Important Update Regarding Restrictions on F-1 and M-1 Students
|On July 6, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs and Enforcement (ICE) released a broadcast message placing restrictions on online learning for certain foreign students during the Fall 2020 semester. ICE also released FAQs on this subject on July 7, 2020. In summary:
Please note that these restrictions do not impact individuals who are on post-completion OPT or STEM OPT. However, please note that students with curricular practical training (CPT) who are enrolled at universities offering only online courses for Fall 2020 may be adversely impacted. Students should consult with their Designated School Official (DSO) as soon as possible for more guidance.
In light of these new restrictions, we recommend that nonimmigrant students contact their college or university’s Designated School Official (DSO) as soon as possible and find out how it plans to handle this situation. We anticipate that most universities will find a workaround. If a your college or university will not offer at least one in-person course for the Fall 2020 semester, you will need to plan to either depart the US, or transfer to another school that does offer in-person courses.
PLEASE NOTE: for all students attending schools in the United States this fall 2020, DSOs must issue a new Form I-20 to each student certifying that the school is not operating entirely online, that the student is not taking an entirely online course load for the fall 2020 semester, and that the student is taking the minimum number of online classes required to make normal progress in their degree program. DSOs must indicate this information in the Form I-20 Remarks field in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Schools must update and reissue all Forms I-20 to reflect these changes in program enrollment and student information by August 4, 2020.
Once you speak with your DSO, please let us know what the school has recommended / how the school plans to go forward. Please don’t hesitate to contact your attorney at McCown & Evans LLP with any questions.