Online-Only Classes Mean International Students May Be Forced to Leave the United States

WASHINGTON, D.C.–Many universities and colleges in the United States have transitioned to fully online-only classes for the upcoming fall semester due to implications from COVID-19. And those who haven’t are still seriously considering it.

international students may be forced to leave the USA if universities and colleges transition to online-only learning.
Many international students may need to leave the United States if universities and colleges transition to online-only learning due to COVID-19.

This could have serious implications for international students who are already in the United States and prevent new students from entering the country.

According to a news release from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Monday, July 6, students on certain visas ,”may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States”. The release continued the following:

“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.”

If students are attending a university or college that has adopted a hybrid model, meaning they plan to have classes both online and in-person, nonimmigrant F-1 students will be allowed to take more than one class (three credit hours) online.

Many universities and colleges in the United States are continuing to create plans on what is the best path forward considering COVID-19. Harvard and Princeton universities just announced their plans to bring everyone back to campus, but students will not arrive all at the same time.

If you are a current international student or planned to study in the United States beginning in fall 2020, please be sure to contact an international student advisor at your university or college immediately.