The ICE on Friday released that “F and M students in new or initial status after March 9, 2020, will not be able to enter the United States to enroll in a US school as a nonimmigrant student for the fall term to pursue a full course of study that is 100 percent online,” Xinhua news agency reported. The United States will not permit the entry of new international students for the upcoming fall semester if their courses are completely online, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said.
“Students actively enrolled at a US school on March 9, 2020, who subsequently took courses online while outside of the country can re-enter the United States, even if their school is engaged solely in distance learning,” it added.
The ICE on Friday said that the guidelines are released for continuing F and M nonimmigrant students who were invalid F-1 or M-1 nonimmigrant status on March 9, 2020, including those who previously registered in online classes who are outside of the United States and seeking to re-enter the country this fall. The directive, which came as the White House has plans for the reopening of schools despite the pandemic, had met strong backlash from both home and abroad as well as lawsuits supported by more than 200 universities and 18 states.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rise in the United States, many universities have announced plans to hold most or all classes online this fall to protect the health and safety of their students and faculty. We abhor any policies that seek to force us to choose between our community’s health and the education of our international students. The University is working closely with members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation to extend the online exemption to newly admitted students and ensure that this flexibility remains in place for the duration of the public health emergency,” Khurana said. “Unfortunately, we don’t anticipate any change to the policy in time for the fall semester.”