Advocacy on Behalf of International Students and Scholars
Page last updated April 8, 2021 with a copy of a letter from several universities throughout New York to US Department of State Secretary Antony Blinken and US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas regarding continued closure of US embassies and consulates and travel restrictions.
[My visits to NYU global sites] serve as a powerful reminder to me of how inextricably tied our global character is to our educational and research mission. And as I meet students and scholars from all over the world studying at Washington Square and other sites, it reinforces for me how vital the free movement of people is to our academic goals. -- NYU President Andrew Hamilton, following a visit to two of NYU’s global locations in 2017
Our international students and scholars are an integral and cherished part of the NYU community. NYU believes it is essential that the federal government prioritize the processing of student visas and programs such as Optional Practical Training (OPT). NYU has been working on numerous levels to advocate on behalf of international students and OPT in recent months.
Both directly – such as NYU President Hamilton’s recent letter to the Departments of State and Homeland Security – and through the national higher education associations – such as the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Association of American Universities (AAU) – NYU is pressing the case with the White House, Republicans in the US Senate, and other policymakers in support of international students and the issues of greatest concern to them (see recent higher education association letters below).
Higher education has not been the only sector to mobilize to support international students and OPT. On May 21, 2020, the Compete America coalition sent a letter to the White House and US Departments of Homeland Security, Labor, and State conveying the importance of F-1, H-1B and OPT; it had 324 signatories – 256 employers and 68 associations and groups.
NYU believes in global engagement, global education, and the importance of letting its students pursue their studies and their dreams irrespective of where they are from. NYU will continue its advocacy efforts on behalf of its international scholars and students.
NYU and Higher Association Letters
- April 7, 2021 Letter from several universities throughout New York to US Department of State Secretary Antony Blinken and US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas regarding continued closure of US embassies and consulates and travel restrictions
- March 18, 2021 Letter from ACE to Secretary Antony Blinken and Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas regarding visa delays, need for updated ICE guidance, and exemptions on travel restrictions
- Letter from several major research universities in New York State (NYU, Columbia University, Cornell University, Stony Brook University, and University of Rochester) regarding USCIS OPT lockbox delays
- ACE letter to Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, US Department of Homeland Security regarding immigration recommendations to support international students
- January 26, 2021 ACE letter to Acting Secretary David Pekoske, US Department of Homeland Security regarding OPT lockbox delays
- Letter from NYU Provost opposing the Department of Homeland Security's proposed rule to remove duration of status for F-1 students and J-1 exchange visitors
- Letter from presidents and chancellors of several major research universities in New York State (NYU, Columbia University, Cornell University, Stony Brook University, University at Buffalo SUNY, and University of Rochester) regarding visa delays and difficulties experienced by Chinese students, faculty, and scholars
- Letter from New York institutions of higher education (NYU, the New School, Columbia University Teacher's College, and the Fashion Institute of Technology) regarding accessibility to Social Security Administration offices during the COVID-19 pandemic for international students
- Letter from NYU President regarding July 6 ICE Guidance
- Letter from NYU President regarding international student and scholar concerns
- AAU letter regarding visas and OPT concerns
- AAU letter regarding OPT
- ACE letter regarding April 22 Executive Order
- ACE letter regarding visa processing concerns
- ACE letter regarding COVID-19-related immigration concerns
- New York University Presidents' Visa Immigration Letter
February 3, 2021 update: On January 20, 2021, the Biden Administration issued its Regulatory Freeze memorandum, which states in paragraph 1, in regards to any new or pending rules, heads of government departments and agencies should "propose or issue no rule in any manner...until a department or agency head appointed or designated by the President after noon on January 20, 2021, reviews and approves the rule." This means that the proposed rule to end duration of status will not be published or take effect until further reviewed. As soon as we have any update we will post to this page.
On September 27 we sent an email to international students highlighting this proposed rule published on September 25 by the US Department of Homeland Security. Please refer to NAFSA's Duration of Status resource page for a further overview of what is proposed in this rule.