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ASLA and CELA Issue Joint Statement on International Student Visa News

On Monday, July 6, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) released an announcement which modifies temporary exemptions for nonimmigrant students taking online courses during the fall 2020 semester. The announcement states:

  • Nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States.
  • Nonimmigrant F-1 students attending schools operating under normal in-person classes are bound by existing federal regulations.
  • Nonimmigrant F-1 students attending schools adopting a hybrid model—that is, a mixture of online and in person classes—will be allowed to take more than one class or three credit hours online.

In response, on July 9, The Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) and ASLA issued a joint statement strongly opposing the SEVP’s modifications.

“Landscape architecture students come from all around the globe to study at accredited programs in the United States. Each student brings a unique perspective that enriches the learning experience for themselves and their classmates, and ultimately lifts the landscape architecture profession as a whole,” said ASLA President Wendy Miller, FASLA. “Depriving those dedicated students of the opportunity to remain in the United States is profoundly short-sighted and detrimental not only to the field of landscape architecture, but to every field of study.”


Additionally, ASLA signed onto an open letter through the STEM Education Coalition to the White House, DHS, and U.S. Department of State urging that the Administration withdraw its recently issued final rule on student visas. ASLA joins more than 50 major scientific and technical organizations currently signed onto this effort. The STEM Education Coalition is a partner of ASLA’s to help further its goal of achieving STEM designation and recognition.

As an alliance of more than 600 business, professional, and education organizations, the STEM Education Coalition works aggressively to raise awareness in Congress, the Administration, and other organizations about the critical role that STEM education plays in enabling the U.S. to remain the economic and technological leader of the global marketplace of the 21st century.

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