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International Programs

Standing with Our International Family Members

Washington State University welcomes and supports all members of the community—regardless of the country they call home.

Safety and Security: A Message to the WSU Community

A letter to our international Cougar family

July 16, 2020

Dear international Coug,

As you may know, I was an international student at WSU in the 1980s. WSU provided the educational platform for my future success in my foreign service career, including my time as ambassador to Moldova. My love and appreciation for WSU and the Cougar family brought me back to the University in 2015 as your Vice President for International Programs. It has been my honor and joy to serve, but these days, we are living through uncertain times. That is why I am writing to you today.

It may seem that recent federal government decisions from Immigration and Customs Enforcement mean that the U.S. does not welcome its international students. I want to assure you that this is absolutely not true where we live. At WSU, we highly value our international community; I hope you’ve read our recent letter from President Schulz, me, and other WSU leaders to all Cougs worldwide about the recent hurtful and unjust decisions by the federal government. As part of our international community, you directly influence our education and research mission. You help drive the innovation and economy in the state of Washington and are part of creating a learning environment that fosters peace, understanding, and global competence in a world of interconnected global challenges. And we know our international students and scholars are some of our top-performing academics. I am proud of you!

You undoubtedly remember this spring when the U.S. government allowed flexibility for international students to take online courses as colleges and universities pivoted to online instruction to ensure the health and safety of their faculty, staff, and students amid COVID-19. Then, on July 7, updated federal guidance came out stating that F-1 visa holders could not attend universities that had online coursework only. If they did, they had to transfer or face deportation. Although WSU falls under a hybrid model, which keeps our students in compliance with the new guidance, we expressed our opposition and held a town hall to discuss this unjust guidance with you. On July 14, under pressure from a lawsuit from Harvard and MIT and an outcry from schools, businesses, and even politicians across the country, the federal government rescinded its order. WSU also joined a lawsuit against this guidance that was filed on July 10 under Washington State Attorney General Ferguson. We strongly oppose any measure that would compromise the safety and health of our students from the COVID-19 pandemic. You should not have to choose between your safety and continuing your education, ever.

With this change, we go back to the guidance that governed your enrollment through late spring and summer: Remote and online classes are acceptable and international students are not required to be exclusively in a face-to-face class. Web-arranged and online courses (respecting the regulatory limitations) are acceptable for the entire fall term, including after Thanksgiving break. International students will still be required to maintain a full-time course load, however (undergraduates must take 12 credits and graduate students 10 credits). All of us in the Office of International Programs remain dedicated to serving the academic, social, and cultural needs of you and our international community. We continue our work to ensure you continue building your own educational platform at WSU as part of our efforts to foster a diverse and inclusive community. You should also know we have re-established our International Emergency Fund and are asking for donations into that fund to support you during this time.

As always, if you have any questions, please contact

We will not stop working to do what is right for our international community. Thank you for the contributions you make to WSU and the United States. You will always be welcome at WSU.

With utmost regards,

Asif J. Chaudhry, PhD
U.S. Ambassador (Ret.)
Vice President
Washington State University | International Programs
1-509-335-2541 |


March 7, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

In light of continuing concerns and some misconceptions about the novel coronavirus (COVID‑19), we are reaching out to the WSU community. We recognize that this is a particularly stressful time, but as such it is even more important to pause before reacting in difficult situations.
We are aware of multiple bias behaviors exhibited toward members of our international community, as well as our Asian American and Pacific Islander community, in recent days. As an example, cultures worldwide routinely wear face masks for protection during flu and cold season. People from the U.S. are not as familiar with that practice and may make assumptions and respond negatively. All community members, students, faculty, and staff deserve respect as well as a safe environment for learning, living, and working.
Should you experience or witness discrimination or harassment based on race, color, or national or ethnic origin, you can report concerns to the Office of Civil Rights Compliance and Investigation (CRCI).
Some examples of conduct that can be reported to CRCI include, but are not limited to:

  • Someone repeatedly tells you to leave a class, labs, or campus because of your race and/or ethnicity or connection to a specific country.
  • Someone excludes you from group activities because of your race and/or ethnicity or country of origin.
  • Someone approaches you on campus or in our community and makes a negative and/or discriminatory statement(s) about you, your race, or your country of origin.

Even if you think an experience is “not enough” to contact the Office of Civil Rights Compliance and Investigation, we encourage you to do so. Sharing information will help you connect to university resources and will help WSU monitor our shared campus experiences. This will help us determine if additional education, actions, or safety measures are appropriate.
Please also know, if you are ever in danger, immediately call 9‑1‑1 for emergency assistance.

Yours Sincerely,
Asif J. Chaudhry, U.S. Ambassador (Ret.)
Vice President
Office of International Programs

Jaime Nolan
Associate Vice President
Community, Equity and Inclusive Excellence

WSU Statements

January 30, 2017

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

Washington State University shares the deep concerns expressed nationwide about the federal executive order that restricts the ability of individuals from certain countries from being able to enter or return to the United States.

Let us be absolutely clear: We welcome and support all members of the Washington State community—regardless of the country they call home. We remain unflinchingly committed to respecting the dignity of each individual—regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, gender identity or expression, religion, or sexual orientation. We will continue to foster a diverse and inclusive community, embrace civil discourse, and strive to ensure a welcoming and safe environment for all.

For decades, Washington State University has invited and welcomed faculty, staff, and students from around the globe to study, teach, and conduct research here. We are proud of that legacy. The blending of the diverse perspectives represented by our community members enriches all of us. Put simply, it improves our ability to teach, conduct research, and serve our communities worldwide in meaningful ways.

More broadly, Washington State is dedicated to providing all students with equal access to affordable higher education and to supporting their career and life goals. That unqualified support extends to our undocumented students as well, as authorized by the state.

We are carefully monitoring developments to better understand how the executive order issued Friday will impact our community. For the short term, we are advising non-U.S. citizens and their families from the impacted countries to refrain from traveling outside the United States.

Additionally, all of the University’s resources are being made available to our international students at this challenging time. Our International Programs Global Services staff (Bryan Hall 108/509-335-4508), in particular, is prepared to listen to concerns, provide assistance, share the latest information, and refer you to other resources if the need arises.

Kirk Schulz, President
Washington State University

Asif Chaudhry, Vice President
U.S. Ambassador (Ret.)
WSU International Programs

February 9, 2017

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

As the courts continue to deliberate the federal executive order that affects the ability of some members of our international community to travel to and from the United States, we remain focused on ensuring the welfare, safety, and security of our international students, staff, and faculty.

Please see the International Programs website for the most recent information and a set of FAQs that address many of the specific concerns resulting from the executive order. We will continue to monitor developments and update our website with helpful information and relevant resources available to the community.

In addition, the Office of International Programs is providing information and advice on an ongoing basis to University departments and WSU students and scholars. IP staff have also facilitated an open session to discuss the current situation and to reassure members of our international community of our continuing support.

As President Schulz said in his message to the WSU community on January 30, Washington State University welcomes and supports all members of the community—regardless of the country they call home.

Asif Chaudhry, Vice President
U.S. Ambassador (Ret.)
WSU International Programs

Travel Ban 3.0 in Effect

July 9, 2018

On September 24, 2017, President Trump issued Proclamation 9645 (Travel Ban 3.0). Travel Ban 3.0 is currently in effect, and limits entry to the United States by certain citizens of seven countries: Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Somalia. An eighth country, Chad, was removed from this list effective April 10, 2018. The Travel Ban 3.0 restrictions on the remaining seven countries are country-specific, and tailored to the situation of each individual country. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Travel Ban 3.0 on June 26, 2018.

Entry into United States with valid visa

CountryImmigrantNon-Immigrant (B-1, B-2)Other Non-Immigrant
IranSuspendedSuspendedAdmissible (F, J, M only)
All others suspended
North KoreaSuspendedSuspendedSuspended
VenezuelaSuspendedNo gov't officials
or immediate families

NOTE: All visa holders who are admissible are still subject to additional scrutiny and/or enhanced screening requirements. See Sections 3 and 6 of proclamation for exceptions and waivers.


United States Supreme Court Upholds Travel Ban 3.0

June 29, 2018

On June 26, 2018, the Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s travel ban, which is primarily focused on Muslim countries. This New York Times article provides more information.

At Washington State University, we have and will continue to welcome people of all faiths from all over the world. The blending of the diverse perspectives represented by our community enriches all of us. It improves our ability to teach, conduct research, and serve our communities worldwide in meaningful ways. We wish to underscore that even though the travel ban is in place, it still allows for certain nonimmigrant visas from most of the listed countries.

In particular, F and J visas, which are the visas issued for most students and scholars, are allowed for five of the seven countries on the list: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Venezuela and Yemen. The ban prohibits all nonimmigrant visas for North Korea and Syria.

More details are available through the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consulate Affairs.

For more information about coming to WSU and visas please contact WSU’s Student and Scholar Advising Department: or 509-335-4508.

Everyone is welcome here! Find answers to frequently asked questions.

For previous statements from WSU regarding the travel ban, please see below.

Washington State University understands the restrictions may have impact on WSU students, faculty, and staff, both direct and indirect, that could affect your education and research, as well as your family and personal life. WSU encourages you to use any and all resources available to you.

Campus Support Services

Office of International Programs

Central resource for global education, research, and service for WSU

International Programs International Student and Scholar Services

Information for international students, staff, scholars, and departments regarding immigration and general resources

International Programs International Center

Provides peer and community resources

Multicultural Student Services
Seeks to facilitate the best undergraduate experience for multicultural, first generation, and other underrepresented students through the provision of culturally relevant services to enhance their learning and development and foster their successful transition, adjustment, persistence, achievement, and graduation

Counseling and Psychological Services
Seeks to promote the intellectual, emotional and social growth and development of WSU students

The AWARE Network
Allows you to share concerns about a student’s emotional or psychological well-being, physical health, or academic performance with colleagues who can help

Police Department and Campus Safety
Prevents and responds to violence and other campus emergencies as well as a full range of law enforcement services on WSU property and to the University community; In case of emergency, call 911

WSU Government Relations
Engages constituents at the regional, state, and federal level to implement the University’s strategic plan in public policy and external relations

Frequently Asked Questions

May I go home or travel outside the United States for summer break?

If you are a citizen from one of the countries listed in the executive order, WSU’s recommendation is you do not leave the country.

How will the Executive Order impact my travel within the United States?

WSU recommends you carry your valid passport and valid visa in addition to a copy of your I-20 (current F-1 students), DS-2019 (current J-1 students/scholars) or H-1B approval notice (current H-1B employees) with you during travel. If you have an emergency from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, please call 509-335-4508. Outside of those hours, please call 509-335-8548.

How will the Executive Order affect my pending OPT?

Currently, there is no official notice from any federal government agency that immigration benefit adjudications have been suspended in connection with the executive order. International students and scholars continue to apply for eligible immigration benefits.

May I still apply for CPT, OPT, change of status, or any other eligible immigration benefit?


Will the Executive Order put a hold on the processing of my immigration benefits?

There is nothing in the executive order to suggest a “hold” has been placed on the government’s processing of benefits. Unless the WSU Office of International Programs becomes otherwise informed, we will continue to assist in the processing of WSU appropriate immigration benefits.

How do I locate an immigration attorney?

The American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project are reputable sources for the names of immigration attorneys. Please note that these are public resources. WSU does not endorse any specific private attorneys through these agencies.

What are the campus resources for an impacted international student, scholar, or employee?

Bryan Hall, room 108 (international students), Bryan Hall, room 109 (international scholars and employees), International Center in CUB L46 or Counseling and Psychological Services in Washington Building, room 302. Additional resources may be available. Please contact the Office of International Programs Global Services Department at 509-335-4508 for further information.

Page last updated June 29, 2018

Archived Posts

WSU stands with its international scholars | July 6, 2020

Washington State University firmly supports the many international scholars affected by the recent federal action to block new H-1B visas and is working with congressional members and others to advocate on their behalf. Read more.

Recent tragedies call for self-examination | June 1, 2020

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

Racism looms over our nation’s soul.

Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. George Floyd. Three on a seemingly endless list of African American fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, loved ones, and family members, all of whom were killed because they were black.

Each a recent and stark reminder and memorial of the ugliness of historic, systemic inequality. Read more.