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Common App believes the recent guidance by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for international students is deeply troubling. Under the proposed ICE rules, international students studying in the United States would be forced to transfer to a school offering in-person instruction or leave the country if their colleges adopt an online-only instruction model this fall.

These students came to the United States to gain a post-secondary education and a path to a successful future. Putting these students in a position where they may be forced to return to their home countries is unnecessarily cruel, and deters other international students from applying to college in the United States in the future. This action, coupled with the Administration’s recent Executive Order suspending H-1B and certain J-exchange visitor visas, will deny talented students from joining our country’s culture of innovation and leadership and deprive our campus communities of their contributions. 

Last week we joined the American Council on Education and more than 30 other higher education organizations in writing to the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security seeking guidance for international students in connection with the reopening of colleges and universities for the upcoming academic year. 

We encourage the Administration to issue clearer guidance as soon as possible to enable institutions and international students to plan for the coming semester without fear of uncertainty.