Two NAFSA letters sent to agency leadership ask the agencies to address immigration-related COVID-19 concerns within four major groupings that offer specific examples:

  1. Protect the immigration status of students, scholars, staff, and faculty at U.S. educational institutions
  2. Provide flexibility on deadlines, filing windows, penalty counts, reporting requirements, and filing/adjudication processes
  3. Use a "one government" approach where each Agency and their component bureaus and offices honor each other's COVID-19 policies
  4. Allocate resources to handle standard seasonal surges as well plan for surges that may come post COVID-19

Read NAFSA's Letters

  • April 8, 2020 NAFSA Letter. NAFSA requests "that the Department of State (DOS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) work collaboratively during and after the COVID-19 crisis to ensure efficient visa and immigration processing, to include protecting the immigration status of international students, scholars, and exchange visitors at U.S. higher education institutions impacted by COVID-19, and ensuring the smooth entry this fall of returning, as well as newly-arriving, international students and scholars for the start of the 2020-2021 academic year," and "urges DHS, DOS, and other agencies to continue with the development of creative flexibilities."

  • March 16, 2020 NAFSA Letter. NAFSA asked DHS to allow for flexibility in adjudication of benefit requests and status determinations for international students and scholars who are impacted by COVID-19 and the measures institutions of higher education are taking in response to it.

For NAFSA letters to Congress related to COVID-19, see the NAFSA COVID-19 Legislation and Policy Resources page.

Expand the blocks below to see the specific examples in NAFSA's letters and related updates to agency policy.

Protect immigration status
Provide flexibility
Use a "one government" approach
Allocate resources for now and later