UMass international students won’t be affected by new visa rules

Jul 13, 2020

UMass Dartmouth international students will not be affected by new US immigration rules requiring in-person classes for student visas to remain valid, according to outgoing Chancellor Robert Johnson.

Johnson wrote a letter to the campus community last week regarding the new regulations, which he said would have a “major impact on higher education” nationwide.

“There is simply no valid reason to create further hardship for the many thousands of students who will be forced to leave this country,” he wrote. “While these regulations may not affect you personally, it weakens our educational institutions and it weakens our global society.”

He noted that because UMass Dartmouth is offering a hybrid model blending face-to-face with online learning this fall, its international students will be allowed to stay. 

“Our flexible plan allows our international students, already dealing with the challenges a global pandemic creates, to continue their studies with us,” he stated. 

However, Johnson added, “On behalf of those students who do not have such options and are needlessly forced into this situation, I condemn this misguided and cruel policy. UMass Dartmouth stands with our international scholars and anyone that finds themselves a victim of this unfair regulation.”

“UMass Dartmouth is currently working with our international students to make sure they are supported during what is an already turbulent time  made even more challenging by this unnecessary ICE regulation,” noted university spokesperson Ryan Merrill, who added that although UMass students will not be affected, “The university condemns the regulation and urges its repeal so that students across the country are allowed to learn without major disruption.”