ICE says international students taking online-only courses must leave the US

Jul 7 2020, 12:19 pm

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has told international students on The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) that if their school is going online-only this fall, they must depart the United States and cannot remain through the fall semester.

According to ICE, “the US Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will US Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States. Active students currently in the United States enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status.”

The new rules allow students to take up to three credit hours online but require students to attend mostly in-person lectures. The students will continue paying tuition in full while working from their home countries. “If students find themselves [having to take mostly online courses], they must leave the country or take alternative steps to maintain their nonimmigrant status such as a reduced course load or appropriate medical leave.”

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