Novel coronavirus information

July 9, 2020

Supporting our international students

*** On July 14, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced it was rescinding this order and returning to the guidance that was in effect for the spring quarter that provided more flexibility for international students to take online courses.***

This message was sent to international students by Academic & Student Affairs, Global Affairs and Student Life.

Dear international Huskies student family,

You are a vital part of the University of Washington community.

UW leadership and family across the board are as shocked and upset as you are by the recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) about proposed modifications to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. If you are on an F1 visa, we know this decision has immediate and significant implications for your life. Since its release, we have been doing everything in our power to support you in this difficult situation.

As President Cauce shared in her blog post this week, we are working quickly to try and change this proposal as it is not yet finalized. At the same time, we are preparing for every possible scenario in terms of public health and immigration policy.

You matter to us. We are fighting for you.

Here are some key points you should know:

First, the UW is planning for a hybrid model of education for autumn quarter. It includes remote and in-person course offerings. At this moment, we are working on developing more options to expand in-person course offerings of academic value in order to meet the needs of our international students in light of this DHS administrative modification.

Our hybrid education model is predicated on the UW’s Bothell, Seattle and Tacoma campuses being in Phase 3 of the COVID-19 recovery, in accordance with Washington’s Safe Start plan. It is very possible that King and Pierce counties may not be in Phase 3 by the start of autumn quarter. To prepare for that scenario, we are partnering with county and state agencies to pursue safe, in-person instruction options even if our campuses are not in Phase 3-designated localities. Rest assured, courses for those on F1 visas would be a priority.

Lawsuits have been filed and will continue to be pursued to stop the implementation of this order. The UW is actively looking into how we can best participate for maximum impact. It is no understatement to say that literally the entire higher education sector and its supporters are upset about the DHS decision. We are in frequent conversation with each other, our professional networks, and our state and federal leadership on how we can best move forward to stop this decision.

In the meantime, we are working to identify the international students who will be most impacted by this policy so that we can provide you with options as soon as possible to meet your specific needs. Updates will be shared on the Office of Global Affairs website and ISS COVID-19 information page. We will email you with any major announcements.

The University of Washington is here to support you. Please stay in touch with your advisers and your Husky community. CIRCLE offers virtual drop-in office hours and may be reached at Your health and wellbeing are our top priority, and we will do everything we can to help you continue your UW education according to plan.


Philip J. Reid
Vice Provost for Academic & Student Affairs
Professor of Chemistry

Jeffrey M. Riedinger
Vice Provost for Global Affairs
Professor of Law

Denzil J. Suite
Vice President for Student Life