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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 26, 2004

Immigration Issues Forum Set For March 2

In the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the U.S. government has placed international students and scholars under increasing immigration scrutiny and subjected them to a host of new and ever-changing rules and regulations. University of Iowa faculty and staff who work with international students and scholars are invited to discuss the new rules and other issues that have arisen from these changes at a forum, "From Security Checks to SEVIS: How International Student Regulations Impact UI."

Led by Scott King, director of the Office for International Students and Scholars, the forum is scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 2, in Room W401, Pappajohn Business Building.

King says new government regulations and foreign student/scholar tracking programs are having a big impact on the way our campus works. "As more and more international students face situations that prevent them from reaching or re-entering the country, faculty and staff need to deal with delays in course work and research," he says.

Even students who have studied here for several years without incident now are subject to security delays when applying for new visas, often leaving their academic departments with a scramble to fill teaching positions when they cannot return for the beginning of a semester, King says. Graduate international applications to the UI have dropped by over a third, a trend reflected throughout the country. The government's database and tracking system, SEVIS, continues to be bulky, with system limitations often overriding regulatory rights of students and scholars, and the additional paperwork required has added to the workload of many offices outside of OISS, he says.

"With the full implementation of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), and the addition of other restrictions placed on entering and staying in the U.S., we have seen a significant impact on the faculty's ability to recruit the best and brightest students," King says. "As we come to terms with such issues as fewer international applicants, new procedures and additional paperwork from students and their advisers, we need to educate ourselves about our new responsibilities."

The forum is relevant for any faculty or staff member who works with the international student and scholar community and who wishes to have insight into the many issues involved. The session is co-sponsored by OISS, the Office of Admissions and the Iowa Intensive English Program, and the Immigration Services unit of Human Resources. For more information, contact OISS at 335-0335.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026,