Ice Policy Preventing F-1 and M-1 Students From Attending Wholly Online Academic Programs Abandoned

As we previously reported, on July 6, 2020, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) maintained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 students who will attend schools operating entirely online were prohibited from taking a fully online course load and remaining in the United States.

The announcement was met with widespread opposition, and lawsuits were filed by 17 states and numerous universities to enjoin the new policy. The judge adjudicating one of these lawsuits, Judge Allison Burroughs, announced on July 14 that ICE and the plaintiffs had reached a settlement and that the policy would not go forward.

As a result, on July 14, 2020, ICE rescinded its July 6, 2020 restrictions. F-1 and M-1 students will now continue to be governed by the March 13, 2020 guidance issued by ICE and may remain in the country while attending classes exclusively online.