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ICE: Foreign students must leave US if colleges go online only

Posted at 6:18 AM, Jul 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-07 09:18:06-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued new guidelines that could have a big impact on many international students studying in the U.S.

The modifications were posted to ICE's website, outlining the new rules for students on F-1 or M-1 visas. The guidelines say students may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States and that the Department of State won't issue visas to students enrolled in programs that are fully online or allow them to enter the country.

The news comes as many schools including San Diego State University and UC San Diego have moved to online only or a hybrid format because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In their modified guidelines, ICE said they had issued a temporary exemption regarding online courses for the spring and summer semesters.

If a student attends a school with a hybrid model, the school must certify that the program isn't online only and that the student is only taking the minimal number of online courses.

To read ICE's full statement on the modifications click here.