After receiving much criticism and several lawsuits filed against the US government, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is going to rescind the ruling that disallowed international students on F1 visas from taking 100% online classes.
This was announced by a federal judge in a court hearing in Boston. Several universities including Harvard and MIT had chosen to sue ICE for a ruling that required international students who are part of schools offering only online classes due to Covid lockdowns had to either leave the country immediately or transfer to another academic institution that offered at least one in-person class.
Over 1 million international students are currently enrolled in the different US universities and colleges. With new students coming in August 2020, many were in a flux regarding their futures.
Along with universities, tech giants like Google and Facebook also joined the lawsuit against ICE and were backed by at least 17 states across the United States. Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple are amongst the bigger recruiters of these international students graduating from US schools.
Based on this rescission, international students can continue taking online classes and this will not affect their F1 visa status. While this applies to every international student currently enrolled in a course and in the US, it is unclear whether there will be any changes to the incoming new students in Fall 2020.
Stay tuned to this space for latest updates.