Updated: August 17, 2020
U.S. Visa Updates
This update is based on student visa appointments reported to schools. Do you have other information? Please email Michael Shaver.
BAHAMAS – early September
CANADA – Quebec early July
CHINA – September
CZECH REPUBLIC – unable to schedule
ECUADOR – unable to schedule
FINLAND – July
GERMANY – currently conducting visa interviews
GUYANA – currently conducting visa interviews
HONG KONG – currently conducting visa interviews
ITALY – currently conducting visa interviews
JAMAICA – currently conducting visa interviews
MEXICO – early August
POLAND – currently conducting visa interviews
SERBIA – currently conducting visa interviews
SLOVAKIA – currently conducting visa interviews
SOUTH KOREA – currently conducting visa interviews
SPAIN – currently conducting visa interviews
SRI LANKA – early October
SWEDEN – currently conducting visa interviews
TAIWAN – currently conducting visa interviews
THAILAND – end July
UGANDA – October
UKRAINE – late July
VIETNAM – currently conducting visa interviews
TABS Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe outreach will be held exclusively online this fall at TABS CONNECT. Using this one-of-a-kind platform, schools and families can search profiles, direct message each other, and schedule Zoom conversations before the scheduled interview days in October and November. We will determine the viability of in-person fairs in Spring 2021.
Updated: August 25, 2020
The Washington Post, Aug 25
CDC now provides “after-travel” recommendations based on individual countries. International and US guidance is posted on CDC website. CDC quarantine guidelinesnarrowly define those who should isolate for two weeks as “people who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, excluding people who have had COVID-19 within the past three months.” Experts say new CDC travel guidance is a “direct contradiction” of what many states (AK, CT, HI, ME, MA, NY, NJ) are doing.
US: Letter Calls for Flexibility for New Students
The PIE News, Aug 17
75 US senators and members of congress sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security calling for a reversal of guidance that prohibits new international students with a full-time online course load from entering the U.S. in the fall semester.
Canada to Expect Growth and U.S. to Lose Market Share, Agents Predict
The PIE News, Aug 12
Having surveyed 400 educational agents from 63 countries, Navitas found it likely that Canada will see growth in its share of international students, US will see “marked decline” (-7%), Australia “slight decline” (-1%), and UK “slight increase”. Overall, international student numbers are “likely” to drop from 2.5 million to 2 million as a result of the pandemic.
Pandemic Gap Year Plans for International Students
US News & World Report, Aug 11
A snapshot survey by IIE says 286 US institutions reported that 57,555 international students accepted enrollment for fall and 4,488 additional students deferred to spring 2021 and beyond. Gap year plans include: virtual internships and projects, online tutoring and mentoring, language skill development, and online training programs like Global Citizen Academy.
Independent Schools Cope with Loss of International Students Due to Pandemic
Bangor Daily News, Aug 10
Schools have re-budgeted and are providing home-stays for international students as economies of scale don’t work now for dormitories. Some schools have sized-down with layoffs or are not filling positions vacated by retirements and attrition. Other schools allowed international students to remain over summer.
Canada “Considering” Letting Int’l Students Return in September
The Pie News, Aug 7
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is trying to assess whether postsecondary institutions are ready to meet federal guidelines for students’ safe return, as well as guidelines which outline obligations to support incoming students, including helping with quarantine plans and providing transportation from initial point of arrival.
Canada Backtracks on Travel Ban Exemption for International Students
The PIE News, July 28
The Canadian government is now saying students who had a study permit prior to March 18 will only be exempt from travel restrictions if they travel for a ‘non-discretionary or non-optional’ purpose. Seeking entry for studying would generally be considered discretionary or optional unless there is a requirement for the student to be in Canada. Students who can study online in their home country are likely to be refused entry.
The PIE News, July 15
Canada announced additional measures to support international students beginning a new program online this fall, including fast-tracking study permit processing. Students will be eligible to work in Canada after graduation.
The Pie News, July 22
Reversal of the ICE directive does not apply to newly admitted international students requiring F-1 sponsorship. Harvard and USC said international first-year students who received a Form I-20 to begin studies in fall would be unable to enter the US in F-1 status “because all undergraduate fall courses will be fully remote”. The Presidents’ Alliance stated that it is “deeply disappointed” that ICE has failed to provide flexibility.
The U.S. Government announced that certain travelers from U.K., Ireland, and Schengen countries can resume traveling directly to the United States.
As of July 10th, F-1 students may qualify as National Interest Exception (NIE) and can schedule visa interview appointments. Therefore, we will see more U.S. Embassies in the Schengen area opening visa services in July and August. We suggest encouraging your students to schedule visa appointments now, or inquire about possibly rescheduling. At the time of this writing, there are no exemptions for students in China, Brazil, or Iran.
Trump Administration Rescinds Visa Rule Amid Widespread Pushback
July 14 The Chronicle of Higher Education
The Trump administration has rescinded guidance that would have prohibited international students from studying at campuses offering online-only instruction this fall. The move came earlier today amid widespread pushback alleging unnecessary cruelty by the White House during a deadly pandemic.
Here’s some of the “pushback”:
– NAIS and TABS Statement on the Change in SEVP Rules for International Students
– the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration worked with 180 institutions to file an amicus brief in support of rescinding the guidance
– NAFSA: Association of International Educators sent a letter to the administration requesting the guidance be rescinded
– Faculty at Yale volunteered to teach in-person if the school must convert to 100% online
– a Stanford professor tweeted that he’d teach in-person in the football stadium to subvert the Trump ruling
– and of course, the MIT & Harvard lawsuit