Skip to Content

Response to changes in student immigration requirements

Back to News Listing


Jeremy Haefner

News  •

Dear DU Community Members,

On July 6, 2020, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, via the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), announced modifications to its enrollment requirements for F-1 international students, citing the COVID-19 global pandemic as the cause for the changes. For the fall 2020 semester/quarter, all students with F-1 immigration status must take at least one in-person (or hybrid) class to maintain their immigration status and study in the United States. F-1 international students enrolled in only online classes for the fall term are no longer permitted to remain in or return to the country. 

This news is incredibly upsetting for many DU students around the globe and those here in Denver. The University of Denver fully opposes this change in student immigration requirements and intends to sign a formal complaint, along with many other higher education institutions, to government agencies responsible for rulemaking. 

I also want to personally extend DU’s support to our international students who are an essential part of the DU community. Students from all over the world bring unique perspectives, experiences, and ideas that contribute to the vibrancy of our classrooms—whether those classrooms are physically on campus or online. 

The University of Denver is working creatively to ensure we will have options for international students to stay compliant with their immigration requirements under a variety of scenarios that might come about in the fall. Importantly, because DU is offering a variety of classroom modalities this fall—in-person, online, hybrid, and hyflex—I am optimistic every international student who wants to remain at DU and in the U.S. can do so without additional barriers. The Office of Internationalization and International Student and Scholar Services has detailed information on how to remain in compliance with the new requirements for students already enrolled and for those attending DU for the first time this fall. 

Today, the Office of Internationalization and International Student and Scholar Services hosted a town hall on these changes. A recording of the town hall will be made available on the Office of Internationalization’s webpage in the coming days. 

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to challenge us in unexpected ways. Let us all unequivocally support our international students in these difficult times.

Jeremy Haefner