F-1 Student Visa Update: Online Studies

On July 6, 2020, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) announced a policy banning F-1 students from exclusively taking online classes in response to COVID-19. This policy was completely retracted on July 14, 2020 following litigation filed by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (“MIT”) in federal district court.

On July 24, 2020, ICE issued a formal update on federal guidance for the Fall 2020 semester. Students in valid F-1 or M-1 status who were actively enrolled in school on March 9, 2020 and seeking to continue their studies would be allowed to take exclusively online classes due to COVID-19. However, those students seeking new visas or looking to begin their studies in the U.S. will not be approved if their intended university is only offering online instruction.

Contact the experienced immigration team at David Hirson & Partners, LLP for answers to all your U.S. immigration questions.