New rules: Foreign students have to leave the US if classes are online

New rules: Foreign students have to leave the US if classes are online

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Under the new guidelines issued on Monday by federal immigration officials, students in the class will be forced to leave the US or transfer to another college if schools in this direction come online internationally.
Guidelines issued by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement provide additional pressure for campuses amid growing concerns about the recent spread of COVID-19 among young adults. Colleges received guidance on the same day that some schools, including Harvard University, announced that all instructions would be submitted remotely.
President Donald Trump has insisted that schools and universities return to in-person instruction as soon as possible. After the guidance was released, Trump reiterated on Twitter that schools would have to reopen this fall.
Under the updated rules, international students must take at least some classes individually. New visas will not be issued to students in schools or programs that are completely online. And even in colleges offering a mix of in-person and online courses, international students will be barred from taking all their classes online.
This creates an urgent dilemma for the thousands of international students who were stranded in the American spring after being forced by coronoviruses to move their schools online. According to the guidance, schools that are staying online should “depart the country or take other measures, such as transfer to a school with a person’s instruction”.
Dozens of US colleges have announced plans to offer in-person classes this fall, but some have said it is too risky. Harvard said on Monday that it would invite first-term students to stay on campus, but classes would continue to be conducted online. The University of Southern California said last week on plans to bring students back, saying that classes would be held “primarily or exclusively” online.
The new guidance is likely to cause “enormous confusion” among colleges, as they are said by Terry Hartley, senior vice president of the American Council of Education, which represents university presidents.
Of particular concern is that international students will not be exempted from the rules, even if an outbreak forces their schools to move online during fall. Hartley said that it is not clear if a student ends up in that position, but faces travel restrictions from his country.
“ICE is clearly building an incentive to reopen institutions, whether it is in epidemic circumstances or not,” he said.

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