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An update on actions to support international students

Eva Wong, director of international students, scholars and programs, sent the following update to international students the afternoon of July 14, 2020. - Ed.

Dear International Students,

I write with pleasure to share an important update to President Rowe’s earlier message. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed this afternoon they have dropped new regulations announced on July 6. International students may pursue remote-only instruction and remain in the U.S. The agreement reached between the government and universities reinstates the flexibilities implemented in March under the COVID-19 pandemic. We expect to receive updated instructions from SEPV and will share it with you when we have it.

This outcome reflects the vital role international students play in advancing learning and research at universities around the U.S. Your presence helps William & Mary flourish. 

I hope this positive outcome increases clarity as you plan for the fall. Please know that William & Mary will continue to do everything in our power to support you, no matter what.


Eva Wong, PhD
Director of International Students, Scholars & Programs
Reves Center for International Studies


William & Mary President Katherine A. Rowe sent the following message to the university's international students on July 14, 2020, regarding recent actions taken by the university to oppose ICE restrictions - Ed.

Dear International Students,

Since writing to you on July 8, William & Mary has taken additional steps to oppose the unfair and unfeasible restrictions announced on July 6, by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). These new restrictions would prevent international students from returning to or remaining in the U.S. for remote-only instruction – creating significant barriers to learning.

William & Mary’s international students are essential and valued members of our global learning community. So I write with an update on our actions and to reiterate our support for you.

– Last week I signed on behalf of the university a letter that the American Council on Education will send to congressional leaders later this week. The letter urges elected officials to take action to protect the immigration and Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) status of international students even if they choose to take or are obligated by circumstances to take fully remote courses.

– William & Mary is advocating with the Virginia congressional delegation to make clear the urgency of this matter.

– Yesterday William & Mary submitted to the Virginia Office of the Attorney General a formal declaration to make the university a participant in advancing a multi-state lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and ICE to challenge these restrictions.

While legal and legislative processes play out, William & Mary will continue doing everything we can to ensure that all of our international students who want to be on campus will have access to the in-person instruction they need in order to satisfy these new restrictions.

Best regards,

– Katherine

Katherine A. Rowe