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UPDATE: ICE reverses course and will continue to allow F/M students to take online courses while maintaining legal status in the U.S.

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Pasricha & Patel

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced today (July 14, 2020), that it has decided to rescind its July 6, 2020 policy that would have prohibited F-1 and M-1 students from entering, or remaining in the U.S. if their U.S. universities or colleges did not provide in-person instruction during the upcoming Fall 2020 semester. Instead, ICE will continue to apply the initial March 13, 2020 policy guidance, which did allow for the F-1/M-1 students to take online courses.

This decision came before the start of a formal hearing before a federal judge in Boston, Massachusetts, in which Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who were joined by hundreds of universities and colleges in the U.S., all challenging ICE’s intended change in policy.

By reversing this policy, the F-1/M-1 students will be able to continue to take online courses in the U.S. during the COVID-19 emergency period.

Due to the ever-changing news regarding this and other immigration-related developments, we do encourage readers to continue to visit our platform and website for any further news updates. And should you have any specific questions about this issue or any other immigration-related matters, we suggest you contact our office for formal consultation.