Immigration FAQ for UC Employees

We know that many members of the University of California community are concerned about immigration enforcement actions occurring across the country and have asked about the possibility that enforcement actions could occur at UC. This FAQ responds to your questions and provides information about how to respond in such a situation. Please keep in mind that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policies are in transition; we may update this guidance as warranted.

Does it make a difference if a student is an international student?

International students and scholars are subject to different requirements. Universities are required to exchange data with federal immigration agencies on the status of international students on F-1, J-1 or M visas through use of a government database named “SEVIS,” which is part of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). In addition, certain information about those students is required to be retained and produced by the University upon request from DHS and ICE.
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According to the Department of Education, the Family Education Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) permits institutions to comply with information requests from DHS in order to comply with the requirements of the SEVP program. However, this does NOT create a blanket waiver of an international student’s FERPA rights; the information that can be disclosed is limited to the categories listed in DHS regulations, and a request must be made to a campus Designated School Official (DSO). Other information about international students is entitled to the same FERPA protection that otherwise governs student records. If you are not a DSO, you should refer any DHS or ICE request for information about an international student to Chief Campus Counsel, Nancy Hamill, at (510) 381-2408 (cell) / (805) 893-3459 (campus office) / (510) 987-8720 (Oakland office) / or email