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Proposed ICE/SEVP Rule Rescinded

Dear International Students – 

I’m sure you may have seen the good news yesterday afternoon that the proposed ICE/SEVP rule has been rescinded. The rule would have severely limited the ability of international students to study online from within the U.S. 

From AILA New England: The hearing was yesterday at 3:00 pm involving the Harvard/MIT lawsuit challenging DHS’s July 6 international student policy, DHS has agreed to fully rescind the July 6 ICE guidance and July 7 FAQ, and rescind all implementing guidance impacting international students. The status quo based upon the agency’s prior March guidance will remain in force. A momentous day for international students, U.S. colleges and universities, and the immigration community more broadly.

The Office of Internationalization & Global Engagement (IGE) in general, and the Office of International Student Affairs (OISA) in particular, are acutely aware of the tremendous stress this proposed rule had on our student community and are proud that Emerson took immediate action to speak out against it.

With this court decision, schools will (for now) revert to prior SEVP guidance, originally published in March, which allowed schools to prioritize students’ well-being and safety in the midst of the pandemic, by offering considerable flexibility for online study both from within the U.S. and from abroad.  

The SEVP guidance was modified numerous times over the spring and summer, and an update for fall semester is expected to follow. This guidance may give us more clarification on questions such as whether new “hybrid” I-20s will still be required, whether students can enter the U.S. for online-only study, whether the five-month absence rule will apply to students who remain abroad for an extended time, and whether students can apply for Optional Practical Training from out of the U.S.

We will continue to keep you posted as we receive further clarification and will schedule additional Q&A sessions in the coming week as you make plans for fall. 

With our continued support, 

Andrea Popa
Director, International Students Affairs

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