Update on US Visa Guidelines for International Students

July 15, 2020
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Soka Founders Hall lighted up in the evening

Dear Soka Community,

I would like to share with you an update regarding the SEVP COVID-19 fall guidance for international students provided on July 6, 2020. Great news was just announced!

Tuesday at a court hearing regarding an action filed by Harvard and MIT requesting a temporary restraining order against the new policy, the government agreed to rescind the July 6, 2020, directive. This means the government reverts back to a March guidance that allowed international students to remain in the US while taking a fully online course load. The new direction is intended to be applied on a nationwide basis which includes SUA students.

Soka University of America joined many other US institutions and leaders nationwide in opposing the policy. Last week Soka signed an American Council on Education letter encouraging senators and Congressional representatives to withdraw the DHS guidance. Soka also joined amicus briefs (friend of the court) supporting lawsuits by the state of California and UC system, which now no longer will be necessary. This is a victory not only for our international students but also for our entire Soka community!

For those international students currently residing in the US who are still planning to return home, our financial aid office will continue to provide the additional support I outlined when the new SEVP guidelines were introduced. Further details on this financial aid assistance, including by when students must apply, will be sent directly to affected students by Andrew Woolsey, Dean of Enrollment Services.

The health and well-being of our students and community continues to be the top priority for us. We will continue to send updates as warranted.


Edward M. Feasel
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Note: This message was delivered to the Soka community via email on Tuesday, July 14, 2020.