While university officials mull over how to start classes in the fall, international students are now dependent on their choice to stay in the U.S.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued new guidelines Monday saying international students with F-1 and M-1 visas must attend classes in person or they will be deported. Typically, online classes are allowed.
According to a press release from ICE, "Due to COVID-19, SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) instituted a temporary exemption regarding online courses for the spring and summer semesters. This policy permitted nonimmigrant students to take more online courses than normally permitted by federal regulation to maintain their nonimmigrant status during the COVID-19 emergency."
The U.S. Department of State will deny visas to students who were planning to attend a university that decides to go fully online. For international students already in the U.S., ICE says they will have to "depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status."
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