Statement Regarding International Students

Photo of Rajesh Gupta HDSI UCSD Founding Director
Computer Science and Engineering – UC San Diego – End of Year Awards 2015

July 8, 2020

Dear Data Science, Faculty, Staff and Students

Recent instructions from US government regarding eligibility requirements for foreign students to enter and/or stay in the US have understandably caused significant anxiety among our foreign students and their academic advisors resulting in a flood of inquiries fielded to our faculty and staff. In response, the university leadership has made the case for continuity of studies even as we strive to comply to county and state guidance on combating the growing health emergency by restricting campus gatherings. 

The International Students & Program Office (ISPO) is tasked with the implementation of Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) at UC San Diego. I enclose their latest guidance as of Tuesday, July 7 that outlines how university seeks to address different groups of new and continuing foreign students. In short, the SEVP plans to issue I-20 documentation outlining the hybrid nature of our planning campus opening in fall quarter with explicit declaration that “the school is not operating entirely online, that the student is not taking an entirely online course load for the Fall 2020 quarter, and that the student is taking the minimum number of online classes required to make normal progress in their degree program.”  We anticipate this approach to address concerns in this regard for majority of our students. For more details please see below.

This guidance may change should there be a change in university’s planned opening in the Fall quarter or any further regulations or clarifications from US government agencies. Despite the challenges ahead, please be assured that we remain committed to serving the needs of all our students, and will continue to provide timely updates, guidance and support as the situation continues to unfold. 

Please note the following webinars scheduled by ISPO:

If you have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to HDSI student affairs, or to the institute leadership.

Dr. Rajesh Gupta

Founding Director

Spring 2020 | Vol 4 | Updates from the International Students & Programs Office @ UC San Diego.

Hello Campus Partners, 

As new federal and state regulations are released to the public, ISPO strives to provide information on how these will impact current processes, international students, and campus partners. See important announcements below.

 

Fall 2020 SEVP Guidance Regarding COVID-19

Fall 2020 Online Enrollment – Impacts on F-1 Students

On July 6, 2020, the Student & Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) released temporary procedural adaptations regarding COVID-19 and Fall 2020. On July 7, 2020, SEVP released an FAQ to the Fall 2020 Guidance. We understand that F-1 students have questions and concerns about how this may impact them, their enrollment in the fall, and their visa status.  

For now, we can offer the following clarity on the guidance released by SEVPThe July 6th and 7th guidance from SEVP addresses UC San Diego’s ability to ‘activate’ SEVIS records for continuing students in the Fall 2020 quarter if they are registered for in-person/hybrid courses. UC San Diego’s Fall 2020 course offerings follow a ‘hybrid model’, a mixture of remote and in-person courses. As long as UC San Diego continues to offer a ‘hybrid model’, international students will be eligible for Activation of their SEVIS record if they remain enrolled in a minimum of one in-person course to meet full-time requirements and are physically present in the U.S.  

What does this mean for NEWLY ADMITTED students? 

·        OUTSIDE THE U.S. WITH HYBRID INSTRUCTION: Students who are outside the U.S. and enroll and remain enrolled in a minimum of one in-person/hybrid course to meet the 12-unit full-time requirement will be eligible to seek entry into the U.S. and be eligible for activation of their SEVIS record. UC San Diego will issue the student an updated I-20 with a program start date of Fall 2020 and a notation that “the school is not operating entirely online, that the student is not taking an entirely online course load for the Fall 2020 quarter, and that the student is taking the minimum number of online classes required to make normal progress in their degree program.”  

·        OUTSIDE THE U.S. WITH REMOTE INSTRUCTION: Students who are outside the U.S. and enroll in all fully remote coursework will not be eligible to seek entry into the U.S. or meet eligibility for activation of their SEVIS record. UC San Diego will be required to issue the student an updated I-20 with a new program start date listed reflecting the next available term they are able to seek entry into the U.S. 

·        INSIDE THE U.S. WITH HYBRID INSTRUCTION: Students who are inside the U.S. (students transferring SEVIS Record to UC San Diego, changing degree level, or recently approved for a change of status to F-1) and enroll and remain enrolled in a minimum of one in-person/hybrid course to meet the 12-unit full-time requirement will be eligible to remain the U.S. and be eligible for activation of their SEVIS record. UC San Diego will issue the student an updated I-20 with a program start date of Fall 2020 and a notation that “the school is not operating entirely online, that the student is not taking an entirely online course load for the Fall 2020 quarter, and that the student is taking the minimum number of online classes required to make normal progress in their degree program.” 

 

·        INSIDE THE U.S. WITH REMOTE INSTRUCTION: Students who are currently inside the U.S. and unable to enroll in a minimum of one in-person course to meet the 12-unit full-time requirement must depart the U.S. or take alternative steps to maintain their non-immigrant status such as transfer to a school offering in-person instruction. 

What does this mean for CONTINUING students? 

·        OUTSIDE THE U.S. WITH HYBRID INSTRUCTION: Students who are outside the U.S. and enroll and remain enrolled in a minimum of one in-person/hybrid course to meet the 12-unit full-time requirement will be eligible to seek entry into the U.S. and be eligible for activation of their SEVIS record. UC San Diego will issue the student an updated I-20 with a program start date of Fall 2020 and a notation that “the school is not operating entirely online, that the student is not taking an entirely online course load for the Fall 2020 quarter, and that the student is taking the minimum number of online classes required to make normal progress in their degree program.”  

·        OUTSIDE THE U.S. WITH REMOTE INSTRUCTION: Students who are outside the U.S. and enroll in all fully remote coursework will not be eligible to seek entry into the U.S. However, if enrolled in a minimum of 12 units through fully remote coursework, will meet eligibility to maintain an Active SEVIS record. UC San Diego will continue to maintain the SEVIS record. 

·        INSIDE THE U.S. WITH HYBRID INSTRUCTION:Students who are inside the U.S. (including students transferring SEVIS Record to UC San Diego, changing degree level, or recently approved for a change of status to F-1) and enroll and remain enrolled in a minimum of one in-person/hybrid course to meet the 12-unit full-time requirement will be eligible to remain the U.S. and be eligible for activation of their SEVIS record. UC San Diego will issue the student an updated I-20 with a program start date of Fall 2020 and a notation that “the school is not operating entirely online, that the student is not taking an entirely online course load for the Fall 2020 quarter, and that the student is taking the minimum number of online classes required to make normal progress in their degree program.” 

·        INSIDE THE U.S. WITH REMOTE INSTRUCTION: Students who are currently inside the U.S. and unable to enroll in a minimum of one in-person course to meet the 12-unit full-time requirement must depart the U.S. or take alternative steps to maintain their non-immigrant status such as depart the U.S. or transfer to a school offering in-person instruction.  

Fall 2020 Enrollment

It’s important to note that while students may not be permitted to enter or remain in the U.S., they are not barred from enrolling in remote coursework from abroad. This approach balances students’ ability to continue their studies while minimizing the risk of spread of COVID-19 in our communities by ensuring that individuals who do not need to be present in the United States are not physically here. Additional information will be available in in the next 1-2 weeks about this new document issuance process and for newly-admitted students who have not yet registered for FA20 courses and for continuing students who have already registered for FA20 courses and are considering adding or changing their course selection in light of this new guidance.  

Changes to Methods of Instruction

If UC San Diego changes their operational plan to fully remote at any time for Fall 2020 term because of Center for Disease Control or San Diego County Public Health guidance, then students cannot take a full online course load and remain in the U.S. Active international students who are in the U.S. will need to take alternative steps to maintain their non-immigrant status such as depart the U.S. or transfer to a school offering in-person instruction. 

Student Communication

ISPO sent an email detailing the information above to follow Chancellor Pradeep Khosla’s message regarding the ICE guidance to continuing as well as newly admitted students. In response to the high volume of inquiries we are receiving from our international students at this time, ISPO has schedule student webinars to address questions and concerns for students and their families. 

·        Continuing Graduate Students: TUES 07/14 4:30 PM PST 

·        Continuing Undergraduate Students & Families: WED 07/15 4:30 PM PST 

·        Newly Admitted Graduate Students: FRI 07/17 4:30 PM PST 

·        Newly Admitted Undergraduate Students & Families: MON 07/20 4:30 PM PST