Carnegie Mellon University

September 25, 2020

Dear Members of the Carnegie Mellon Community:

As you may have seen, today the Department of Homeland Security proposed new regulations that would, among other things, place specific expiration dates on international student and scholar (F-1 and J-1) permission to stay in the United States.

Currently, students and scholars are permitted to remain in the U.S. for “duration of status,” meaning the period of time they are pursuing their program/research, plus any authorized practical or academic training, which can be extended by notification to the government as long as students/scholars are complying with the rules relevant to their immigration status. The Department of Homeland Security's proposed new rule, if adopted in its current form, would set fixed, limited terms of stay and would require applications to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to extend the length of stay beyond the limit. This would greatly increase uncertainty for these students and scholars, as well as those who provide their academic and practical training, without a meaningful offsetting benefit to the nation.

It is important to note that, currently, this is proposed regulation and will now go through the Federal rulemaking process, including a period for public comment and advocacy.

Although we continue to analyze the proposed rule and its impact on our community of international students and scholars, we believe these measures, if enacted in their current form, would create unnecessary constraints on our international students and scholars as they pursue their academic and research endeavors and, ultimately, their degrees and careers.

CMU will vigorously advocate on behalf of its international scholars and we intend to oppose these unnecessary constraints. We will do so in collaboration with those within our campus community such as the Graduate Student Assembly, in addition to partnering with other colleges, universities and organizations around the country, including both the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of Public & Land Grant Universities (APLU).

Carnegie Mellon has proudly welcomed the best and brightest scholars from around the world since our founding. Our international students, faculty, staff and alumni enrich and enhance our educational and research missions. Their collective contributions provide every CMU community member the opportunity to collaborate and learn from different perspectives, which helps shape the dynamic foundation of CMU. To our international students: you are valued members of Carnegie Mellon and we will continue to advocate fiercely on your behalf.

We will share additional updates as we learn more about these proposed regulations and how they might impact our community.


Jim Garrett, Provost
J. Michael McQuade, Vice President for Research