Reminders for International Students and Scholars Regarding Attending a Protest or Demonstration

April 24, 2024

Considering the recent protests on Hewitt Quadrangle (Beinecke Plaza) and other parts of campus, we wanted to share some resources and guidance with our international community at Yale regarding participating in a protest or demonstration. First, we hope that you were able to read the recent statements from President Salovey on campus safety, peaceful assembly, and civil discourse and on campus activity, as well as the message from Kimberly Goff-Crews, the Secretary and Vice President for University Life, regarding university policies on outdoor spaces, chalking, postering, and structures.

OISS general guidance about participating in a protest can be found our website. On this page you will find the Yale policies you need to be aware of around free expression and peaceable assembly that are also highlighted in the university statements above. In addition, we outline both your rights as a nonimmigrant in the U.S., as well as potential risks of a possible arrest. The First Amendment protections applies to you as an international visitor, and you may choose to participate in peaceful public demonstrations and protests. You also have the right to remain silent and do not have to discuss your immigration or citizenship status with police, immigration agents, or other officials.

However, it is important for you, as a non-citizen, to be aware that if you are arrested, charged, or convicted while participating in a protest, this could impact your current and future immigration status, any future immigration or visa applications, and your interactions with immigration and consular authorities. While participating in a protest, if the law enforcement officials give any instruction to end activities or leave the area, you should comply with those instructions to avoid an arrest or charge.

Before attending a public demonstration, you should be fully informed of your rights, as well as possible risks. You should also prepare to ensure your safety and keep in touch with others in the event of an escalation. Please review our resources and plan carefully.