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July 14, 2020

Dear F-1 students and other members of the Tufts international community:

As reported by several media outlets this afternoon, the Department of Homeland Security today withdrew its Fall 2020 guidance for F-1 students, settling a lawsuit that was filed by Harvard University and MIT and supported by hundreds of other institutions of higher education, including Tufts. Based on these reports, it appears that institutions will be permitted to return to planning consistent with Immigration and Custom Enforcement's March 9 guidance, which allowed students to maintain status while participating in on-line and other academic arrangements developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are awaiting a complete legal analysis to be conducted before issuing further details regarding the Fall 2020 semester. For the moment, however, we want to convey this good news, especially given the widespread concern and anxiety the July 6 announcement understandably generated. We are relieved that this outcome will give schools and students reassurances that Fall 2020 planning can proceed without having to introduce restrictive and punitive measures compromising the status of our students and the health and safety of all of our community members.

Please await further details and join us for our Special Forum on Thursday, July 16 at 10am, when we intend to discuss this outcome further. We will be in touch in the very near future with additional information.


Andrew K. Shiotani
Director, Tufts International Center