U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools fully online for the fall semester

Students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States. 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.

Active students currently in the United States enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status or potentially face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings.

Students attending schools operating under normal in-person classes are bound by existing federal regulations. Eligible F students may take a maximum of one class or three credit hours online (see 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G)).

Students attending schools adopting a hybrid model—that is, a mixture of online and in person classes—will be allowed to take more than one class or three credit hours online. These schools must certify to SEVP, through the Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” that the program is not entirely online, that the student is not taking an entirely online course load for the fall 2020 semester, and that the student is taking
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the minimum number of online classes required to make normal progress in their degree program.

The above exemptions do not apply to F-1 students in English language training programs or M-1 students, who are not permitted to enroll in any online courses (see 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G) and 8 CFR 214.2(m)(9)(v))).

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) explained in the communicate, that this measure is temporarily due to COVID-19 crisis.

Harvard, MIT sue Trump administration over rule that strips visas from international students

Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are suing the Trump administration in federal court over a move to strip international students of their visas if their coursework is entirely online when classes resume in the fall.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Boston against the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, seeks a temporary restraining order against the policy, which was announced Monday. The lawsuit also seeks an order vacating the policy and a declaration that it is unlawful.

With information of AILA and NBC news