U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) announced a new regulation for foreign students. The summary of it is that foreign students will not be granted visas or be allowed to enter the United States if they are enrolled in schools that entirely moved their courses online. If a school is going to have all its courses online this fall semester, the foreign students currently in the U.S. must leave the country and continue their studies from abroad, or, they may take alternative measures to maintain their nonimmigrant status, "such as a reduced course load or appropriate medical leave."
Those students who are currently outside of the U.S., will not be issued F-1 or M-1 visas, and if they already have such visa, they will not be allowed to enter the country.
If a school is operating as usual, international students are permitted to take a maximum of one class or three credit hours online. If a school conducts studies under a hybrid model (online and in-person courses), then a student can take more online classes or credits, but their school must certify "that the program is not entirely online, that the student is not taking an entirely online course load this semester, and that the student is taking the minimum number of online classes required to make normal progress in their degree program."
New York City's two largest private universities, New York University and Columbia have both indicated that in-person classes could occur as early as the fall with safety measures in place, including reduced density. And The City University of New York (CUNY) prepares for a "primarily virtual Fall 2020," with only a small fraction of classes meeting in person.
Students should contact their schools immediately to find out about their Fall semester courses.
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