The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said that the US would not allow foreign students to remain in the country if their universities switch to online-only courses because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The ICE said that the US State Department will not issue visas to the foreign students enrolled in the schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester. It further said that the United States (US) Customs and Border Protection will not allow these international students to enter the United States (US).
The universities with a hybrid system of in-person and online classes will have to show that foreign students are taking as many in-person classes as possible, to maintain their status.
The decision by the US authorities may affect thousands of international students who come to the US to attend the universities or participate in the training programs, as well as non-academic or vocational studies.
It is pertinent to mention here that the universities in the United States (US) are beginning to make the decision to move to the online classes following the coronavirus pandemic.
At Harvard, for example, all course instruction will be delivered online, including for the students living on campus. For international students, that opens the door to them having to leave the United States (US).