November 15, 2016
Dear International Students and Scholars,
This email is to address and clarify some issues that may be of concern to you as a student on an F or J visa or as a scholar on a J-1 visa.
The International Center (IC) actively keeps abreast of any changes to immigration and visa regulations, processes, and practices. We regularly communicate any changes to you, as they arise. Further, we advocate on the behalf of all international students, scholars, and employees for immigration and visa policies that facilitate your success in the United States. There are and will continue to be rumors and misinformation on the internet and from other sources as a result of the elections last week. Please rely on the IC for the correct and proper information regarding your compliance with the immigration regulations specific to your case.
Some campaign rhetoric and post-election articles have discussed “illegal” or “undocumented” immigrants, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and deportation. Given your non-immigrant visa status, these issues do not directly pertain to you. Our recommendation is that you continue to maintain your immigration status and to follow the advice you receive from the IC. It is also imperative that you read any messages regarding immigration and visas that you receive from the IC and take action if requested.
In the past week, a few students have inquired about travel overseas, visa renewals, and other related matters, in light of the election results. Please email the IC or visit during walk-in hours if you have specific questions. However, it is very important to understand that we do not anticipate any immediate or major changes to the immigration and visa laws and regulations surrounding your status because of the election results. Since changes to such complex laws and regulations would require a lengthy and elaborate process, not simply a decision by the president, they cannot happen overnight.
The IC remains committed to ensuring the well-being, safety, and success of international students and scholars at U-M. Unfortunately, there have been a couple of bias related incidents around campus in the past week. Thus, we want to make sure that you are aware of safety resources available to you. The UM Division of Public Safety and Security (DPSS) provides an information sheet with emergency contact numbers, safe-ride information, and resources. If you believe you have encountered a bias related incident, or would like to learn more, please review the Bias Response Team webpage. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) developed a helpful website for managing election-related stress for those facing stress after the election. Finally, several ongoing events may be of interest to you. Please check the International Center Events web page regularly and take note of the following events this week:
· Peer-to-Peer Chat for Students: Wednesday, 11/16 at 3:00 – 4:00 PM & Thursday, 12/1 at 3:00 – 4:00 PM
· International Student Lunch Conversation: Thursdays, 11/17 & 12/1 at 12:00-1:00 PM
· Election Dialogue: Constructive Conflict & Dialogue Strategies with Family & Loved Ones; Friday, 11/18 at 3:00-4:30 PM, Ginsberg Center
On behalf of the entire IC team, please take care of yourself and continue to focus on the positive reasons you came to U-M (e.g.: study, cultural exchange, research, etc.). We are glad that you are here.
Dr. Judith Pennywell
Director, International Center
University of Michigan