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International Student Service DeliveryINT-07

Scope

University units involved in the provision of non-immigrant international student services, including pre-arrival preparation and orientation, visa and immigration advising, and on-going academic, cultural, and social support.  For matters concerning the recruitment and admission of international students, see IU Policy INT:05: Use of Agents in International Student Recruitment.

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Policy Statement

Only appointed employees of Indiana University are authorized to deliver non-immigrant international student services, including recruitment and admission (see IU Policy INT-05: Use of Agents in International Student Recruitment), pre-arrival preparation and orientation, visa and immigration advising, and on-going academic, cultural, and social support.  In addition, IU campuses that enroll an average of 25 international students or more per semester are required to meet minimum international student service staffing levels as detailed under the “International Student Enrollment” section of this document.  Finally, the Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs (EVPUA), in consultation with the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs (OVPIA) and the appropriate campus Chancellor, determines whether average international student enrollment may exceed 25 students per semester.  

International Student Service Delivery

The use of agents or any other individual, company or organization as part of a contractual arrangement, partnership, or any other arrangement that results in payment for pre-arrival preparation and orientation (commonly referred to by third party providers as “pathway programs”), visa and immigration advising, and on-going academic, cultural, and social support is not permitted.  Thus, Indiana University units shall not enter into contractual arrangements or any other third party arrangement to deliver these services.  Appointed employees may not receive compensation in any form from any other party for services related to the recruitment, admission, enrollment, pre-arrival preparation and orientation, visa and immigration advising, or on-going academic, cultural, or social support provided to international students at Indiana University.  

This policy does not preclude the use of “institutional consultants” for purposes of providing indirect services in support of the University’s efforts to ensure excellence in the provision of international student services.  “Institutional consultant” is defined as an individual, company or organization engaged on a fee-for-services basis.  Institutional consultants provide indirect services, such as translation services, financial verification services for visa purposes, foreign credential evaluation services, developing media campaigns, identifying prospects through testing services, assessing orientation programs and services, and similar kinds of activity in support of a unit’s efforts.  

Failure to provide international students with accurate and timely advice or to comply as required with Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Labor (DOL), and Department of State (DOS) regulations could result in major penalties and fines, up to and including loss of the University’s authorization to admit and enroll international students.  As a result, the University is committed to ensuring that visa, immigration, and other essential international student support services are performed only by appointed employees of Indiana University who have met rigorous training requirements as established by the UA-Office of International Services (OIS) and have subsequently been authorized by the President of Indiana University as per DHS regulation to serve as Designated School Official (DSO).  

International Student Enrollment

Indiana University is committed to ensuring that each IU campus has the appropriate staffing, service, and support capabilities in place to meet international student enrollment levels and goals.  The UA-OIS is positioned to continue to provide centralized support of international student enrollment up to an average of 25 students per semester on the regional campuses.  Likewise, the IUPUI Office of International Affairs is positioned to do the same for the Columbus Center.  The IU Fort Wayne campus is administered by Purdue University, and as such is not subject to this policy.

The following minimum staffing is required on campuses with international enrollment that exceeds and average of 25 students per semester:

For enrollment on average of 25-50 students per semester:

A. Dedicated 0.5FTE professional staff member with a direct reporting relationship to the appropriate campus personnel, and an indirect reporting relationship to the UA-OIS Director of International Student and Scholar Advising.  In the case of the IUPUI Columbus Center, the reporting relationship would be to the appropriate staff member in the IUPUI-OIA.

i. The staff member must meet the minimum qualifications for Designated School Official (DSO) certification as established by the Department of Homeland Security, and also satisfy the training and certification requirements as established by UA-OIS.

ii. At a minimum, staff roles and responsibilities should include serving as liaison with UA-OIS (or IUPUI-OIA in the case of the Columbus Center) throughout the international admissions process; serving as primary point of contact for the student post-admission and pre-arrival to campus; ensuring that appropriate arrival and permanent housing accommodation needs are in place; providing an orientation to the campus and community; meeting the ongoing cultural adaptation and adjustment needs of students and assisting with a wide range of personal, social, academic, and cultural issues and concerns; coordinating course placement testing, academic advising and registration; advising on visa and immigration matters; and Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) reporting responsibilities in consultation with UA-OIS.  The UA-OIS has established a position and classification approved by University Human Resources (UHR) for this purpose (o.5FTE PAE3AD International Student Advisor).  Any changes to the position description must be approved by the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs and UHR. 

For enrollment on average of 50-100 students per semester:

B. Dedicated 1.oFTE professional staff member with a direct reporting relationship to the appropriate campus personnel, and an indirect reporting relationship to the UA-OIS Director of International Student and Scholar Advising.  In the case of the IUPUI Columbus Center, the reporting relationship would be to the appropriate staff member in the IUPUI-OIA.  

The UA-OIS has established a position and classification approved by University Human Resources (UHR) for this purpose (1.0FTE PAE3AD International Student Advisor).  Any changes to the position description must be approved by the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs and UHR.

For enrollment on average which exceeds 100 students per semester, the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs will work with campus leadership in determining additional staffing needs.  

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Reason for Policy

Indiana University is committed to excellence in the provision of international student services.  The overall goals of this policy are to ensure that international students receive an appropriate array of services and the expert staff support they need while studying at an IU campus; that complex federal compliance, reporting, and recordkeeping responsibilities are met; and that the reputation of IU as a leader in the field of international education and exchange is maintained.

Failure to provide accurate and timely advice or to comply as required with Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Labor (DOL), and Department of State (DOS) regulations could result in major penalties and fines, up to and including loss of the University’s authorization to admit and enroll international students.  In addition, negative student experiences are detrimental to the University’s reputation, and immigration-related compliance violations can be particularly harmful.

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Procedures

Campus Chancellors interested in strategically growing international student enrollment are advised to contact the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs (OVPIA) and the Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs (EVPUA) in advance of extensive planning of any such initiative, in order to determine the fit between the proposed activity, IU’s International Strategic Plan, campus mission, and University-wide policies that will govern implementation.  OVPIA is responsible for assessing campus readiness for international student enrollment growth and determining on-campus staffing levels that may be required beyond those outlined in the “International Student Enrollment” section of this policy.  International student enrollment and services present special circumstances that have an impact on the reputation of the University, and require staff expertise to meet federal compliance responsibilities.  

Note: As of April 30, 2014, the IU Bloomington, IUPUI, and IU South Bend campuses have met the above support requirements and authorizations for their current numbers of international students. 

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Definitions

Agent (for purposes of this policy) – an individual, company or organization engaged to provide pre-arrival preparation and orientation, visa and immigration advising, and on-going academic, cultural, and social support as part of a contractual agreement, partnership or any other arrangement that results in payment for these services.  

Institutional Consultant (for purposes of this policy) – an individual, company or organization engaged by Indiana University on a fee-for-services basis for purposes of providing indirect services in support of the University’s efforts to ensure excellence in the provision of international student services.    

International Services (for purposes of this policy) – the provision of non-immigrant international student services, including pre-arrival preparation and orientation, visa and immigration advising, and on-going academic, cultural, and social support.

International Student - non-immigrant non-degree, short-term, exchange, and degree-seeking students who attend an IU campus. Common visa types include B-1/2; F-1/2; J-1/2; H-1B/4.

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Sanctions

Violations of university policies, including the failure to avoid a prohibited activity or obtain required approvals, will be dealt with in accordance with applicable university policies and procedures. These may include disciplinary actions up to and including termination from the university.

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Additional Contacts

Title Contact Name Phone Email
Policy - OVPIA Christopher Viers 812-855-9086 cviers@iu.edu

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History

This policy was established in May 2014 and based on a review of international student and scholar services. President McRobbie asked that the recommendations outlined in that review be implemented in a February 2013 memo.

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