For the 2018-2019 academic year, international students at the University of Iowa hailed from 115 different countries, making up approximately 10% of the student body. In addition to facing all of the same legal issues faced by domestic students, international students also face the additional challenge of navigating U.S. immigration laws.
This fact was reflected in the make-up of the students who used Student Legal Services (SLS) over the past year. While international students at Iowa make up approximately 10% of the student body, they made up approximately 22% of the students SLS saw this year. While our fiscal year 2019 numbers are not yet complete, in 2018 Student Legal Services saw a 44% increase in demand for immigration related advice over the prior fiscal year.
Student Legal Services Supervising Attorney and Director Christopher Malloy suspect he knows the reason for the increase. “It seems likely that much of this disparity is generated by the fact that International Students are dealing with the additional challenge of complying with immigration laws at a time in our country when those laws and their effects are neither predictable nor clear.”
“Student Legal Services is absolutely committed to doing everything we can to help our International Students navigate an ever-changing and highly complex body of immigration laws and regulations, and working together with our campus partners to ensure the best experience for our international students.”
In addition to providing legal advice to international students, Student Legal Services presents on Iowa laws to every group of incoming international students at their on-campus orientations, and gives an optional streaming mini-seminar to incoming international students on renting in Iowa City before they arrive in the country.
Supervising Attorney and Director Christopher Malloy has been recognized for this work by the International Student and Scholar Services through the presentation of an International Advocate Award for the 2017-2018 school year, and Student Legal Services’ work in this area has been recognized in the local media.
2019 Year In Review
This article is part of the 2019 Year in Review, which highlights some of the Division of Student Life's accomplishments from the previous academic year.