lives upended

Immigration Update Event Overview: Lives Upended – How UCI Supports International Students in Times of Rapid Change

July 24, 2020

UCI Office of Global Engagement recently hosted a Global Engagement event that featured international and UCI leaders exploring UCI’s support of international students, given the many sudden U.S. policy proposals and proclamations that affect them.


Speaker recap:


Brendan Delaney, Immigration Attorney, Frank & Delaney Immigration Law, LLC, explained that the proclamations refer to the authority to bar the entry of aliens under certain circumstances.

  • The H1-B and J-1 visas for students and research scholars are not negatively affected.

  • People in the U.S. are not affected by these proclamations, though the USCIS will continue to adjudicate cases.

  • The embassies are shut down, creating a significant backlog on the back end.

Gillian Hayes, Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean, Graduate Division, detailed the assistance that the Graduate Division is happy to provide.

  • 25% of graduate students and postdocs are international and reflect a variety of visas, with most in the Information and Computer Science, Engineering and Business schools.

  • When a rule is not believed to be legal or valid, the legal council of the Graduate Division will provide advocacy.

  • Academic units are to offer appropriate coursework, and the courses being offered in person are listed as such.

Michael Dennin, Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning and Dean, Undergraduate Education Division, UCI Relations, discusses the steps being taken to facilitate the move to online learning for international students.

  • Due to differing time zones, faculty are being trained on understanding best practices for asynchronous material.

  • An emphasis is placed on helping international students improve with the English language.

  • There are hundreds of graduate fellows working together to support the community of international students.

Zara Syed, Associate Director, International Center, UCI, provided insight to the different resources available to those affected.

  • The International Center is currently working with the counseling center to offer a safe space for students to talk.

  • “Ask the Advisor,” an online session for students to get quick questions answered has been started within the International Center.

  • Review the International Center website and check the FAQs page to understand different scenarios.

Notes from Q&A:

  • UCI is planning a hybrid model to ensure there are in-person options for those who need them.

  • If transferring between J-1 and F-1 visas, the length of time that the USCIS takes will dictate which rules apply.

  • UCI is considered one of the best institutions in the U.S. for online education.

  • UCI takes wellness very seriously and has been using best practices for cleaning, face washing, masks, etc.

  • Whether a deferral is granted is contextual, and it would be dangerous to compare things between schools.

UCI is committed to supporting our community members from around the world who share the values of learning and discovery to make the world a better place. The UC system complies with applicable laws and regulations and actively advocates for policies that further its academic mission.

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