Help Our Students Fight New Visa Restrictions

16 Oct Help Our Students Fight New Visa Restrictions


  • Proposed DHS Rules Will Harm Our Students: The proposed rules will severely limit visa durations and create significant if not insurmountable barriers to degree completion for current and future international students.
  • Your Public Comment Can Make a Difference: Public comments are open until 10/26. Comments can delay or derail rules that adversely affect our students. We strongly encourage you to submit a comment (here or here) ASAP. See below for more info.
  • Workload Survey: UICUF will be running a brief survey via direct email next Wednesday to determine how the pandemic and remote work are affecting faculty workloads. You can respond to the survey now if preferred!


Dear UICUF Members,

We are writing today to alert you to a developing situation that could adversely affect our international students. Some of you may recall a push by the White House and Homeland Security this summer to severely limit student visas, an effort which was halted in the courts after being challenged by many higher education institutions before going into effect. Unfortunately, a new effort to limit student visas is underway right now, and our students, via the organization International Students Supporting Each Other (ISSEO), are sounding the alarm and asking for our help.

What Do The New Rules Do?
Very briefly, the new proposed rules will limit students to 4- or 2-year academic visas, despite the fact that at least 25% of undergrads and a majority of PhD students take longer than 4 years to complete their degrees. The proposal will also require renewing the visa through Citizenship and Immigration Services, rather than allowing students’ educational institutions to extend their student status. USCIS is already struggling under extraordinary backlogs which can delay proceedings by months or even years–due in no small part to the systematic understaffing and underfunding of immigration courts. This could make it difficult if not impossible to maintain a consistent student status, which will force many international students to discontinue their studies. You can review a great deal more information on the rules proposed, and how to support our students, in the ISSEO’s Call To Action Guide.

Submit a Public Comment to Support Our Students
UICUF intends to submit an institutional comment, but our students have asked that we all individually submit public comments, which together can delay, restrict, or build a case for dropping the proposal entirely. The action guide linked above can offer more details.

If you have questions or just want to take action in a supportive environment, ISSEO is hosting a Comment Party next Monday:

What: ISSEO Public Comment Party
When: Monday, October 19th
Time: 5-6 p.m. CST
Where: Zoom (RSVP to receive the event link)
Questions: Email ISSEO

Upcoming Workload Survey
We have received enough anecdotal reports of increased workloads attributable to the shift from in-person to remote work, that we are going to run a brief, 3-question survey to find out more about the phenomenon. Watch for the survey in your email next Wednesday, or if you prefer, you can fill it out right now!

UIC United Faculty


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