The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced that students from US colleges and universities that are offering online classes (only) in the next academic year, starting August 2020 will have to vacate and leave the United States.
Due to Covid’s shelter in place, several colleges and universities had to terminate in-person classes and convert to online mode of instruction. Student housing was vacated and students had to leave their campuses. however, USCIS had announced that they could still maintain their F1 visa status.
Applicable to all international students on F1 visas who’s schools and colleges have announced 100% online classes for the fall semester, this rule goes into effect immediately. These schools have until July 15, 2020 to finalize their academic plans for the next semester and relay it to SEVP.
Who Is Exempted From This New F1 Rule
This modification to the temporary exemptions for non-immigrant students is only for those who are having to take all their course online. If the school offers the following alternatives, they can continue to reside in the United States and maintain their f1 visa status –
- Standard Practice: Schools & colleges holding in-person classes
- Hybrid System: Schools & colleges holding a few in-person classes + online classes
- Exception: Schools & colleges holding at least one in-person class
Current Plight Of International Students
Here’s how F1 students are coping during Covid Lockdown
What To Expect Next
- All F1 students should expect to hear about a finalized academic plan for Fall 2020 from their school DSO.
- All schools have to report the final plan to SEVP by August 1, 2020
- Once the academic structure has been finalized, the DSO will issue a new Form I-120 to eligible students who can stay back in the US
- Schools have to notify the total number of students taking hybrid classes to SEVP by August 4, 2020
As of now, all F1 students who are already in the country or those who have received new admissions for the upcoming academic year in August 2020 have to wait to see what their schools, colleges and universities decide.
Once the academic structure has been finalized, the students will have to react accordingly.
Stay tuned to this space as Path2USA will update you with the final SEVP published rule in the Federal Registry.