International Student Support

International students face unique challenges at Cornell. From fighting for stronger policies on immigration status to securing financial support for moving expenses and dependent children, a union can help tackle issues that Cornell students from outside the United States face.

Many of the legal rights and protections that U.S. citizens are guaranteed simply do not apply to international students. Students with dependent spouses or children, for example, do not qualify for the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. They also don’t qualify for federal loans that some families of graduate students depend on to pay the bills. With a union, we can work to make sure that all students can afford to work at Cornell. At NYU, for example, graduate students negotiated a contract in 2015 that set up a $150,000 fund to support health-care for dependent spouses and children. The fund will increase to $200,000 by the end of this year.

President Trump’s recent reforms of the H1-B visa process may make it more difficult and expensive to secure legal immigration status for Cornell students. A union could help fight for a contract that guarantees strong financial and legal support when international students go through the immigration process.

A number of international students report that they experience discrimination on the basis of their identity in the workplace. With the current grievance process, it is often impossible to address these issues. To read more about the current grievance process and how it could be made more fair, click here.