July 7, 2020
To UVA's International Student Community:
All of us at UVA were deeply concerned yesterday to learn about the new regulation restricting international students from pursuing online study while in the United States. UVA’s international students are an essential part of our identity as a University and integral members of our community. Your presence — in the classrooms, on Grounds, in student activities, and in research projects — immeasurably enriches and strengthens us as a University.
During this challenging time, we write to assure you that the University stands with you. We are working with other universities to seek a change in this rule. As you know, the University has already committed to provide a mix of online and in-person study to all of our students. Under the terms of the new regulation, international students will be permitted to remain in the U.S. so long as their educational experience is "not entirely" online. Accordingly, we have asked all our schools to ensure that all of you who plan to be in the United States for your studies will have some amount of in-person classroom experience so that you will be able to remain in the U.S. without jeopardizing your immigration status. For the purposes of this regulation, graduate students who enroll in research courses here will be considered to be having in-person instruction.
The University’s International Studies Office will distribute more detailed information on this issue in the near future, and will host a Town Hall meeting in order to discuss the issue in greater detail and to make sure we are addressing your concerns. We encourage you to participate.
While this is an additional challenge on top of the many others we are facing in the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain convinced that we will emerge stronger as a university beyond the pandemic, complete with all of you in our remarkable international student community.
Jim Ryan, President
Liz Magill, Provost