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CGE Statement on July 6 Homeland Security Policy on International Students

Dear international students,

Likely you have heard the temporary policy announced July 6 by the Department of Homeland Security that international students who are attending universities that are going fully online for fall will not be allowed to stay in the country.

We understand that this information is unsettling and confusing. We want you to know that we are here for you. The International Students and Scholars Services (ISSS) team, the Graduate School, and the Academic Affairs units at UT are all working to understand and strategize in this changing landscape.

You will be receiving a message from the ISSS team with details about how to remain in compliance despite the recent modifications to the immigration regulations. We are taking additional steps to identify those international students with a full online schedule in the fall and are in the process of reaching out and connecting them to their advisors. Meanwhile, if your current plan is to only take online courses during the fall, please contact your advisor to make any necessary adjustments.

The Office of the Provost, the Graduate School, and the Center for Global Engagement are committed to finding solutions to these complicated issues. We echo the statement the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) President Peter McPherson released July 6. “The administration’s new policies for international students studying in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic are incredibly unfair, harmful, and unworkable.”

Please know that we are working tirelessly to ensure that there is little to no disruption to your academic progress. It is critical that you remain connected to the ISSS team and your advisor. We will be working closely with the departments and providing them details that they will need to work with you and keep you moving forward in your courses, safe and in Knoxville.


Gretchen Neisler, Ph.D.

Vice Provost for International Affairs

Director, Center for Global Engagement