(Thomas Wells/The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal via AP, File)

Foreign students must leave U.S. if college classes go online, ICE says

It creates an urgent dilemma for thousands of international students who became stranded in the U.S.

International students will be forced to leave the U.S. or transfer to another college if their schools offer classes entirely online this fall, under new guidelines issued Monday by federal immigration authorities.

The guidelines, issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, provide additional pressure for campuses to reopen even amid growing concerns about the recent spread of COVID-19 among young adults. Colleges received the guidance the same day that some schools, including Harvard University, announced that all instruction will be offered remotely.

President Donald Trump has insisted that schools and universities return to in-person instruction as soon as possible. After the guidance was released, Trump repeated on Twitter that schools must reopen this fall.

Under the updated rules, international students must take at least some of their classes in person. New visas will not be issued to students at schools or programs that are entirely online. And even at colleges offering a mix of in-person and online courses this fall, international students will be barred from taking all their classes online.

It creates an urgent dilemma for thousands of international students who became stranded in the U.S. last spring after the coronavirus forced their schools to move online. Those attending schools that are staying online must “depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction,” according to the guidance.

Dozens of U.S. colleges have announced plans to provide in-person classes this fall, but some have said it’s too risky. Harvard on Monday said it would invite first-term students to live on campus, but classes will continue to be held online. The University of Southern California last week backtracked on plans to bring students back, saying classes will be held “primarily or exclusively” online.

The new guidance is likely to create “enormous confusion” among colleges as they prepare for the fall, said Terry Hartle, senior vice-president of the American Council on Education, which represents university presidents.

Of particular concern is a stipulation saying international students won’t be exempt from the rules even if an outbreak forces their schools to move online during the fall semester. Hartle said it’s unclear what would happen if a student ended up in that situation but faced travel restrictions from their home country.

“ICE is clearly creating an incentive for institutions to reopen, regardless of whether or not the circumstances of the pandemic warrant it,” he said.

Collin Binkley, Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusStudentsUSA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

ICBC stats show Castlegar drivers prefer Toyotas and Hondas

In 2019, there were 4543 vehicles registered in Castlegar.

Police seek suspect in rash of Castlegar thefts

There have been a number of thefts over the last two weeks in Castlegar.

All Mercer Celgar workers in Castlegar return to work

At least 215 of the workers were laid off during a temporary mill shutdown in July

Columbia Avenue and Hwy 3 hot spots for crashes in Castlegar

In 2019, there were 624 accidents in Castlegar and 3047 over the last five years.

Nelson’s American sister city faces COVID-19 culture war

In Sandpoint, Idaho, wearing a mask is about Black Lives Matter, gun rights, and COVID-19

STANDING TALL: For some, B.C.’s forest industry is the best office in the world

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Deaths feared after train derails amid storms in Scotland

Stonehaven is on the line for passenger trains linking Aberdeen with the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow

DFO says 5 aggrieved B.C First Nations were consulted on fisheries plan

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations calls response ‘a sham,’ adding DFO never incorporates their views

Lower Mainland woman gives birth on in-laws’ driveway

Frédérique Gagnon new son is appropriately named after Norse trickster god

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

UPDATE: Two dead after fishing boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

VIDEO: B.C. community rallies to save snared eagle

Revelstoke climber scales tree to save the raptor

Most Read