Protect WashU International Students Before it's too Late

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Today, ICE released guidance on how international students will be impacted if their college shifts to online classes in the fall. 

If WashU switches to a completely online class format (like Harvard and other schools), both undergraduate and graduate international students on F1 and M1 visas will not be allowed back in the US or be forced to leave. Why is this a problem?

22% of WashU students are international. Of these students, 85% (according to the latest numbers sent out by OISS) are currently still in the United States because it is unsafe to go back to their home country, they have a job/internship, or another personal reason. Even more students have plans for off-campus housing and leases that have already been paid for the fall.

Forcing students to leave their housing, potentially go back to unsafe environments where they risk infecting or being infected by their families, is unjust and unfair. It also prevents them from being part of the WashU community. ICE’s suggestion for students?

  • “Depart the country”
  • “Transfer to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status”
  • “Take a medical leave of absence”

The only way to allow students to come to the US for school is if WashU commits to providing a hybrid model of online and in person classes. This is no longer just about personal preference. This is about showing up for our international student community.

By signing this petition, you are asking WashU to continue to maintain a hybrid class model and/or commit to prioritizing international students and their safety.


To summarize ICE has stated:

  • Nonimmigrant F1 and M1 (international) students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States.
  • Nonimmigrant F-1 students attending schools adopting a hybrid model—that is, a mixture of online and in person classes—will be allowed to take more than one class or three credit hours online.

Read more here: