In major college admissions news, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced today that if an international student’s university switches to online-only courses this fall, the international student will either need to transfer to a school that offers in-person instruction or return to their homeland. If the student fails to either transfer colleges or return to their homeland, ICE has announced the student will risk deportation. As our nation’s universities grapple with whether or not they’ll re-open their campuses this fall, university administrators will now have to factor in ICE’s newly announced policy impacting international students.
ICE’s New Rules Governing International Students on U.S. College Campuses
As Priscilla Alvarez reports for CNN in a piece entitled “International students may need to leave US if their universities transition to online-only learning,” “In a news release Monday, ICE said that students who fall under certain visas ‘may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States,’ adding, ‘The U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States.’ The agency suggested that students currently enrolled in the US consider other measures, like transferring to schools with in-person instruction. There’s an exception for universities using a hybrid model, such as a mix of online and in-person classes. Visa requirements for students have always been strict and coming to the US to take online-only courses has been prohibited.”
The New Rules Will Impact Colleges Differently, Based on Their Proposed Mode of Instruction
Harvard University announced today that while some students will live on campus this fall, all fall course instruction will be delivered online. So based on the guidance of ICE, it seems that Harvard’s international students will need to complete their online coursework from their home countries this fall. Yale University, Dartmouth College, and the University of Pennsylvania have announced essentially hybrid models of courses for the fall. So, based on our understanding, it seems like international students at Yale, Dartmouth, and UPenn would be allowed to stay in the United States. But these things are all changing rapidly so stay tuned for updates.
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