Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA) final regulations in effect July 1st: How is this applicable to immigrant students and visa holders?

Final regulations issued in October, 2014 to implement portions of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) containing requirements for institutions of higher education came into effect on July 1, 2015. Pursuant to these regulations, colleges are required to provide written notification to students and employees concerning the availability of VAWA-related services (such as counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, and visa and immigration assistance); they are also to provide this information in writing to victims of VAWA crimes. 
With respect to foreign students, the regulations make clear that "Title IX protects all students at recipient institutions in the United States regardless of national origin, immigration status, or citizenship status." Additionally, the regulations require "schools to ensure that all students regardless of their immigration status, including undocumented students and international students, are aware of their rights under Title IX." The regulations "encourage schools to provide foreign national complainants with information about the U nonimmigrant status and the T nonimmigrant status."  Finally, "threatening students with deportation or invoking a student’s immigration status in an attempt to intimidate or deter a student from filing a Title IX complaint would violate Title IX’s protections against retaliation." For more details regarding the impact the regulations have on institutions of higher learning generally as well as specific to immigrant victims of sexual assault and violence see this link.
For more guidance for Universities and Colleges, click here.

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