DHS Agrees to Fully Rescind Rule about F-1 Students and Online Classes
July 14, 2020
Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agreed today to fully rescind the July 6, 2020 ICE guidance that would have forced F-1 and M-1 students to depart the U.S. if they were going to be taking a fully online course load this fall, or transfer to a different university with in-person classes. Instead, the status quo based on the agency’s March 13, 2020 guidance will remain in force, which allows students taking online courses to reside in the United States on F-1 or M-1 visas.
The reversal comes after last week’s policy announcement was swiftly met with litigation, beginning with a lawsuit filed by Harvard and MIT. California’s public universities, as well as a coalition of 17 states and the District of Columbia, followed with lawsuits of their own.
As reported by The Hill and confirmed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Judge Allison Burroughs, a federal district judge in Boston who was expected to preside over oral arguments in the Harvard-MIT case, made the surprise announcement at the beginning of the court proceedings today at the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.