FAQ: Immigration; Protection of Individual Privacy

What privacy protections and rights do international faculty, staff, students, scholars, and undocumented individuals have in light of recent changes in federal immigration policies and practices?

Foreign students, scholars, and faculty continue to be protected by the same privacy laws and university policies as U.S. citizens. Generally, U-M will only provide information to third parties regarding any student, faculty member or staff person under the following conditions: (1) with the prior written consent of the subject individual; (2) to provide directory information that is not pre-sorted by non-directory information such as membership in a status protected by U-M’s Nondiscrimination Policy; (3) in response to a valid subpoena or court/agency order; (4) to protect the health and safety of the individual or others; or (5) if otherwise required by law, such as in compliance with reporting obligations or in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Information contained in student records of international students continues to be protected by the federal Family and Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA generally requires a student’s prior written consent before disclosure of student records can be made to third parties. There are exceptions that permit disclosure without a student’s prior consent, such as in response to a lawful subpoena or court/agency order. In such cases, U-M will notify the student of the subpoena and court/agency order before disclosure is made unless the subpoena or order strictly prohibits U-M from doing so. For more information regarding the U-M’s FERPA policy visit the web sites for the U-M Registrar on each campus.

Similarly, employment records of international faculty/scholars continue to be protected from unauthorized disclosure by the Michigan Bullard-Plawecki Employee Right To Know Act.

Requests for information about J- or F-visa holders sponsored by U-M are handled by the International Center for the Ann Arbor Campus, the Office of International Affairs for the Dearborn Campus, and the International Center for the Flint campus.