Updated July 15 at 12:08 p.m.
In a Wednesday “Frequently Asked Questions” release, ICE announced that provisions put in place in March due to COVID-19 would remain in place for fall semester. Included in those provisions are a temporary waiver of the online class limit and the ability for students to maintain their “active” status even if they take fall classes remotely outside of the U.S.
International students who are not able to take online courses due to lack of technological resources or internet restrictions will be able to maintain their “active” status as long as they continue their coursework once in-person classes resume. Although students already in the U.S. will be permitted to stay even if their schedules are entirely online, the guidance states that new students who have not yet entered the U.S. should remain in their home country.
This story was originally published July 14 at 4:06 p.m.
International students whose courses have been moved to online instruction might not have to fear losing their immigration status.
The Trump administration will rescind its recent guidance for the Student Exchange and Visitor Program Tuesday as a federal judge prepared to hear arguments in a lawsuit brought forth by Harvard University and MIT, according to multiple news reports. The guidance, issued June 6 by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, required international students on F1 or M1 visas to take at least one in-person course in the fall in order to stay in the United States.
The decision to rescind comes after more than 180 universities — including Ohio State — signed an amicus brief in support of Harvard and MIT’s June 6 lawsuit. The lawsuit claimed the guidance was “arbitrary and capricious” and, as the creation of a policy instead of the interpretation of an already existing policy, was not within ICE’s power.
Ohio State announced in a Tuesday press release that it is “encouraged” by the federal government’s decision.
“Our international students are a vital part of our vibrant academic community, and Ohio State is committed to supporting their contributions to every discipline,” the release states.
This story was updated July 14 at 7:19 p.m. to include a statement from the university.