring international student academic programs (SEVIS, in place for almost two decades) already accomplishes the stated goals of the rule change.
UO and OSU are steadfast in our commitment to the importance of global engagement, to recruiting top talent from around the world, to global scale research, and to the significant contribution international students make to campus diversity. Read the full letter here.
Daylight Saving Time on November 1, 2020: What does this mean for international students? Those taking web (asynchronous) courses from UO will not be impacted by a time zone change. However, those taking in-person classes on campus or remote (live) courses from another time zone location may be impacted. To find out if your local time zone observes Daylight Saving Time, visit this resource. Or, use this time zone converter to see if your class time will change next week.
- Looking for an international event? Visit our new Events webpage to see all events sponsored by our office. You can also find events during fall term through the UO Events Calendar.
- Fall term update: UO will shift to primarily remote and online instruction for Fall 2020. For new international students, including new graduate students, you must enroll in at least one in-person course in order to obtain your visa and enter the U.S. We suggest “Success in Online Learning,” offered as UGST 399 or GRST 610. Both the in-person and remote versions of the course will still be free to students. For more information about fall term, please read the messages from President Michael Schill, the Provost and Senior Vice President, Patrick Phillips, and Dean and Vice Provost of the Division of Global Engagement, Dennis Galvan.
- Federal update: The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Student Exchange Visitor Program) policy was rescinded on July 24. Read the clarification for the most current rules for F-1 international student visa holders. Please note that if you are a new student who seeks to enter the U.S., then in order to get a visa and use it to enter the U.S., you must enroll in at least one in-person class. UO intends to have some in-person classes in fall 2020. Learn more.
- Options for students located outside of the U.S. in fall term: We at the Division of Global Engagement are here to support you—with or without a visa. If you will be located outside of the U.S. for fall term, explore all of your #NoVisaNeeded enrollment solutions and submit this form to let us know which options interest you most.
- Are you traveling from the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, or Ireland? You may qualify for a National Interest Exception. Students traveling from the Schengen Area, the UK, and Ireland with valid F-1 visas, do not need to seek a national interest exception to travel. Students from those areas who are traveling on a J-1 visa may contact the nearest embassy or consulate to initiate an exception request.
- Visa update: U.S. 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. For more information, read the announcement from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs.
- The White House issued a proclamation on June 22 that temporarily suspends the issuance of new H-1B visa stickers and some J visa stickers until December 31, 2020. A valid visa sticker, which is issued by the Department of State at a U.S. consulate, is required for nearly all foreign nationals to be able to lawfully enter the U.S. This order does not apply to anyone who is a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. or who is the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen. Faculty and scholars are encouraged to visit the H1B webpage for more information.
- DGE Response to Executive Order on New Chinese Graduate Students and Researchers. Here is what we now know and where we stand.
- Travelers Prohibited from Entry to the U.S. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control): Several Presidential proclamations established restrictions on the entry of certain travelers into the United States in an effort to help slow the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- Returning from International Travel (U.S. Centers for Disease Control): If you have traveled internationally in the past 14 days, stay home and monitor your health.
- Restricted Travel to Canada and Mexico (U.S. Department of Homeland Security): In order to limit the further spread of coronavirus, the U.S. has reached agreements with both Canada and Mexico to limit all non-essential travel across borders.
Last updated on November 2, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. PST
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Biweekly newsletters to UO students
Websites for Up-to-Date Information about U.S. Visas and Travel:
International Student Fall 2020 Considerations
U.S. Department of State
COVID-19 Country Specific Information: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Co…
Presidential Actions: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/
Centers for Disease Control
Travel/COVID-19 Page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
News Alerts: https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts
NAFSA: Association of International Educators Pages
Coronavirus Critical Resources: https://www.nafsa.org/regulatory-information/coronavirus-critical-resou…
Tracking COVID-19 Restrictions on US Visas and Entry: https://www.nafsa.org/regulatory-information/covid-19-restrictions-us-v…
U.S. Consulates Worldwide: http://www.usembassy.gov/
Getting to the United States: https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/getting-to-the-united-states
Counseling Assistance for the UO Campus Community:
UO Counseling Center Services for Students: Call the Counseling Center at 541-346-3227 to discuss your options for mental health support. They will have the next available counselor return your call to discuss your options and to answer your questions.
UO Employee Assistance Program: Cascade Centers, Inc. provides comprehensive employee assistance at no cost for eligible employees, their dependents, and eligible household members. Call Cascade directly at 1-800-433-2320 to schedule an appointment.