This message was sent to all international students on June 25.

Dear International Students,

We hope you and your families are doing well, staying healthy, and finding time to relax and do some of the things that bring you joy during these summer months. ISSS has been closely following all updates regarding the fall semester, from both the University and a variety of federal agencies. We understand how difficult it is to make any plans in the absence of clear guidance. Please know that you will hear from us as soon as final announcements are made for the fall semester. Our priority is to ensure you have the most up-to-date information on all issues that will impact your current and future immigration status. We will continue to give you the information and resources you need to make the most informed, best decisions for yourself. Below are some important items to keep in mind right now while we wait for these updates.

What we DO know about the Fall 2020 semester

  • On June 13th, President Hatch announced that the fall semester will include a blend of face-to-face and online courses.
  • Key points from that message can be found here and the full message is displayed here.
  • A full plan on how the University will reopen will not be announced until June 30th.
  • ISSS is advocating for international students in every way possible as these plans are made. Ensuring your health and safety and helping you reach your academic goals are our number one priority.
  • If you are unable to return to campus in the fall to continue your program, there may be ways for some of you to engage in WFU programs abroad. For more information on those potential options, please see the attached details.

What we DON’T know about the Fall 2020 semester

  • We are still waiting for guidance from the Department of Homeland Security to understand what will be permitted this fall Semester.
  • We are not sure if the same temporary procedural adaptations that permitted remote learning in the spring and summer will be allowed in the fall. We will update you as soon as the Department of Homeland Security releases its guidance for F-1 and J-1 visa holders for the fall semester.
  • The most up-to-date information from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) can be found here.

What we want you to CONSIDER carefully when thinking about traveling outside of the U.S.

  • -We understand that many of you want to go home this summer. Please know that we can’t guarantee that your F-1/J-1 immigration status will remain valid if you choose to go home. We hope the same temporary procedural adaptations that permitted remote learning in the spring and summer will be allowed in the fall, but we won’t know for sure until guidance is released from the Department of Homeland Security.
  • -Reentering the U.S. remains to be very challenging for most and impossible for some. Multiple Presidential Proclamations remain in place banning entry to the U.S. from over 30 countries. The President has the authority to add more countries to this list at any time.
  • -The Department of State suspended routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates on March 20th and there is no central resource or website page to notify us on when they’re resuming. Country specific travel information can be found here.
  • -In addition to travel restrictions in place via various U.S. federal agencies, many other countries have their own bans/restrictions that could delay or prevent your return to the U.S.
  • – We know that the coronavirus pandemic will continue to alter all of our plans for the foreseeable future. We will continue to rely on the expert advice of public health officials in all realms of our advising. This could potentially include self-quarantining prior to your return to campus or other safety measures that would protect our campus community.

Once we have official guidance from the University and the Department of Homeland Security, we will update you. Please remember to contact with any questions you have as they relate to your visa status. Our entire staff is the only Designated School Officials for Wake Forest University, meaning we are your resources for all immigration-related guidance. It is so important to us that you receive accurate and timely information to ensure you are protecting your visa status.

Your ISSS Team