US says foreign students whose classes fully moved online cannot remain in country

The United States has announced that foreign students whose classes are fully virtual for the fall semester of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic cannot remain in the country. 

It will not be issuing visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programmes that are fully online for the fall semester. These students will also not be allowed to enter US. 

In a statement, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said, "Nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States." 

Harvard University. Photo courtesy: Unsplash
Harvard University. Photo courtesy: Unsplash

It added, "Active students currently in the US enrolled in such programmes must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status."

Foreign students attending schools operating under normal in-person classes can take a maximum of one class online. For those attending schools adopting a hybrid model – a mixture of online and in person classes – will be allowed to take more than one class or three credit hours online.