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In-Person Education Or Risk Deportation: What’s Ahead For Foreign Students

The campus of Georgetown University is seen nearly empty as classes were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, in Washington, DC.
The campus of Georgetown University is seen nearly empty as classes were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, in Washington, DC.

In the months since the coronavirus pandemic shut down institutions and businesses throughout the country, schools and universities have been navigating the world of remote learning and keeping its students and faculty safe.

With the start of the fall semester approaching, some will continue to teach students remotely or through a hybrid mix of small in-person groups. Meanwhile, some states are pushing to bring students back to campus.

But some foreign students whose schools have chosen online-only models for the fall semester may be forced to leave the country completely. Students with M-1 or F-1 visas will either have to transfer to universities offering in-person classes or risk losing their visa status, according to a new mandate from Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

More from The Wall Street Journal:

ICE won’t allow students to enter the country if they are attending a school that is only teaching courses online, but they may take the full load of online classes from their home country.

If students are already in the U.S. and classes are being taught completely online, they can transfer to another school with face-to-face instruction or leave the country.

When schools are offering a hybrid option, with large lectures online and seminars still meeting face-to-face, foreign students on visas must be on-site at the U.S. campus to take a full course load. Foreign students can’t take all their classes online from afar if hybrid instruction is available.

The decision comes among other efforts during the pandemic by the Trump administration to limit immigration into the country.

What’s behind the latest mandate from ICE? And how are universities responding?

 

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