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Legal Resources for Students

International students welcomed to TCU

In the wake of 9/11, USCIS outlined three groups that are not permitted enrollment in a degree setting—applicants holding a B-1/B-2 visa or applicants holding a J-2 or F-2 visa.  All other immigration classifications are permitted study, provided their visa status does not pre-empt their ability to obtain a degree.  An example of the latter would be a student who is required to complete an internship that USCIS would classify as work, but who is in a classification that does not allow employment.

Immigration classification of students enrolled at TCU include two formal classifications, F-1 and J-1 students, and occasionally faculty.  Students or faculty in this category are provided support via their concentration—students and interns work with the Office of International Services—while faculty work with the Office of the Provost.  Inquiries into these classifications and how to obtain them may be made directly to the particular office.

Other immigration classifications do not require institutional status maintenance, and should first and foremost abide by the regulations found within their principal status.  Common categories of non-Citizen students enrolled at TCU include Legal Permanent Residence, H-4, R-2, L-2, Asylee, TPS and Diplomat.  USCIS does not consider study when assessing the merits of these visa statuses.

One other classification bears consideration, as well as its sub-classification.  DACA is a legally-recognized classification that is composed of people who entered the United States without documentation, at an age when they could not give consent or dissent.   This category is often—inaccurately—confused with “undocumented,” which by legal definition would be those of consent-giving age who entered the United States without inspection by someone from USCIS.

A final category would be all of those participants who have violated a legal status that had once been their legal platform in the United States.  For these final three categories, Plyler vs. Doe (Texas) established by decision of the US Supreme Court in 1982 a number of protections for such students, affirming that a university would need to show a compelling reason why denial of education is in the best interest of the organization.

Following these broad outlines, TCU upholds the decision of the US Supreme Court, as well as its own mission to “educate leaders to think and act as responsible citizens in the global community,” and its status as a private university that values diversity and inclusivity.   TCU recognizes federal guidelines overseeing immigration law and the rights of all TCU students to obtain a degree within these guidelines.