Ian Patrick, FISM News
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office released a statement on July 6 asking nonimmigrant students currently enrolled in online-only classes for universities to either transfer to a school with an in-person curriculum or depart the United States. If they fail to do so, they will face “immigration consequences” which could include the beginning of deportation.
This was first announced by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program and is awaiting the Department of Homeland Security to publish it as a “Temporary Final Rule.”
ICE mentions that these measures are temporary and take the coronavirus pandemic into consideration.
The statement clarifies that any nonimmigrant student enrolled in a school with a normal in-person curriculum or a “hybrid model” of the online and in-person curriculum can remain in these schools and, by extension, in the United States. Depending on which of these two models a school has selected, nonimmigrant students will be allowed to take a certain amount of classes or credit hours online as well.
Here is an excerpt from the statement detailing the situation:
“Nonimmigrant F-1 [academic] and M-1 [vocational] students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States. The U.S. 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 U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States.”
Sourced from ICE, Reuters