New rules: Foreign pupils must leave US if classes go online

International students must leave or transfer to another college if theirs goes entirely online this fall. Even colleges with mix of online and in-person courses will bar foreign students from taking them online.


National News

July 8, 2020 - 10:15 AM

The rule requires international students enrolled in online-only courses to "depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction, to remain in lawful status" or face consequences including deportation, according to an ICE statement. (Dreamstime/TNS)

International students will be forced to leave the U.S. or transfer to another college if their schools offer classes entirely online this fall, under new guidelines issued Monday by federal immigration authorities.

The guidelines, issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, provide additional pressure for universities to reopen even amid growing concerns about the recent spread of COVID-19 among young adults. Colleges received the guidance the same day that some institutions, including Harvard University, announced that all instruction will be offered remotely.

President Donald Trump has insisted that schools and colleges return to in-person instruction as soon as possible. Soon after the guidance was released, Trump repeated on Twitter that schools must reopen this fall, adding that Democrats want to keep schools closed “for political reasons, not for health reasons.”

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