The US immigration and customs enforcement (ICE) has released a press release on their website yesterday, to modify temporary exemptions for nonimmigrant students taking online courses during the fall 2020 semester.
This decision has been finalized and to be implemented immediately. The press release stated that the F-1 and M-1 visa holders attending schools fully operating online may have to evacuate the US, except if they transfer to a school with an in-person instruction to remain in lawful status.
The release also stated that the F-1 visa holders attending schools operating under the normal in-person teaching as well as those attending schools operating under the hybrid model (online and offline) are not affected by this declaration if they are bound by the existing federal regulations and have their SEVIS updated.
The ICE further stated that 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.
Schools are beginning to restructure and put up measures for the benefit of the stay lite and newly enrolled students. Students are advised to wait on a decision from their schools before taking any step.
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