International Student Legal Issues


The course is “Immigration and legal issues in international higher education”

Task #1:This week, and throughout the course, we have looked at a number of areas and situations that can be problems for students in general and international students in particular. Assume you are the Director of the International Student Office at a college or university. What things can/should you do to prepare for the various situations or incidents that can occur? How would/should you address the issue with international students differently (or the same) for domestic students? Identify a specific situation or two and then explain how you would proactively and, if necessary, reactively respond. OR, in general, what should an International Student Office do to prepare for these types of situations?

Course topics we’ve gone through:
Foundations in Law, Policy and Immigration in Higher Education
The U. S. Immigration System, The Patriot Act, SEVIS
Visa: F-1 Student Visas
 F-1 Practical Training
J-1 and M-1 Students
Visas: B – Visitors and Employees
H-1B Visa and Application for Permanent Residency
The College-Student Relationship
• Legal status of students
• Academic misconduct & dismissals
Title IX and Student Safety
• Sexual Harassment 
• Title IX
• Campus Security
• Student Discipline
Undocumented students

Task #2: respond to your classmates post
Sarah post: As the Director of an International Student Office, I would ensure that my staff and advisors excel in communication skills. While representing the institutional goals and policies overall, it would be important to foster an open and trustworthy relationship with ALL students. This would be critical for social and cultural awareness for any international student as well. Given the complexities that international student may face while on campus, it would be critical to have a wide net of communication skills within the office. This could be in the form of foreign language awareness, social internet sites, and other networking potential that would be encouraged and used to ensure information sharing across all facets of the higher education paths. For “language proficiency is the key to effective agency” (Marginson, 2012, p. 211). As the Director, I would encourage my staff to learn any foreign language skills whether in the form of traditional studies, online applications or programs or general travel abroad themselves. These skills will not only assist the students as a whole, but also create additional layers of relationship building and personal connections which are critical to the school experience as a whole.

This tailors into the Shelter in Place notifications which are typically provided in English across American higher educational institutions (Johnson, 2014). While most international students are considered proficient in English, and is often a requirement for entry, truly understanding the need and procedures associated with such a notification could be lost in translation, literally. As Director, I would ensure that such procedural guidelines are provided to each international student in their native language. Similarly, an informational pamphlet would be provided to the student’s parents or guardians. Given the increase in school shootings, terrorist attacks and campus violence overall, understanding what to do after a notification is disseminated is nearly more important than the notice itself. Similarly, these procedural suggestions would be especially critical for actions that may occur in the neighbor communities of universities and schools. Given the general lack of preparedness that exists throughout the public, in a time of urgency, understanding should not be left as a last minute detail. By providing such information at orientation, and encouraging open dialogue for such “in case of” plans, ALL students, but especially international students, can become familiar with appropriate procedures and reporting best practices which may not otherwise be consider standard practice for them.

Sample Solution