Updated: June 30, 2020
U.S. Visa Updates (no update for Canada)
This update is anecdotal information and is subject to change. It is based on student visa appointments reported to schools.
BAHAMAS – early September
CANADA – Quebec early July
CHINA – Beijing end of November; Guangzhou September-November;
CZECH REPUBLIC – December
GERMANY – late August
HONG KONG – beginning of July
JAMAICA – early August
MEXICO – beginning of August
SERBIA – September
SPAIN – Madrid December
SWEDEN – beginning of July
THAILAND – end of July
UKRAINE – late July
VIETNAM – beginning of July
SOUTH KOREA – do you have information? Please email Michael Shaver
If any of your students have scheduled their visa appointment, please inform Michael Shaver, Director of International Programs so he can keep this list current.
On June 22nd, the U.S. president signed an order to suspend the entry of certain foreign workers until the end of 2020. Our students on F-1 visas will not be affected by this order, but the J-1 visa for cultural and educational exchange is a little more nuanced. If the J-1 is work-related such as “participating as an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program,” the policy applies. If not work-related, it does not.
University of Michigan
Food for thought from Michael Shaver, TABS Director of International Programs:
After reading this article on Michigan’s MBA program, I wonder if some of their approach may be a guiding star for boarding schools. They will allow students to defer the start of their MBA program to fall 2021 or fall 2022, still believing “…that a good number of international students will choose to enroll this fall (2020) as planned.” However, they are anticipating a headcount of nearly a quarter less than normal. In all planning scenarios, classes will be accessible remotely so that students who are unable to move to Ann Arbor in the fall can stay on track to finish their MBA on time. All admissions recruitment will be virtual for the 2020/21 recruitment season.
U.S. News and World Report:
Updated Visa Guidelines International Students Should Know
It’s confusing, but here’s TABS take. If a school offers an online option for international students then the student is required to participate in order to remain in status when in-person classes resume. However, they do have the option to request an authorized leave of absence from school due to unforeseen circumstances. In general, an authorized leave of absence can only be taken for a maximum of five months, but we are waiting to hear how flexible SEVP will be. Once a school has reopened for in-person classes removing online options, then the international student must return to the U.S. in order to stay in status.
If the current “Travelers Prohibited from Entry to the United States” proclamation is still in effect at the end of this summer, students coming from 31 countries will need to quarantine in a different country before entering the U.S. At this point, Mexico appears to be the most likely location as it doesn’t pose too many time zone issues for online learning during quarantine, and visa restrictions are few.
We have also heard that a new proclamation regarding non-immigrant visas is set to come from the White House within the next week or so.
Some Canadian Visa Application Centres (VACs) have reopened for limited services. Students in 23 cities will be able to complete the biometric portion of their student permit application. Countries with open VACs: Austria, Bahrain, China (10 cities), Germany, Greece, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, The Netherlands, and the United Arab Emirates.
Unfortunately, travel restrictions will be in effect until at least June 30. However, students whose study permits were approved before March 18 are exempt from the current travel restrictions. Hopefully this, in addition to the opening of VACs, will have schools welcoming international students to their campuses this fall.