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MEMORANDUM

Date:

March 20, 2020


To:

All Graduate Deans, Associate Deans, School Directors, Department Chairs, Coordinators and Staff


From:

UF Graduate School and UF International Center


RE:

US Department of State Suspending Routine Visa Services


NAFSA: Association of International Educators has alerted us to this posting that appeared March 18, 2020 on the US Department of State's Facebook page:

In response to worldwide challenges related to the outbreak of COVID-19, the Department of State is suspending routine visa services in most countries worldwide. Embassies and consulates in these countries will cancel all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments as of March 18, 2020. These embassies and consulates will resume routine visa services as soon as possible, but we are unable to provide a specific date at this time. Check the website of the embassy or consulate for its current operating status: usembassy.gov<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__usembassy.gov_&d=DwIFAg&c=sJ6xIWYx-zLMB3EPkvcnVg&r=HtfsZuOsGnFe2yZQk1P6WDtAZ93wBJyvUNyQ_Dv9jhk&m=T-VJZegsYHp5dNbypkZVo0r2E1aBxLQTvcRxARowG7k&s=flmv9e_i1ZKz5KNtRWmqnO21M80GxFijmpDmDW0YgVQ&e= >

(Source: US Department of State: Consular Affairs Facebook Posting<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.facebook.com_travelgov_photos_a.260627648148_10158060554998149_&d=DwIFAg&c=sJ6xIWYx-zLMB3EPkvcnVg&r=HtfsZuOsGnFe2yZQk1P6WDtAZ93wBJyvUNyQ_Dv9jhk&m=T-VJZegsYHp5dNbypkZVo0r2E1aBxLQTvcRxARowG7k&s=wEKlvdVHgTzgo0wN2hQSHw-LuQMGqtlFLZ4uAtsoywg&e= >)
Given that there is no definite timeline provided, along with the fluidity of the unchartered waters through which this health crisis is taking us, we cannot be sure how this change in visa services will impact students admitted to graduate programs at UF for the remainder of 2020.
Thus, whenever possible, the UF International Center recommends admitting students for Fall 2020 or later, rather than for Summer B/C 2020, to minimize the need to defer students who may not be able to obtain their visas in time.  Departments and programs are otherwise encouraged to continue to review and make admission decisions as usual for international applicants.
We will keep you posted and share any further information with you as it comes our way.