Information for International Students regarding ICE Guidelines and Travel

Eleanor Boyle, Managing Arts & Leisure Editor

FAQ from Bates about ICE guidelines issued on July 6, 2020

 

The information below was compiled from Dean Reese’s information session with international students on July 8, 2020.

 

Academics 

Bates is using a hybrid system. F-1 international students attending Bates will remain eligible for F-1 student status in the United States so long as their academic course of study does not consist entirely of online courses and they have a course load required for normal progress in the degree program. If Bates goes online in the middle of the semester Bates will support students in any way they can. Students should contact their academic advisors for degree requirements and seniors should contact their thesis advisors if Bates goes online. Bates is also currently working on different time zone arrangements. 

Bates has NOT set up any arrangements with universities abroad if an international student wanted to study in their home country. Bates is not moving in that direction. An international student still could take a leave of absence and enroll abroad. Courses would need to be transferred back into Bates through the Bates Registrar and the Academic Standing Committee. Bates is not encouraging or discouraging this idea. Bates is more focused on remote classes. 

 

Arrival

Travel Ban Concerns

U.S. government has banned people directly traveling from China, the Schengen area in Europe, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Iran, and Brazil. Students traveling from these countries cannot enter the U.S. within 14 days after departing from them. As a result, students must first go to a country that does not have a level-4 travel ban from the U.S. government and go through a 14-day quarantine that is required by the local government in that country. If students arrives at Bates in early August, prior to COVID testing, they will need to quarantine for another 14 days. If the tests arrive on campus before 14 days pass, then the student would be able to take the test right away.

 

Scenarios

There are two scenarios that will occur according to the time of the month that the student comes to Bates

Scenario 1 

Scenario 1 is for international students who return in early August. These students must follow a required self-quarantine on campus for 14 days starting upon arrival. The self-quarantine would be done in apartment facilities on the campus. Meals would be provided by Commons to the students via a drop-off system. Between the completion of this self-quarantine and the beginning of classes, the student would be allowed to reside in their dorm/ room assigned by housing and be allowed to have meals in Commons. 

Scenario 2 

 A student arriving later in August would be given the COVID test immediately upon stepping onto campus and then go on to reside in their room for two days until the test results are revealed. Meals would be delivered.

 If the results are negative, the student will be able to reside in the dorm and have meals in Commons and Grey Cage.

 If the results are positive, then the student will be moved to one of Bates’ isolation rooms and have meals delivered for a 14-day period. Bates’s health services and housing would keep daily contact with the student through that time.   

International students planning to study on campus must communicate with Housing [email protected] and Global Education, [email protected] identifying their arrival date and travel plan. International students can start discussing travel plans now with housing and Global Education. International students who do not communicate with housing will be subject to the phased arrival date or Scenario 2.

 Bates is monitoring Concord Bus and Greyhound Bus possibilities for students traveling from Boston to Bates. Concord is not currently running, and Greyhound services are very limited. Bates does not have a plan to have college-sponsored transportation from Boston at this time. As August begins, Bates will have much more information on travel to campus.  

 

Students Who Are Not Coming Back

For students who don’t come back, according to the ICE policy, the student’s SEVIS record will be terminated; not their visa. A student may use their unexpired F-1 visa to enter the U.S. for the winter semester. While outside the U.S., the student will be able to continue online classes and make progress toward their degree requirements. It will have no negative impact on graduation. 

Students can still decide whether they are coming back or not through Sept 2. The student must inform Bates on their decision.

 

Who to Contact

Contact Shelley Palmer ([email protected]) for an individual discussion on visas, expedited visa dates, support letters, and anything related. Shelly can issue students new I-20s for those who wish to return for the fall. An updated I-20 will be issued electronically via email and allow five business days for receipt of the I-20. Priority will be given to students with pending visa appointments. 

Darren Gallant ([email protected]) can also be contacted for any questions

Contact Dean Reese [email protected] in regards to any travel plan questions, arrival questions (buses, transportation to campus) etc.

Students need to contact [email protected] and [email protected] to inform them of the student’s arrival date and travel plan.

 

Other questions and answers around the scenarios related to F-1 visa holders, I-20’s, SEVIS, OPT/CPT and outcomes of the ICE regulations announced on Monday, July 6 can be reviewed on Bates’ extensive FAQ page. If a student still has questions please fill out The Bates Student’s anonymous survey and we will do our best to get them answered.