Petition to Ray Watts
Demand President Ray Watts Back International Students
As members of the UAB family we, the signed, strive to foster communication among cultures. We have always held collaboration, excellence and achievement, community involvement, and diversity and inclusion as some of our most core values. UAB will commit to supporting its international and immigrant students. Here at UAB we are one family, and the oppression of our brothers and sisters is an oppression on our community as a whole. As one of the most diverse universities in the country it is our duty to stand united as a symbol to the nation and the world.Pursuant to our firm belief that diversity improves results, we students ask that UAB honor and continue its commitment to its diverse body of students by assuring immigrant students that their status will not be released. We ask this in wake of President Trump's executive order with regards to immigrants and refugees in which he states that he plans to “suspend any such entry until such time as I determine that additional admissions would be in the national interest”. Our steadfast dedication to our diversity in the classroom, research facilities, hospitals, and communities is what sets UAB apart and ahead of other universities. It is imperative for the UAB administration to back the immigrant community at UAB and to pledge to not release information on immigration status of its students, faculty or staff.
Petition to Department of Homeland Security
Reverse ICE's Ruling On International Students During COVID-19
Today the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released guidelines for student visas amidst Covid-19. International students will have to take some portion of their courses in person in order to maintain their visas. For students attending schools that will be fully online this fall, such as Harvard and the California State Universitites, ICE recommends "depart[ing] the country or take[ing] other measures, such as transfering to a school with in-person instruction." Students won't be exempt from these rules even if an outbreak on campus leads their university to become fully online, and students who have health conditions that leave them vulnerable to the coronavirus, they are suggested to take a medical leave of absence. These guidelines are unjust and provide significant obstacles to international students in the United States. Because international students often pay more in tuition, these policies incentivize universities to open even if it unsafe for students and staff, particularly as cases in the United States are reaching an all-time high.
Petition to Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)
Allow F-1 and M-1 students to remain in the US with online-only classes
On July 6th, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program announced modifications for non-immigrant students taking online classes in the United States. The modifications would not allow international students to remain in the United States if their college offers online-only classes. International students affected by this would be forced to transfer to another college for in-person classes or would be forced to leave the country. Some international students come to the United States for the opportunities and resources that may not be accessible to them in their home countries. Being forced to transfer is not financially viable for many. Returning home would force many international students to pause their studies because they might not have access to the resources they need. Many more international students do pay the high tuition fees at US institutions. COVID-19 is still a very real threat and travel bans are still in place around the world, barring students from being able to return to the US or going home. If students are not able to return for their classes in the US or able to keep up with these new immigration policies, it is uncertain what impacts this might have on their visas and immigration status. The Student and Visitor Exchange Program should reconsider allowing nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 students to remain in the United States while taking online-only classes if that is the case. Additionally, international students should also be able to continue their studies with a full online-only courseload in their home countries even if their classes are in-person or using a hybrid-model. Read the modifications here (https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/sevp-modifies-temporary-exemptions-nonimmigrant-students-taking-online-courses-during): Nonimmigrant F-1and M-1 students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States. The U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States. Active students currently in the United States enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status. If not, they may face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings. Nonimmigrant F-1 students attending schools operating under normal in-person classes are bound by existing federal regulations. Eligible F students may take a maximum of one class or three credit hours online. 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. These schools must certify to SEVP, through the Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” certifying that the program is not entirely online, that the student is not taking an entirely online course load this semester, and that the student is taking the minimum number of online classes required to make normal progress in their degree program. The above exemptions do not apply to F-1 students in English language training programs or M-1 students pursing vocational degrees, who are not permitted to enroll in any online courses."
Petition to Old Dominion Students, Old Dominion Faculty and Staff
Keep International Students at Old Dominion
By signing this petition, we can encourage ODU to have a one credit in person course to help our international friends stay at school. By attending ODU we all have encountered and know someone who is from a different country. Currently the Trump administration is trying to pass a law that requires all international students to take an in class course in order to be able to stay in the United States. Many of them do not want to go back overseas for various reasons, and shouldn't be forced to do so because of Covid. Many of them have been here for months or even years and are no more a risk to spreading Covid than we are as natural citizens. They deserve the opportunity to stay local to finish their education if they so choose. You could be friends with them, dating them, or teammates with them. Point is they help contribute to our greatly diversified culture here at Old Dominion. Lets encourage our school's administration to embrace our diversified community and to do their part in keeping them here!
Petition to James Lankford, United States Department of the Treasury, Oklahoma State Senate, U.S. Senate, President of the United States
Can More Favorable Tax Laws for International Students in the U.S. be Created?
Hi, my name is Tyler Russell and I'm an international student from The Bahamas studying accounting at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa Oklahoma. In February 2019, I was faced with the task of filing my taxes. As I sought help to meet the deadline, I quickly realized that there were little to no tax education material available to me as an international student. Also, I realized that there are few self-filing options available to internationals. After recognizing this problem, I set out on a journey to find a solution. While on my journey, I discovered many things. First, I discovered that most international students are in a foreign country (the U.S.) with no family members, no friends, no financial or emotional support. Second, there are no standard deductions given to international students for any of their returns, federal or state. If they do receive deductions, it’s because their country is participating in a tax treaty. Third, most international students do not have the privilege of receiving federal aid nor can they receive education deductions or credits. They are not allowed to deduct their education fees such as books, room and board, school materials, travel expenses, or any of their other school related expenses. Additionally, these students are not allowed to participate in the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) nor the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC) which awards students studying at an accredited university to receive up to $2,500 in tax credits to reduce their tax liability. Furthermore, international students are not allowed to work outside of their University unless their Curriculum Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT) is activated. The majority of our students work on campus and receive a minimum wage pay of $7.25 per hour for a total of 10 – 20 hours per week. This is a total of $72.50 – $145 per week. This is barely enough to cover their living expenses in the U.S., yet they are being taxed at a minimum rate of 10% during tax season. In my opinion, the U.S. tax laws are highly unfavorable towards international students and I believe that many others would agree. I would like to propose that more favorable federal and state tax laws be created for international students studying legally in America. Tax Law Suggestions State Level Provide international students who lived in the state of Oklahoma for more than 7 months with the State’s standard deduction and State credit ($40) Provide a threshold for taxable income for international students Federal Level Simplify the tax laws for international students. The tax laws for international students in America are confusing. There are different guidelines for a student from Germany than a student from France or India Provide all international students from any country with a standard deduction. Whether that be the full $12,200 deduction or less Provide a threshold for taxable income for international students Provide all international students residing in the U.S., for the purpose of education, with education tax credits. This can be a special credit (refundable or nonrefundable credit) Reduce the amount of tax on miscellaneous income for internationals. Currently, the rate is 30% (this includes a student’s Resident Advisor position on campus) of their income. Can this be reduced to 20 – 25% of their income? Provide more tax treaty benefits or create a standard tax treaty benefit which can be applied to all international students instead of a specific country Provide the option for nonresidents to file a joint return if they are married I hope that someone in the U.S. government would answer this cry coming from the heart of all international students required to pay taxes on their income.
Petition to Syed Saddiq
Allow International Students Entry to Malaysia
The 19th of June there finally was hope after months of waiting; the Hon’ble Defense Minister of Malaysia shared that international students will be able to come into Malaysia to resume or start their studies starting the 1st of August, before completely blocking the entry of ‘new’ students 10 days later (29th of June.) The instructions to wait “until further notice” have been the harsh focal point for all international students for over half a year, ceaselessly waiting whilst hoping for an update which let them simply plan out their life. On 30th September 2020, after a long time of waiting, Education Malaysia Division facebook page posted that All existing students (both banned and unbanned countries) and new students(from unbanned countries) will be allowed to enter Malaysia along with the procedure of entry. This announcement made all of us happy and had hope that Malaysia will be granting entry to ALL students from both banned and unbanned countries because the government is doing it step by step. Unfortunately, 3 days later (4th October 2020), the Immigration department announced that ALL international student’s entry(new and existing) from both banned and unbanned countries is postponed until 31st December 2020. Students have now been waiting for more than half a year to enter Malaysia. International students spent months in the dark on the rules that kept changing, breaking our hopes everytime we are hopeful that we will be granted entry to Malaysia. Leaving students who want to adhere to SOPs and pay for their (increased) quarantine costs left many with mental health issues, financial losses and damaged their willingness to pursue studies in Malaysia. With the set goal of Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) to attract 250,000 international students in 2025, in line with Malaysia's aspiration to be a global education hub, we are kindly asking to allow ALL new and existing international students to come to Malaysia. With the virus not distinguishing new from existing and banned from non-banned, ALL students should be able to come to the classes they are paying for. With time zone differences and internet problems, online education is not efficient. Students are willing to pay full semester fees, wishing to get the experience we pay for. Without a doubt, the presence of international students helps the higher educational institutions and revitalizes the nation's economy. Whilst following strict protocols and focusing on fighting COVID-19 together, we are ready to finally start our journey in Malaysia. We, as ALL international students from banned and non-banned countries, would like to share the concern on why ALL international students (New and Existing) should be granted entry to Malaysia, with the Malaysian Immigration Department, Education Ministry, EMGS and members of Parliament, making sure our voices are heard, demand transparency of information and propose to lift the travel ban on international students due to the following: 1) Students were not provided with transparency during their enrollment and planning process for months on end. When making one of the biggest decisions of their life, months of “until further notice”-messages were shared, without any details students could use to plan their finances/education. Up to this day, there is still no clear timeline for international students to work with, although already paying uncut-fees for online education and promises coming from the media and even Malaysian Immigration for weeks. Students deserve and need to be updated as they have put their trust on Malaysia and chosen the country over others. 2) With COVID-19 not differentiating between a ‘new’ or ‘current’ student, all students are forced to undergo quarantine. New and current students are willing to adhere to the imposed SOPs and pay the incurring fees, including non-Covid tests before departing. If immigration services or the education ministry does not (yet) have the means to facilitate the international students already paying their uncut fees, as students we kindly yet urgently ask for updated information in forms of dates/planning/protocols. 3) Because of the decision to let new students solely study online as a substitute, several issues related to documentation have arisen; o Some students were already in Malaysia prior to the travel ban, had to leave the country to apply for student visas, and have been paying rent ever since they left the country due to the inability to come back. o Students living in countries that exercise mandatory military service are required to present documents stating they are enrolled in a full-time study to circumvent getting drafted. In the current scenario, students are not able to provide local authorities with such documentation due to the inability to obtain a full-time study permit. o Some students being hurt by the barring of new students are actually just changing universities, unfairly hit by the travel ban. o Students whom are staying in foreign countries because of prior work/education or as an interim solution due to time zone or immigration policy in their home country, are awaiting news for months due to the absence or constant postponement of information allowing them to plan, and are therefore seriously struggling with visa obtainment, as of now some were even forced to leave the country. This will further induce financial strain, which is favorably spent in Malaysia. o Some internationals wanting to complete their studies have their families and loved ones staying in Malaysia but had to exit the country to apply for the visa. The current ban is separating families from one another. 4) Existing International students are paying for face-to-face education, whilst having the shortcoming of online education. o With students coming from different continents and environments, internet speeds are not always stable, making it very difficult to deliver the desired academic performance. With Malaysia’s support going to Veveonah Mosibin, we are sure you understand that online education has serious shortcomings for some. Sadly, close to no financial deductions were reported among students, now paying the same for online class, whilst not receiving the benefits of face-to-face education. o Furthermore, online education works when in the same time zone. With international students coming from all over the world and the inability for these students to travel to Malaysia, midnight classes are not known to improve student performance. Sadly, close to no financial deductions were reported among students. o Not all students are able to successfully study online due to practical/clinical/research learning, e.g. medical- and PhD-students. Some studies are using hybrid-forms of teaching (combination of online and on-campus), making it impossible for some students to successfully learn from the classes they are paying for and on which they shall be assessed. Malaysian academic staff is even sending signals that international students have to comply with on-campus learning. Nonetheless, reduction in semester fees has not been announced. 5) The absence of information around this travel ban has made it impossible for students to plan their lives for months; professionally, academically, socially and emotionally. With the effects of COVID-19 on mental health now widely discussed in global media because of the historic rise in mental health problems, students are showcasing mental health issues such as severe stress, insomnia, anxiety attacks, depression. 6) Understandably, current students might incur installments with regards to housing and are therefore given earlier travel access. Yet, the absence of information coming from EMGS and immigration services and current travel ban resulted into students paying uncut-semester fees whilst unable to plan for their own accommodation expenses, income coming from jobs and such. Students are in desperate need of information and progress in order to plan both their professional/academic career and accompanying expenses, both benefiting Malaysia in the shape of academic performance and foreign investment. 7) With budgets already limited due to the inability to plan, and months of waiting showing the benevolence to come to Malaysia, quarantine fees have been doubled. Unfortunately, this changed fee decision was installed in a matter of days, whilst visa obtainment or even updates for paying-students are still pending. With all due respect, here are the things that we are requesting from the Malaysian Government. Allow entry for ALL (new and existing) International Students from both banned and unbanned countries.To start issuing VALS for new students.To reduce the quarantine fees for International students. We are not working yet, so yes it is a lot for students like us who still depend on their parents for money. We all will be tested for Covid before departure and after reaching Malaysia. We all will also be quarantined in the hotels, so there won't be any way that the virus will spreadThis petition is a proof that we have rejected other offers and chosen Malaysia as our place of study .We really want to go to Malaysia and experience its amazing culture and hospitable nature.
Petition to japanese government, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
Let international students get their visas to Japan
We request the Ministry of Foreign affairs of Japan to lift the ban on issuing new student visas to those in posession of a valid student Certificate of Eligibility and to allow the wayfare of all international students if they test negative for COVID-19 and if they follow the sanitary requirements imposed by the Japanese government. As part of the COVID-19 border enforcement measures, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan currently denies entry of foreign nationals from 159 countries and doesn't allow new students holding the original copies of their Cerificate of Eligibility to get their visas. The current policies in place bar new international students from starting their studies in Japan this September and negatively impact their education. Foreign residents (including returning international students), however, are excempt to these restrictions. The recent policy, allowing residents to leave and re-enter the country, sheds light on the inconsistency of the regulations: with the necessary precautions taken, the hazard of possible mass infections caused by students is not greater than that of the citizens of Japan. Studying abroad requires a long-term stay in the country, boosts the economy and promotes intercultural understanding. It is something that can only be experienced in real life. This petition aims to raise international awareness on the treatment of these students and to lobby for the change of policies to allow these individuals to have their life-changing opportunity.
Petition to Mary Papazian
Protect SJSU's International Students. Stop ICE Student Ban.
We urge SJSU to specifically provide international students the chance to participate in a hybrid learning model, in order to avoid being detained by ICE. Please protect our students. Currently, SJSU is projected to be 100% online, which unfortunately will mean that all international students studying at SJSU will have to leave the country, which is not safe or economically feasible for all. Provide our international students with the support that they need during this time. As long as ICE maintains their Student Ban, international students will need to be enrolled in at least one in person course. The recent announcement by ICE regarding international student status in the US is a dangerous, xenophobic action. It will cause major health risks, especially during the COVID pandemic. SJSU has a responsibility to protect all of their students, and preserve their right to the just, and full educational experience that they are paying for. **Please do not donate! The money goes directly to change.org; please save your funds for donations that are more needed elsewhere** Below is some background information on the ICE Student Ban Statement: Who is affected? Students with F-1 and M-1 nonimmigrant visas. Higher Education in the US is comprised of over 1 million international students. The SJSU community proudly serves over 4,000 international students. International students have contributed approximately $41 billion to the US economy yearly. What does it mean? If your school is 100% online, you may not stay in the US. If your school is operating normally, you may not take more than 1 online class. If your school is a hybrid model, you can take more than 1 online class provided that you have form I-20 filled out. Students who do not comply will face “immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings.” What else can you do? Use this toolkit to educate yourself on how to prepare for ICE raids: https://www.immigrantdefenseproject.org/raids-toolkit/ Use this booklet to read up on your rights against ICE: https://www.immigrantdefenseproject.org/ice-home-and-community-arrests/ Call your federal representatives in Congress to denounce ICE's policy! It will take only 10 minutes, and can cause the most impact!!!! You can find your House Representative by entering your zip code here: https://www.house.gov/representat…/find-your-representative You can find your Senate representative in the link here: https://www.senate.gov/senators/index.htm