As detailed in a message from Interim Vice Chancellor and Provost, John Liu and Interim Deputy Senior Vice President, Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience, Amanda Nicholson, on June 6, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) provided guidance in advance of publication of a final rule that will affect the method of instruction our international students can engage in during the fall 2020 semester. Specifically, the guidance includes the following directives:

  • International students will not be permitted to remain in the United States to take a full online course load. Therefore, international students at Syracuse University must register for classes that include in-person instruction.
  • International students may remain in the United States and take the “minimum number of online courses required to make normal progress toward their degree,” along with in-person instruction. The minimum number has not yet been clearly defined.

This new directive has created a great deal of confusion and concern among Syracuse Architecture international students and their families. Please know that Syracuse University and Syracuse Architecture stand with you and we will do everything possible to support you as we seek to understand and navigate the implications of this new directive.

Because Syracuse University and Syracuse Architecture are making preparations to deliver a large proportion of fall courses in hybrid format, we expect that all Syracuse Architecture international students will be in compliance with this new directive. This includes not only students studying in Slocum Hall, but also students studying outside the U.S. who may be taking courses online.

We are now reviewing the fall course schedules for all Syracuse Architecture international students to ensure that you are able to take enough in-person courses which will allow you to remain in the U.S. without jeopardizing your immigration status. This may require some adjustment to your schedules, but we are confident that we will be able to make those adjustments.

Below is FAQs section where many questions related to the new ICE directive are answered. If you have questions or concerns about your fall schedule, please contact Karen Baris, Director of Student Advising and Records, by email at kebaris@syr.edu or by phone at 315-443-5075.

For additional information and support not related to schedules, all international students may also contact the Center for International Services by email international@syr.edu or by phone 315-443-2457.

FAQS

Can international students take all courses online while living in their home country?

Yes, you can enroll in all online course if you are planning to stay in your home country. Your SEVIS record will be terminated when you do not return to the U.S., and the University will issue you a new I-20 for the semester you plan to return.

Can international students take all classes online while living in Syracuse?

If you are in the U.S., you must be attending classes in person in Syracuse. You may only enroll in the minimum number of online classes required to make normal progress in your degree program. For example, any number of required architecture classes can be online, but you should enroll in all in-person electives.

What happens if I planned to attend a class in-person but that class is now fully online?

You may remain enrolled in any required architecture courses, even if they are online. You should plan to take as many in-person electives as possible.

How will I know if my hybrid classes are online or in-person?

Review your schedule in MySlice. Classes that have been changed to online, will now have “Online SYNC” listed as the classroom.

Will all in-person courses still offer an online version?

Yes, all in-person classes will also be available to students online. If you decide to stay in your home country this semester, you can remain enrolled in any in-person class. If you cannot attend classes in person because you are sick, need to quarantine, or for other reasons, you can attend any class online.

The new rules published by ICE state that students can take the “minimum number of online courses required to make normal progress toward their degree.” Required architecture courses can be online, but can non-architecture electives be online?

If you are in the U.S., you should be enrolled in in-person classes. Electives can be switched to in-person, hybrid courses. 

Am I required to come back in the fall because Syracuse University is adopting a hybrid model?

No, you can enroll in a fully online semester and stay in your home country.

If I do not return, will my I-20 be terminated? How will my F-1 status be affected if that happens? How do I apply for a new I-20 and visa?

Yes, if you do not return to the U.S. this fall, your SEVIS record will be terminated. The University will reissue your I-20 for the semester you plan to return to Syracuse. You need to contact the University’s Center for International Services for dates and directions on applying for a new I-20/visa.

If I get a flight to Syracuse after the start of the semester, can I start online and then return to campus?

You should plan to start your semester in-person on August 24. If you cannot return to campus by this date, you can continue your classes remotely for the remainder of the semester.

Message from the Chancellor in Support of International Students

Thursday, June 9, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

This week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a new directive that could have a profoundly negative impact on international students. I write to you today to share that Syracuse University is joining an amicus brief in support of litigation filed by Harvard and M.I.T. challenging this order.

Under the new rule, students holding F-1 visas who are taking only online classes would not be allowed to remain in the United States. At this time, we expect the vast majority of our students will be taking in-person classes this fall. We are working closely with our international students to ensure that they are able to register for in-person courses under our hybrid instructional model and therefore be in compliance with this new directive.

To our international students, I say this: You have our unequivocal support. You are an integral part of our global Orange community. Your excellence and contributions to our University enrich us all.

Sincerely,

Kent Syverud, Chancellor and President