Advocating for International Education

Advocating for International Education

UC Berkeley has a rich tradition of international engagement with institutions and researchers from all over the world who are committed to the advancement of research, scholarship, and service. We are of the firm belief that the international student and scholar community are vital to the intellectual life of the university and to our teaching and research mission. We remain committed to protecting these interests. This is a time when we are experiencing unprecedented events both within the U.S. and globally. It is therefore incumbent upon us to advocate for sound legislation and policies that are more welcoming and reflect our values.  

The University of California system and UC Berkeley continue to monitor and advocate for sound legislation around immigration matters. Following is an update of what efforts are being made to address specific issues. When situations arise where you can assist, we will provide links for you to follow to join our advocacy efforts. For updates regarding the most recent U.S. immigration policy, Executive Orders, and travel advisories, please see BIO's Immigration Policy Updates & FAQ webpage.

ICE Guidance for Fall 2020

On July 6th, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued guidance to universities indicating that it would issue a regulation in the coming weeks that could potentially force many international students to return to their home countries if they are taking entirely online classes for the Fall 2020 semester. BIO is closely following the situation and will post developments and opportunities for advocacy to this page.

  • 7/08/2020 - The University of California announced plans to file a federal lawsuit seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to bar ICE from enforcing the order
  • 7/08/2020 - Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology filed a federal lawsuit seeking a temporary restraining order prohibiting enforcement of the order

  • 7/07/2020 - Message from Chancellor Christ

Take Action

Fall 2020 ICE Guidance:




  • Share your experience as an international student with NAFSA's Connecting our World. NAFSA uses your stories to better advocate for international students and scholars.

Optional Practical Training (OPT) and H-1B Advocacy

The administration continues to target Optional Practical Training (OPT), which allows international students to work for 12 months, usually after graduation, and 24 additional months in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. A summary of a rule proposal on the agenda states: “ICE [Immigration and Custom Enforcement] will amend existing regulations and revise the practical training options available to nonimmigrant students on F and M visas.” Below are some recent advocacy efforts: