Message for our UMaine community and international colleagues — July 10

UMaine community and international colleagues:

This message is to clarify how the guidance issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on July 6 impacts our international students at UMaine. We know that many of you will have follow-up questions and we will be holding sessions for both graduate and undergraduate students next week. Please look out for emails announcing dates, times and registration links.

FOR STUDENTS WHO WILL REMAIN IN THE U.S. TO CONTINUE COURSES ON CAMPUS:

The University of Maine has adopted a hybrid model for the fall 2020 semester that involves in-person classroom learning, as well as online components. This model adheres to the guidance issued by ICE and allows for students to enter and remain in the U.S. for study. The Office of International Programs will work with colleges and academic advisers to ensure that students are enrolled in the appropriate mix of online and in-person courses to remain compliant with immigration requirements. The completion of courses fully online after Nov. 25 fits within the hybrid model and will allow students to remain in the U.S. for continued study. For graduate students in programs requiring a thesis or dissertation, research credits qualify as “in person” for immigration purposes.

Because each day brings new events and new guidance from local, state and federal authorities and public health agencies, the University of Maine must be flexible to the changing situation and respond accordingly. The University of Maine System Chancellor and UMaine President will be communicating openly and often about our status, adjustments to our plans and about the System’s ability to continue with in-person instruction. Guidance will be clear and updated immediately when necessary to maintain alignment with the directives of civil authorities.

The Office of International Programs will issue new I-20s for all students indicating that the university will be offering the hybrid model of instruction. We will prioritize students who are currently outside the U.S. so that they can apply for F-1 visas and entry to the U.S. All students will receive new I-20s by Aug. 4.

Students who are currently registered for courses should delay making any changes at this time until we can clarify with the Office of Student Records and college deans as to which courses are fully online or have a face-to-face component. The Office of International Programs or your college will reach out to you if you need to make any changes to your schedule.

FOR STUDENTS WHO PLAN TO REMAIN ABROAD AND STUDY ONLINE:

Enrollment in online courses, full time or part time, is permitted under the guidelines as long as the student is outside the U.S. You should contact the Office of International Programs for more information regarding the status of your SEVIS record during this time and to fully understand what you need to do before returning to the U.S. to resume studies in person.

WE ARE HERE FOR YOU!

We know that this is a stressful time for everyone. We are pleased that those who want to begin or continue their studies in Maine will be allowed to under the current guidance. We hope you will join us for the upcoming information sessions. If you have follow-up questions, please direct them to umaineimmigration@maine.edu. This will allow us to answer quickly.

Best wishes,

Christopher Richards, Interim Vice President of Enrollment Management
Orlina Boteva, Director of the Office of International Programs