Topic

international students

225 petitions

Update posted 43 minutes ago

Petition to Boston College Administration

Lower Boston College total cost of attendance for the 2020-2021 school year

The students of Boston College are suffering the consequences of COVID-19. As it stands (July 6th), students are currently mandated to be back on campus (except international students and those w/ health conditions). Boston College is not allowing students the option to take all classes remotely. The students who are being mandated to be back on campus in Chestnut Hill may however be forced to take some of their classes remotely. The decision to mandate students on campus will only ensure greater limitations that will cause a lower standard of living and lower quality of education. The students of Boston College demand all student have an option for remote access and cost of attendance costs for all students Boston College Administration must look at this issue from the perspective of its students and their families. This year has caused difficulties for everyone and some of those difficulties include financial conditions, economic conditions, and health conditions. These difficulties only begin to touch how this academic year both remotely and in-person will be different in many fundamental ways. Large pieces of the student way of life will be uprooted and the question that the administration is continuing to look at is how they can ensure a safe and smooth operation for its students and families and its own staff and faculty.  Students this fall and possibly the spring will not be receiving the same experience as BC students were once offered before the global pandemic. Some of the in-person experiences that will be difficult or impossible to emulate even through a hybrid model include clinical practicums, fine arts studios, labs, research opportunities, and opportunities to meet new people. Students' access to tutoring,  athletic facilities, mental health counseling, advising, social opportunities, and networking will also be restricted.  The total cost of attendance has not been adjusted to reflect these massive deficits rather the total cost of attendance has risen by about 7% equating to about $7,000. The rising of the total cost of attendance should reflect a greater access and support system for the Boston College community, but even at a best-case scenario, the services offered will be significantly limited. Universities such as Williams College in West Massachusetts, however, have lowered their total cost of attendance by 15%. Williams College's administration has realized that while the university may suffer a financial consequence, its students and their families deserve to be supported in these times of unprecedented hardship. The total cost of attendance needs to be adjusted to reflect the limitations. The students of Boston College demand that the administration step in the shoes of the Boston College students and fulfill the mission of men and women for others by first being for their students.

Taesung K
2,450 supporters
Update posted 7 days ago

Petition to Justin Trudeau, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Marco E. L. Mendicino, Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC)

OPEN DOORS TO ALL INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS STARTING IN FALL 2020 - CANADA

Amid the Coronavirus pandemic, countries (including Canada) have limited non-essential international travel. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) states that until further notice, you might not be able to travel to Canada, even if you have a valid visitor visa or electronic travel authorization. However, some travelers are eligible to travel to Canada if they are: exempt from the travel restrictions and traveling for an essential (non-discretionary) purpose Currently, the exemptions for international students stand as follows: “If you’re an international student who has a valid study permit, or were approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020, you’re exempt from the travel restrictions.”  However, we urge the Canadian government to open its doors to all international students, including those who were approved for a study permit after March 18, 2020, into the country for the Fall 2020 semester as their purpose of travel is essential/ non-discretionary. For some students, not being in Canada may limit our learning experiences for several reasons, namely: Students may not have access to proper resources in order to begin or continue their education (ie: high-speed Internet, labs, research libraries, censorship of certain information in some countries, etc.).  Time zone differences may affect the ability of students to actively participate in classes.  Research/ Graduate students may not be able to conduct their research or have access to resources that allow them to conduct said research. Additionally, it will be impossible for students to participate in select experiential activities that are not easily adaptable to a remote delivery format such as labs, studios, and clinical placements offered in-person. Some students risk losing their funding if they are unable to begin their degree studies in the Fall. Under Canadian law, universities are not able to provide any employment wages until students are able to be present in Canada with their TRV, study permit, resident social insurance number, address, and bank account. However, if travel restrictions are lifted and a student is able to arrive in Canada for the Fall term, then they will be eligible to begin employment as a Teaching Assistant, Research Assistant, or Graduate Assistant as their Program has designated.  Some students feel unsafe in their homes and/or countries. Such places may not be conducive to learning. Being away at school grants them that safety and security, be it physical safety or mental health. Feeling unsafe may limit one’s ability to learn.  All students arriving in Canada must follow the emergency order under the Quarantine Act, which includes a 14-day self-isolation requirement. Canada is well-known for welcoming immigrants, international students, foreign workers, and visitors from some 200 countries each year. We hope that in this difficult time, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Marco E. L. Mendicino, remain committed to serving the needs of all international students.

Phiwa Shongwe-Tsab
5,153 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Department of Homeland Security, Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Department of State

Let initial status SEVIS students into the US for online, hybrid, or in-person instruction

On July 6th, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a directive with modifications to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) which would not allow international students to pursue online-only classes in the USA. After an outburst of student activism and the opposition of hundreds of higher education institutions through letters and lawsuits, the policy was rescinded on July 14th during the hearing of a federal lawsuit issued by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The day after such victory, ICE released an updated version of the March SEVP FAQs, stating that initial students who have not yet arrived in the U.S. should remain in their home country. This means that international freshmen or transfer students will not be able to begin their studies in the US this upcoming fall. Institutions, such as Harvard, USC, and Johns Hopkins, have already emailed their initial students telling them they can’t come to campus because of ICE’s current policies and that the guidelines are unlikely to change in time for them to plan their arrival to campus. However, international students around the world are not losing hope, believing that if a university invites their students to campus this fall, everyone should be given the choice to accept such that invitation. We echo the words of a letter written by the American Council of Education and signed by 40+ organizations of higher education, to DHS Acting Secretary, Chad Wolf. Full letter: https://www.acenet.edu/Documents/Letter-DHS-ICE-Directive-072220.pdf Incoming and continuing international students should be permitted to enter the United States if they plan to attend full-time an institution offering online, hybrid, or in-person instruction. DHS should clarify that international students with an “initial status” in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) are able to come to the United States to begin their studies.  Hybrid status for institutions should include any mode of instruction that requires the physical presence of an international student for any portion of an academic course, or for any portion of an academic term.  If an initial incoming student enters the U.S. to attend an institution employing a hybrid model that subsequently shifts to a full online mode as a result of COVID-19, that student should remain in status and be allowed to remain in the United States.  SEVIS transfer-in students who are currently overseas and are considered to have established F-1 visa status in the U.S. should be allowed to enter the country for the upcoming fall semester.  If a student with an F-1 or M-1 visa is outside the U.S. for the 2020-21 academic year due to the COVID-19 crisis, for the purposes of Optional Practical Training (OPT) eligibility those students will remain eligible to apply for OPT from outside the United States. 

International Freshmen
788 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

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."

Jane Doe
437,771 supporters